Throwing errors, wild pitches and consistent offense were what it took for Cal Poly to get the advantage over rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night. The Mustangs beat the Gauchos 10-5 in Baggett Stadium to take the series.
“Everyone seems to be dialed up at the plate,” senior right fielder John Schuknecht said. “Every time someone comes up, we’re expecting good things. There’s no dull moment.”
The top of the first inning was rough for the Mustangs, with the Gauchos bringing in two runs off a single and a sacrifice fly.
“I came in not fully intense, like I should have been,” sophomore starting pitcher Erich Uelmen said. “Then later in the game I started picking up the intensity, speeding up a little bit, trying to get them off balance. That’s when I was able to get into my game.”
Cal Poly brushed off the Gauchos’ hot start and pulled ahead with three runs on four consecutive hits in the bottom of the first inning. Junior third baseman Michael Sanderson scored a fourth run for the Mustangs after a wild pitch.
The Gauchos mirrored the Mustangs in the top of the second inning with four consecutive hits of their own to tie the game once again.
A throwing error, sacrifice bunt and a grounder gave the Mustangs a 5-4 advantage in the bottom of the second inning, bringing in freshman first baseman Cooper Moore.
Another UCSB throwing error, a single into right field by junior designated hitter Kevin Morgan and a wild pitch brought two more runs in for the Mustangs to bring the score to 7-4 in the bottom of the third inning.
The runs continued to come in for Cal Poly as Schuknecht notched his fourth home run of the season, bringing the score to 8-4 in the fifth inning.
“It’s always a good feeling to be able to barrel up a ball and jog around the bases,” Schuknecht said. “(It’s) one of the cooler feelings in baseball, I would say.”
The Gauchos scored once more in the seventh inning to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 9-5.
Uelmen pitched seven innings before freshman Justin Bruihl came to the mound to finish the game.
Freshman catcher Nick Meyer doubled in the eighth inning, and scored on the fourth throwing error of the night by the Gauchos, the end of the scoring rally for the night.
The Mustangs go for the sweep at 1 p.m. on Sunday.