Things may have looked worrisome for the Cal Poly baseball team after dropping its season opener 10-1 at Alabama on Friday. The Mustangs stormed back in emphatic fashion, though, routing the Crimson Tide 16-7 and 6-2 a day later to sweep a doubleheader and take the series.
“The way it worked out was perfect,” said Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee.
Today, they’ll try to carry their promising turnaround into the University of San Diego Tournament, in which they’ll take on four nationallyranked teams.
In the first contest, Cal Poly (2-1) will face No. 22 San Diego State (4-1) at 6 tonight before challenging No. 17 San Diego (2-3) at 10 a.m. Friday. They’ll take the diamond against No. 24 Fresno State (2-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday and then No. 5 Missouri (3-1) at 11 a.m. Sunday.
In the series victory over Alabama, sophomore catcher Wes Dorrell led the Mustangs at the plate by batting 5 for 9 with a double and two RBI.
“Offensively we’re more of a score-a-run-an-inning type of ball club – (we) try to get a leadoff hitter on and some type of execution, kind of a small game,” Lee said. “Usually that type of approach leads to multiple runs, so especially early in the season, you have to do that. I don’t think you can just let your players swing away.”
Lee clarified, though, that later in the year that approach could change.
“As the season goes along, as the weather warms up and the wind starts blowing out, then maybe you kind of lighten up on the reins a little bit,” he said.
On the mound, junior southpaw Derrick Saito, meanwhile, earned the first win.
Sophomore righthander Steven Fischback struck out a career-high 11 batters for the second.
“He’s really grown up over the last year,” Lee said of Fischback. “He’s developed a couple more pitches, and now instead of just being a fastball-curveball pitcher, his curveball’s probably his fourth-best pitch.”
Of course, the Mustangs won’t be the only team boasting a formidable pitching staff at the tournament.
Lee said the competition features four pitchers who could be possible first-round draft picks.
“All of (the teams) have a dominant, Friday-night pitcher,” he said.
After their season-opening 11-game road venture, the Mustangs will host UC Santa Barbara at 6 p.m. March 11.