Cal Poly Baseball’s Cole Cabrera (6) slides for a catch against CSU Fullerton at Baggett Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021. (MANDATORY CREDIT: Kyle Calzia / Mustang News)

The bats came alive for Cal Poly Baseball in a four-game series sweep of Cal State Fullerton from Friday, May 14 to Sunday, May 16 inside Baggett Stadium.

The Mustangs (24-24, 14-18 Big West) outscored the Titans (19-28, 12-16 Big West) 37-5 over the four games for an overall dominating series win. The total of 37 runs put up by Cal Poly was two more than they had scored over their previous 10 games.

The Mustangs’ pitching staff also cruised during the sweep, totaling a 1.36 team ERA with 22 strikeouts over the series.

Friday

The Mustangs snapped their six game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday inside Baggett Stadium.

Redshirt freshman right hander Drew Thorpe tossed a gem on the mound for Cal Poly, going 7.1 scoreless innings and allowing just five hits while striking out eight.

After a scoreless first inning by Thorpe, redshirt junior third baseman Tate Samuelson got the scoring started with an RBI single to bring home redshirt senior catcher Myles Emmerson to give the Mustangs the early 1-0 lead.

As Thorpe continued to roll in the second, the Mustangs tacked on another run thanks to an error following a single off the bat of redshirt junior Cole Cabrera, extending the lead to 2-0.

The offense stayed hot in the bottom of the third after yet another scoreless inning by Thorpe, scoring three runs in the inning. Two runs came in courtesy of a two-RBI single by redshirt sophomore infielder Taison Corio and redshirt freshman first baseman Joe Yorke added an RBI single of his own later on in the inning. These hits gave Cal Poly a 5-0 lead and were the last runs scored for the Mustangs.

The pitching on both sides cruised for the remainder of the game as neither team was able to get a run across until the top of the ninth, when the Titans scratched one across to make the score 5-1, which would prove to be the final score of the series opener.
Offensively, redshirt freshman Brooks Lee led the way and went 3-4 with a double while Emmerson, Samuelson and freshman outfielder Sam Biller each recorded multi-hit games.

Saturday Game 1

Cal Poly kept their bats hot in the first game on Saturday when they demolished Fullerton in a 13-3 game that ended in the eighth inning. 

Junior Andrew Alvarez was on the bump for the green and gold and secured his sixth win of the season in a six inning showing highlighted by only allowing two runs. Alvarez is now 6-3 on the season.

For the Tritons, Ryan Hare got the start at pitcher and only pitched the first inning, in which he gave up five hits and four runs. He was pulled in the second inning but was still charged with the loss, moving him to 0-4 on the season. 

Samuelson got the Mustangs scoring early when his groundout brought Cabrera home in the first inning. Next, the Mustangs blasted a pair of doubles to left field to widen their lead to 4-0.

CSUF responded in the second inning when their leadoff batter Austin Schell took a 1-2 pitch and sent it over the left field wall giving the Tritons their first runs of the game. 

The game remained fairly quiet until the sixth inning, with the exception of CSU Fullerton taking Cal Poly’s lead to two with a groundout RBI in the third inning. 

In the sixth inning, facing his very first pitch with bases loaded, Lee doubled the Mustangs’ score with a single swing of the bat, hitting his grand slam over the left center wall and bringing home Emmerson, Cabrera, and Yorke. 

Cal Poly moved the score to 9-2 when Samuelson reached home on a fielding error by the Tritons. 

Lee continued his game of domination when he doubled in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring Emmerson and Cabrera home, giving the Mustangs a 11-2 lead over Fullerton. 

The Tritons tried to claw back in the eighth inning, when Jason Brandow scored off a Miguel Ortiz single, cutting the Mustang lead to only eight. 

The eighth inning proved to be the decisive one for Cal Poly. Sophomore catcher Mark Armstrong, while pinch hitting for Biller, brought Cal Poly’s lead back to nine when his groundout drove Corio home and moved runners to second and third base.

Finally in the eighth inning, Emmerson hit a RBI single to center field, giving Cal Poly a 10-run lead after the seventh inning, invoking the mercy rule and ending the game. 

The game was one for the highlight reel for Lee, whose six RBI is his new single-game record, while his grand slam was the first one by a Mustang since Elijah Skipps hit one against UC Davis in 2018. 

Cabrera’s 5-for-6 offensive performance was also one to remember, being only the third Mustang since 2013 to record five hits in a game.

Saturday Game 2

Cal Poly took care of the second half of their Saturday doubleheader with ease, beating Fullerton 10-0.

The Mustangs came into the game hot after a 13-3 victory earlier in the day. In the second game Cal Poly blanked the Titans behind a 16-hit effort.

Redshirt sophomore left handed pitcher Travis Weston got the win for the Mustangs, improving his record on the season to 5-6. Weston pitched seven shutout innings allowing one walk and three hits, while collecting two strikeouts along the way. 

Cabrera started off the scoring for the Mustangs with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning. Later in the inning Samuelson singled up the middle to bring in two more runs for an early 3-0 lead.

In the second inning Emmerson brought in a run after reaching on a fielder’s choice. The next batter was Lee who doubled to center field to bring in Emmerson. This added to the six-RBI effort Lee had in the first half of the double header, giving him seven total on the day. Cal Poly carried a 5-0 lead into the third inning.

In the third inning the Mustangs added three more runs to their lead to blow the game wide open. Cal Poly added two more runs over the fifth and sixth innings to get the lead to 10-0. 

The Mustangs would face the Titans once more on Sunday in Baggett Stadium as they looked for a series sweep.

Sunday

The Cal Poly baseball team defeated Cal State Fullerton 9-1 to complete the four-game series sweep on Sunday, May 16. 

The Mustangs first got on the scoreboard when Cabrera hit an RBI sacrifice fly to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead in the third inning. 

Cal Poly continued their offensive firepower in the fourth inning as they scored two more runs on consecutive plays. Yorke hit an RBI single to centre field which allowed junior outfielder Nick DiCarlo to advance to second and Corio to score. Then, Biller reached base on a throwing error which allowed DiCarlo to score. 

After Cal State Fullerton scored a run off of a solo home run by Josh Urps to cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning, the Mustangs tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the inning. Cabrera kicked off the inning with a leadoff double. Then, Emmerson hit a RBI single to score Cabrera. The highlight of the inning, however, was a bases-clearing three-RBI triple by freshman Nick Marinconz to extend the Mustangs’ lead to 7-1. Yorke hit another RBI single to give the Mustangs an 8-1 advantage. 

Cal Poly shutout the Titans for the next four innings and even tacked on one more run in the eighth inning when DiCarlo hit an RBI sacrifice fly. 

Although freshman pitcher Kyle Scott got the start and recorded three hitless innings, freshman pitcher Bryce Warrecker earned the win (2-3) as he pitched three innings and allowed just three hits and gave up the Titans only run. 

Offensively, the Mustangs recorded 15 total hits and all nine starters recorded a hit. Yorke led the way with three hits and Cabrera, Emmerson, Marcinconz and DiCarlo had two each. 

The Mustangs’ four-game sweep marks the first time Cal Poly has swept the Titans since 2014 and the first sweep of a four-game series since 2019.

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