The Mustangs moved to 2-2 after handing the Bulldogs (3-1) their first loss of the season.
“Just trying to get more players involved,” head coach Larry Lee said about what the team is trying to do early on in the season. “Get their feet wet and try to figure out who are some of the young players that will help win us ball games down the road. I thought it was a good win.”
Freshman pitcher Steven Brooks made his collegiate start on the hill for the Mustangs. The right-hander from Elk Grove, CA threw three and two-thirds innings, only giving up three hits and one run.
Brooks started the game well, as he threw a scoreless first. However, Cal Poly’s offense couldn’t get anything going despite a double by Brooks Lee.
In the second, Brooks was able to work around two errors and a hit batter to keep the score at 0-0.
The Mustangs struck first in the bottom of the second, starting with a Haas base hit through the six-hole. Getting to third-base by way of error and groundball, Haas trotted home after a passed ball ate up Bulldog catcher Zach Morgan to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, a one-out home run down the left-field line for Fresno State’s Josh Lauck tied the game at 1-1.
Cal Poly answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the third to seize a 3-1 lead.
Brooks Lee started it off with an infield base hit that was coupled with an errant throw that got past the first baseman, which put him on second base.
Brooks was in another hole in the fourth after a double and two hits batsman, as Fresno State had two runners in scoring position with just one out. However, Brooks flew out the next batter and senior righthander Jason Franks came in to get the third out, leaving the Mustangs unharmed once again.
“It’s a momentum shift,” Larry Lee said. “Steven Brooks got his feet wet and Franks came in and did well, again.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Haas stayed back on a breaking ball and sent it flying into the parking lot behind the left-field fence to push the lead to 5-2. Haas had two hits, two RBIs and two runs in the game.
“I’m sticking to my approach,” Haas said. “I’ve learned a lot… about hitting since I’ve been here. I think that I’m trying to do everything that I can to take what they give and stay within myself.”
The Bulldogs picked up a run in the top of the sixth off a sacrifice fly to right field, cutting the lead down to 5-2.
Again the Mustangs responded, loading the bases for the preseason All-American and projected top-five draft pick Brooks Lee. The shortstop sent the second pitch of the at-bat off the wall in left-center, clearing the bases and putting the ball game out of reach at 8-2. Lee was 3-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a walk in the game.
The Mustangs ended the game with eight runs off of 10 hits and seven RBIs. Franks picked up the win on the mound after going 3.1 innings and allowing one run on one hit.
A scheduling change due to weather in the mid-west this weekend has the Mustangs leaving the state for the first time in over a year to play Missouri State in Arlington, TX, on Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27. The three-game series now has a doubleheader on Sunday with the first game at 9 a.m. and the second directly after to go along with Saturday’s game at 11 a.m.
“Well my good buddy Reagan Doss is from Texas so he gets to go home which fires us all up,” Haas said about the scheduling change.