It was a scorcher Sunday afternoon at Baggette Stadium as Cal Poly roasted UC Davis 16-8 to complete the sweep against the struggling Aggies and win their 17th straight contest at home.
The game’s first pitch was thrown in front of fans holding umbrellas high, trying to protect themselves from the 93 degree heat. As the game reached the fourth inning, Cal Poly (27-9, 8-4 Big West) added to the heat, scoring seven runs on nine hits as the temperature reached 96.
Coming into the game, Cal Poly senior center fielder Ryan Lee was sitting on a 25-game hitting streak that tied him with Brandon Roberts for the longest since Cal Poly joined Division I ball. In the fourth inning, in his third at bat, Lee hit a sharp ground ball through the left side of the infield to record his first hit in the game and at least one in 26 consecutive games, breaking the record set in 2004.
“It’s a relief just to get it out of the way,” Lee said of getting that hit. “It’s hard to keep it out of your head, but it was a big moment for me and I’m happy about it, but glad that it’s out of the way.”
Following not too far behind Lee, is freshman second baseman Matt Jensen, who has a little streak of his own. Jensen went 1-2 on the day, hitting an RBI triple in the fourth inning to improve his hitting streak to 23 games. It was fitting that Lee scored on the triple.
“He’s been awesome this year,” Lee said of his teammate. “I’m a fifth-year senior and I’m learning some things from him about hitting. Just the way he approaches each at bat, he doesn’t think too much about what is going on around him.”
It was an offensive explosion for Cal Poly. All nine of the Mustangs in the starting lineup got at least a hit and an RBI. Six players had a multiple hit showing and three hit for three RBIs.
“Hitting is contagious,” Mustangs head coach Larry Lee said. “We have a solid one through nine lineup that feed off of internal competition, which is important.”
Contagious indeed. When one horse went running, the others followed as the Mustangs scored in bunches. They went for four runs in the second inning, three more in the third, twice in the fourth, and a seven-run stampede in the seventh frame killed any hopes for the Aggies (6-28, 1-8 Big West).
“I think we learned a lot this weekend on the mental part of performing on a high level and how to simplify things,” Lee said of his team’s state of mind.
Cal Poly freshman right-hander Mason Radeke (3-1) got his third win on the season as he pitched six innings, only giving up four runs on 10 hits. Davis senior right hander Jeremy McChesney (1-5) got the loss.
Cal Poly’s offense that showed up for the final game of the series wasn’t there in the first game that was taken into extra innings before the Mustangs scored a run on a dropped fly ball in the 10th inning.
“Anybody can beat anybody in the Big West,” Lee said. “We’ve been lucky this year of riding out the storm at home and finding a way to win games.”