Cal Poly baseball wrapped up its four-game road trip with a decisive 14-6 victory against the Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday, May 17 at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu.
The win gives the Mustangs (32-20, 17-7 Big West) their eighth straight victory while giving Pepperdine (22-25, 10-14 WCC) their fourth straight home loss.
It seemed as though Tuesday’s mid-afternoon tilt would be a low-scoring, tight affair, however, as both teams went down scoreless in their frames of the first inning.
The Mustangs decided that one inning was enough without scoring, however, and erupted with five runs in the second, starting with freshman left fielder/catcher Ryan Stafford, who reached base on an error, moved to third after two straight wild pitches and came home to score on a throwing error on the same play.
After back-to-back walks, sophomore outfielder Reagan Doss doubled to drive in two and graduate third baseman Brett Borgogno’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0. Two batters later, sophomore first baseman Joe Yorke capped the inning with a two-out RBI single to left to extend his hitting streak to 18 games and his on-base streak to 26 games.
Cal Poly was far from done, however, as Borgogno’s RBI double in the third gave them a 6-0 cushion, a lead that was further increased in the sixth on a two-run single by catcher Collin Villegas, for an 8-0 advantage.
However, the Waves made the game much more stressful than the Mustangs would’ve liked, as they managed to score one in the sixth, followed by five more in their half of the eighth to cut their lead to 8-6. It most likely would’ve been more, if not for an incredibly clutch play by Cal Poly’s defense.
With two outs, Connor Bradshaw tried to score from second on a Ryan Johnson single but was tagged out at the plate by Villegas after a laser throw from Stafford in left field to sophomore shortstop Brooks Lee, who relayed the ball to home on a rope for the out.
The six runs were all the Waves would manage, but the Mustangs weren’t satisfied with the two-run lead, and added six more runs in their half of the ninth, with the first run coming thanks to an RBI single by graduate outfielder John Lagattuta.
Two pitches later, on a safety squeeze bunt, Borgogno brought the inning’s second run home, and sophomore second baseman Nick Marinconz followed it up with an RBI sac fly. It was then Lee’s turn, and he walloped an 0-1 pitch off the right-field scoreboard for a two-run homer, his 12th of his 2022 campaign.
Back-to-back doubles by senior pinch hitter Tate Samuelson and Stafford brought home the Mustangs’ 14th and final run, and — after senior closer Jason Franks struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth — the victory.
On the scorecard, it was junior righthander Zach Button (2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K on 33 pitches), receiving the win, improving his record to 8-1. Offensively, it was Borgogno, who had three hits and three RBIs, Yorke with four hits and Lagattuta with three hits leading the way for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly will look to make it nine straight wins when they return home to face the UC Davis Aggies in the final home series of the season starting on Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. inside Baggett Stadium.