Cal Poly Baseball did not get the third win they needed to advance to the NCAA Tournament as the team was shutout 7-0 by UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, May 27.
The Mustangs (28-8, 17-7 Big West) set themselves for a potential upset sweep over the Blue-Green rival with a 3-0 win on Thursday and a 4-3 win Friday. A series sweep would have given Cal Poly a share of the Big West title, as the team would have had the same conference record at UC Santa Barbara. Cal Poly was not selected to an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. As the 2019 Big West Conference champions, UC Santa Barbara (45-9, 18-6 Big West), qualified to the NCAA Tournament.
Cal Poly was held to just five hits the entire game, with most of their struggles cemented by Gauchos left-hander Rodney Boone. The freshman pitcher struck out 12 Mustangs over 8 1/3 innings.
Gauchos second baseman Andrew Martinez got the scoreline rolling in the first inning when his single and an error from junior center fielder Bradlee Beesley brought in shortstop McClain O’Connor from first. Beesley’s error also allowed Martinez to reach second base.
While Gauchos catcher Eric Yang was caught out after trying to convert his single into a double, Martinez reached third base. UC Santa Barbara right fielder Armani Smith then grounded out to second base, but brought in Martinez to put for a 2-0 lead.
In the third inning, UC Santa Barbara struck again. Smith singled to center field and advanced to second base on another error from Beesley. The error allowed Martinez to add another run for the Gauchos.
Senior right-hander Michael Clark walked Gauchos designated hitter Thomas Rowan to put runners on first and second. The next batter, center fielder Tommy Jew, hit a single to bring home Smith and put Rowan on third base. With two outs and runners on the corners, Clark struck out third baseman Jason Willow to end the third inning with the Gauchos leading 4-0.
UC Santa Barbara then added two more runs in the fourth inning. A deep triple down right field from O’Connor brought home left fielder Tevin Mitchell from first base. The next batter, Martinez, flied out to right field and brought home O’Connor to make it 6-0 for the Gauchos.
Mitchell then capped off the offensive rout on the Mustangs with a solo home run in the seventh inning, scoring the last run of the game.
— Cal Poly Baseball (@calpolystangs) May 26, 2019
For the Mustangs, the fourth inning was their best chance of getting on the board. Left fielder Cole Cabrera and junior catcher Myles Emmerson were left on first and third base respectively. Emmerson was one of five Mustangs to get a hit in the game, as he hit a single to center field. Cabrera reached first on a fielder’s choice, which also allowed Emmerson to reach third, at the expense of redshirt freshman shortstop Connor Gurnik.
Cal Poly will graduate seniors Clark and Jared Zill.
This is the third straight season in which the Mustangs finished in second place in the Big West Conference.