A six-run first inning was too much to overcome for the Cal Poly baseball team in its 8-5 loss to Santa Clara on Wednesday night at Baggett Stadium.

Cal Poly senior starter Grant Theophilus gave up two home runs and four hits in the first inning, as the Mustangs fell behind by six runs before they even had an at-bat.

The loss dropped the Mustangs below the .500 mark for the season, at 6-7.

After getting two outs with one man on first, Theophilus was unable to get a final out until six batters later.

“I just wasn’t making my pitches at the right time,” he said.

Mustangs head coach Larry Lee agreed.

“There was just an inability to put pitches away,” he said.

Theophilus settled down after the first, allowing one run in the fourth inning before being replaced in the fifth after allowing a runner to score with no outs. His replacement, freshman right-hander Buster Mueller ended the inning with no more damage.

Mueller and two more pitchers, sophomores Mark DeVincenzi and Kevin Castner, combined to hurl four scoreless innings and hold Santa Clara at eight runs.

Like the pitching staff, Cal Poly’s offense had a spotty night.

After pounding out 19 hits to defeat UC Santa Barbara 15-6 on Tuesday, Cal Poly’s bats quieted down Wednesday. The offense managed to eke out only seven hits against four different pitchers.

After the first inning, Cal Poly came back with one run in the second inning but was unable to add any more to the scoreboard until the fifth. After junior right fielder Ryan Lee started off the inning with a walk, he was tagged out at second when sophomore shortstop Kyle Smith reached first.

Freshman first baseman J.J. Thompson and junior catcher Justin Hensley both walked to load the bases. Sophomore left fielder Luke Yoder then hit a two-run double to bring the score to 8-3 with only one out.

Santa Clara starter Matthew Wickswat was then removed from the game and his replacement, Thain Simon, ended the inning and Cal Poly’s best chance at a comeback.

Though Cal Poly managed to score one run in both the sixth and seventh innings, it wasn’t enough.

“(Santa Clara) pitched pretty well – we didn’t have a lot of opportunities to score,” Lee said.

Yoder had the biggest night offensively with two hits and two RBI, bringing his season batting average to .372.

“(Santa Clara) is a well-rounded, veteran team that played well together tonight,” Lee added.

The Mustangs open a three-game home series against No. 11 UCLA at 6 tonight.

“We’ll be at almost full strength,” Lee said of his starters expected to pitch.

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