Baylor Athletics/Courtesy Photo

Jesse Summers
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The Cal Poly baseball team (0-3) simply couldn’t catch Baylor (3-0) on the road, dropping three in a row in Texas
from Feb. 13-15.

After losing 8-6 to the Bears on Friday night behind a disappointing defensive performance, the Mustangs looked to rally around Saturday’s starting pitcher, sophomore Slater Lee. He faced a tough Bears team and gave up three runs on five hits and a walk within the first two innings. Lee would be replaced by freshman Kyle Smith, who didn’t have much better luck.

Heading into the fourth inning, down 5-1, the Mustangs got hot, stringing together a couple hits and finishing off the inning with an opposite field, two-run homerun by junior outfielder Zack Zehner, tying the game at 5-5. The Mustangs would then shut down the Bears for the bottom half, following up with a solo home run from freshman Brett Barbier in the top of the fifth.

The Bears followed the pair of Cal Poly home runs with a rally of their own, playing fundamental baseball with a series of walks, bunts and sacrifice at bats. The Bears took a 7-6 lead at the end of the sixth inning.

It seemed every time Baylor was faced with adversity this weekend, it was able to respond in whatever way necessary to regain the lead. Baylor would cushion its lead with a single run later in the bottom of the eighth inning and close out the game in the ninth without allowing a runner on base.

Barbier would finish with an impressive stat line though, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs.

Cal Poly lost 8-6 once again, its second close game in a row, and would have to rise early for a 12 p.m. Sunday game time.

Seemingly burnt out after two tough games in a row, the Mustangs were unable to put runs on the board in Sunday’s matchup, losing 6-0. Baylor starting pitcher Theron Kay gave up five hits in his short four-inning performance, and was followed by two dominating relief performances by his teammates Troy Montemayor and Daniel Castano.

Cal Poly recorded seven hits in the final game of the series, with senior outfielder Jordan Ellis and junior shortstop Peter Van Gansen each notching a pair.

The Mustangs can chalk up the weekend to a combination of early season rust and a lack of experience from the multiple new starters implemented into the lineup. Starting off against a tough Big-12 side isn’t
easy either.

Looking ahead, the Mustangs will play at Fresno State on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m., before they host their own three-game series against Grand Canyon next weekend.

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