Cal Poly closed out its season in winning fashion on Sunday, beating UC Santa Barbara 8-6 in a Big West baseball game at Baggett Stadium.
Pitching in his final game as a Mustang, senior Casey Fien endured six runs on 11 hits to pick up his sixth win of the season.
After the game, coach Larry Lee talked about a season not quite up to par.
“It was kind of a roller coaster ride and we won a lot of series’, but we didn’t do enough to get into that playoff contention,” Lee said. “We bulked up our schedule and had the 10th toughest schedule out of 291 Division I teams, but it doesn’t always correlate to the RPI.”
Lee called the RPI a “flawed formula.” Last year the Mustangs had an easier schedule and tied for second in the Big West with Long Beach State, but didn’t receive a playoff bid – and the 49ers did.
Cal State Fullerton is guaranteed a spot in the NCAA playoffs by winning the Big West automatic bid while Long Beach State and UC Irvine will wait to see if they receive at-large bids.
Sunday’s game puts the Mustangs into fourth place in the Big West.
Shortstop Gilbert Gil went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Mustangs offensively. Second baseman Brent Morel went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored while Jimmy Gardiner waited until the last season of the season to hit his first home run – and went 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs.
Gauchos’ first baseman Robbie Blauer led his team with a 3-for-4 plate performance and a pair of RBIs and runs scored.
Bryan Fleming took the loss for the Gauchos. Fleming relieved starter Brian Tracy in the fifth inning and allowed four runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work. Tracy pitched the first four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Justin Segal closed out the final 1.2 innings, allowing just one runner to reach base.
Rocky Roquet worked the ninth for the last time in a Mustang uniform, pitching a scoreless inning while allowing two runners to reach base for his 10th save of the season.
The Mustangs won 4-1 on Saturday, Gary Daley Jr. picking up the win in what could be his final game in a Cal Poly uniform. The Gauchos won 11-6 on Friday night as starting pitcher Bud Norris got knocked out of the game in the fourth.
Despite a 5.48 ERA, Lee expects Daley to be drafted in Major league Baseball’s Amateur Draft in June along with teammates Norris and Josh Lansford. The three will not return to Cal Poly next season, Lee said.
Rocky Roquet will also be playing minor league ball this summer. However, as a fifth-year senior, the process was slightly different. Roquet was eligible to sign as a free agent following Sunday’s game and reportedly signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs. Roquet is set to report on June 12 to the Cubs’ Spring Training complex in Mesa, Ariz. and will be assigned to a team following evaluation.