Sophomore right-hander Casey Bloomquist is 6-0 in six starts for Cal Poly baseball this season. | Ian Billings/Mustang News

Stephan Teodosescu

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It’s not often Cal Poly sees a matchup of top-25 teams on campus.

But starting Friday, the No. 5 Cal Poly baseball team will host No. 13 UC Santa Barbara for a three-game set in arguably the biggest series of the year at Baggett Stadium.

The Mustangs (24-4, 3-0 Big West) enter Friday’s opener having won 17 of their 18 home games this season, and rank in the top 10 of all five major Division I polls.

Meanwhile, the Gauchos (19-5, 1-2), one of three Big West teams ranked in the top 25 this week, come in sporting their second-best start in program history.

“They’re doing really well this season, and they’re also our rivals, so that kind of fuels the fire a little bit more,” senior third baseman Jimmy Allen said. “But we’re definitely excited to have them here, especially playing at Baggett.”

Despite UC Santa Barbara’s hot start, the Gauchos lost two of three in a conference-opening series to Hawaii this past weekend.

Cal Poly has won six straight games and 14 of its last 15 overall. Most recently, the Mustangs swept UC Davis in a Big West-opening series this past weekend and took down Cal State Bakersfield 6-1 on Tuesday.

The sweep against the Aggies was Cal Poly’s fourth of the season.

“We’re starting to play some of our best baseball at this time of the year and still have a string of home games,” head coach Larry Lee said. “Especially to open up Big West Conference (play), it was important to get off to a 3-0 start.”

The polls have taken notice of the team’s torrid start. On top of the Mustangs’ No. 5 billing by Perfect Game and Baseball America, Cal Poly was slated No. 6 by the National College Baseball Writers Association and No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. has the Mustangs as No. 2 in its latest college baseball power rankings, while the Gauchos sit in 20th.

“It puts us on the map in the eyes of the selection committee early in the season,” Lee said. “Getting there is one thing, staying there is another, so we just need to continue to win ballgames.”

The Mustangs have done that this season with the help of timely hitting from all spots in the lineup, according to Lee.

Junior right fielder Nick Torres has an 11-game hitting streak, while sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias’s 17-game hit streak was snapped against Cal State Bakersfield. Overall, Cal Poly has outscored its opponents 183-87.

“We’re a well-rounded team with just a few deficiencies,” Lee said. “We need to get a little bit stronger in some of the starting pitcher roles, but offensively, we have the capability of being very good one through nine.”

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