Cal Poly used a five-run rally in the first inning to rout Long Beach State 8-2, completing the series sweep.
The Mustangs’ (19-19, 6-6 Big West) entire lineup made a plate appearance in the first inning, recording five runs and five hits before the first out. Sophomore right fielder Bradlee Beesley drove in the first runs of the game on a mishandled hit to left field, easily scoring junior center fielder Alex McKenna from second and allowing sophomore shortstop Kyle Marinconz to score all the way from first base.
Beesley moved to third on a single from freshman first baseman Tate Samuelson before scoring on a wild pitch to extend the lead 3-0.
Cal Poly continued to take advantage of Long Beach State pitcher Adam Seminaris’ bad day, with two more hits and two more runs to take a commanding 5-0 lead. Seminaris was pulled after hitting senior left fielder Josh George with the bases loaded to allow a run.
Other than two close calls with the bases loaded, Cal Poly junior pitcher Michael Clark kept the Dirtbags’ opportunities at a minimum. The junior right-hander pitched three innings in which he retired the side in order.
“Pitching is a big percentage of the game,” Lee said. “If we don’t have quality starting pitching it makes it difficult, you have to use your bullpen more than you would like to, or sometimes earlier than you would like to, and it has a big domino effect for not only that game but for the rest of the series.
After Long Beach State’s small crack at the Mustangs’ lead, senior designated hitter Elijah Skipps knocked a two-run home run to center field. Skipps is finding success at the plate after returning to the lineup last weekend against UC Davis, recording 11 hits in 21 at-bats.
“This series I knew we were going to face a little bit better pitching,” Skipps said. “I was just focused on staying middle, driving the ball, not trying to do too much and just kind of taking what they give me.”
The Mustangs return to a .500 winning percentage for the first time since February when their record was 1-1. Cal Poly is now tied for fourth with U.C. Davis in Big West conference standings.
Cal Poly’s next five games will be non-conference matchups against Santa Clara and No. 13 UCLA. The Mustangs will travel to play Santa Clara on the road on Tuesday and will return to host UCLA at Baggett Stadium in a three-game series starting Friday.