Cal Poly Baseball rallied late with a four-run eighth inning, but ended up falling 7-6 to Santa Clara inside Baggett Stadium on Tuesday, April 3.
The Mustangs (12-14) were looking to carry the momentum from a successful sweep of CSUN into the non-conference matchup against the Broncos (5-21).
Santa Clara got on the board early with an RBI single up the middle in the second inning off of Cal Poly’s senior starting pitcher Craig Colen. Cal Poly put up a run of their own in the second inning off a solo home run by junior catcher John Mackay over the left field wall. This back-and-forth scoring would emerge as a theme for the game.
In the fourth Cal Poly moved to the bullpen, putting in sophomore pitcher Andrew Alvarez. After costly mistakes — a throwing error and a wild pitch — Santa Clara gained a 4-1 lead. Alvarez exited after allowing three runs, but only one earned run.
Redshirt freshman Connor Gurnik put another Cal Poly run across off a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 4-2. However, a series of RBI singles by Santa Clara in the seventh inning pushed the lead back to 6-2
Cal Poly climbed back into the game with a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by a clutch two-run single up the middle by sophomore first baseman Tate Samuelson to tie the game at 6-6 heading into the ninth inning.
Junior pitcher Thomas Triantos halted Santa Clara’s offense to give Cal Poly a chance to drop a walk off on the Broncos. The Mustangs’ offense, which had come up clutch all game, suddenly went cold, and the game went to extra innings.
Triantos ran into trouble in the tenth inning, giving up a leadoff double. The runner later got to third base off of a wild pitch. Realizing the dire situation, Cal Poly brought in their red hot reliever and Big West Pitcher of the Week, senior Michael Clark. Then, Santa Clara pulled off a surprise suicide squeeze bunt, leading to the Bronco runner dodging Mackay’s tag attempt at the plate to grab a 7-6 lead.
The Cal Poly offense could not duplicate their magic from earlier innings and were unable to score despite a wild pitch advancing junior outfielder Bradlee Beesley to second.
Cal Poly lost 7-6 even though they outhit Santa Clara at 12-9.
The team returns to action this weekend at Baggett Stadium against Cal State Fullerton starting Friday, April 5 at 6pm.