After dropping the first game of the series, Cal Poly Baseball bounced back with three straight wins against Cal State Northridge on March 20-22 inside Matador Baseball Field.
The Mustangs (11-6, 3-1 Big West) rode their offense to their fourth straight series win, combining for 39 runs over four games against the Matadors (1-3). Cal Poly has now won 10 of their past 13 games since dropping their opening series against Nevada.
Four home runs and 10 runs overall were not enough for Cal Poly on Saturday, dropping the first game of the series 13-10 to Northridge.
Cal Poly started freshman right hander Drew Thorpe (2-1) who recorded his shortest start as a Mustang, going 1.2 innings and surrendering five runs, five walks and four hits while adding two strikeouts.
However, the Matadors responded with seven unanswered runs over the next three frames, five given up by Thorpe. The 7-0 run was headlined by a two-run shot from center fielder Denzel Clarke.
The Mustangs snapped the streak with another two-run home run, this time from freshman infielder Joe Yorke. The home run brought in junior outfielder Nick DiCarlo, who later hit a solo blast to left field to make the score 10-5 in the sixth.
Cal Poly continued putting runs on the board, but the Matador offense was too much to overcome. A pinch-hit, two-RBI single from first baseman Jason Ajamian extended the Northridge lead to 13-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sophomore catcher Collin Villegas brought the score to 13-7 by coming home on a wild pitch in the eighth inning. Then, Lee cut the deficit in half with a three-run bomb to left center, his team-leading fifth home run of the year. However, the Mustangs were held scoreless from then on, as the Matadors closed it out for a 13-10 victory.
The two teams moved on from Saturday’s game for a Sunday doubleheader the following day.
Sunday Game 1
In the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Mustangs earned a back and forth 7-6 victory over the Matadors to even the series at 1-1.
The Mustangs opened the scoring in the top of the second inning after Yorke’s sacrifice fly ball to right field allowed junior infielder Matt Lopez to score.
Then the Mustangs scored three more runs in the top of the third inning to gain a 4-0 lead. The Matadors responded by scoring six unanswered runs in the bottom of the third inning off of junior left handed pitcher Andrew Alvarez (3-0).
The Mustangs earned a single run in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings to put themselves in front of the Matadors. A solo homerun from Villegas in the top of the seventh inning broke the 6-6 tie and gave the Mustangs a 7-6 advantage.
Sophomore right hander Bryan Woo (1-2) stepped in and pitched 5.1 scoreless innings in relief for the win. Woo’s seven strikeouts matched his career high in the category. His last game with seven strikeouts came in a start against CSU Bakersfield in the 2019 season.
Freshman right handed pitcher Kyle Scott closed the game for the Mustangs in the bottom of the ninth after he retired out the side in order and earned his first save of the season in the process.
Four of the Mustangs’ seven RBIs were provided through sacrifice flies, including two by Samuelson. Villegas and Yorke also finished the gane with two RBIs.
Sunday Game 2
In the nightcap, Cal Poly cruised to a 12-1 victory powered by homeruns from Cabrera, Lopez, and freshman left fielder Reagan Doss.
The game was declared to be finished after seven innings due to the 10-run rule in effect this season.
Sophomore left hander Travis Weston (2-1) allowed just one run and three hits over five innings pitched with nine strikeouts. Freshman right handers Chase Walter and Derek True each pitched one scoreless frame in their brief appearances.
The Mustangs’ offense found their rhythm as they scored at least one run in every inning except in the fifth.
Lopez’s two-run home run over left center field in the seventh gave the Mustangs a double-digit advantage. Emmerson produced his second consecutive three-hit game as he finished with a double and two singles.
Doss also contributed three quality at-bats of his own, including a solo home run with one out in the top of the second inning. Cabrera knocked in his third home run of the season, which was also a solo shot in the second inning.
Lee drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single. Doss, Lopez and DiCarlo each knocked in two runs also as Cal Poly outhit Northridge 11-5 in the game.
Cal Poly’s offense stayed hot and secured their fourth consecutive series win with a 10-8 victory against CSUN on Monday.
Lee opened up the scoring early for the Mustangs, blasting a two-run home run, his sixth of the season, over the right field wall to put Cal Poly up 2-0 in the first inning.
Freshman pitcher Bryce Warrecker received his first start of his collegiate career for the Mustangs, but was unable to escape the first inning. The Matadors put up seven runs on six hits against Warrecker in the first, giving them the early 7-2 lead.
However, the Cal Poly offense answered in a major way with six runs of their own in the top of the second to retake the lead, 8-7. In the inning, Cabrera, Emmerson and Lee recorded RBI singles, while Samuelson provided the go-ahead three-run homerun. The long shot was Samuelson’s third of the season.
After a scoreless bottom of the second and top of the third, CSUN tied the game up at eight apiece thanks to a fielder’s choice that brought a run home. That run proved to be the last for the Matadors, as Kyle Scott would shut them down and receive the victory.
Scott threw five innings, allowing just the one run while striking out six. The win was Scott’s first of the 2021 season.
In the top of the fifth, Lee supplied the go-ahead single for the Mustangs, driving in Yorke and Doss for his fourth and fifth RBIs of the day.
The pitching combination of Scott, True and Thorpe held CSUN scoreless for the remainder of the game, securing the 10-8 victory.
Lee, Emmerson, Samuelson, Doss and DiCarlo recorded multi-hit games for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly will return home to face UC San Diego on Friday, March 26 at 3 p.m. inside Baggett Stadium.