Junior third baseman Brent Morel broke a 7-7 tie in the 10th inning by blasting a grand slam down the left-field line to carry the Cal Poly baseball team to a 12-7 win in its season finale at UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon.
Although the Mustangs snapped a seven-game losing streak, they finished 24-32, the exact opposite of last year’s mark, and with the program’s fewest wins since 1999.
Cal Poly’s 2008 winning percentage of .428 stands not only as the worst during head coach Larry Lee’s six-year tenure helming the Mustangs, but as the worst in his head-coaching career since 1989.
The Mustangs, who finished 8-16 in the Big West Conference to finish in a seventh-place tie with Cal State Northridge, surrendered 3-1, 6-2 and 7-6 leads before Morel’s one-out grand slam, his first at Cal Poly, which lost the first two games of the series, 4-1 Friday and 7-2 Saturday.
Also adding strong hitting for the Mustangs were junior right fielder Ryan Lee (who went 4 for 6), freshman third baseman J.J. Thompson (3 for 5 with four RBI), junior center fielder Logan Schafer (three hits) and sophomore left fielder Adam Melker (two hits).
Sophomore right-hander D.J. Mauldin (5-5) didn’t walk any batters, struck out two and allowed one run and four hits in four innings in earning the win on behalf of Cal Poly, which won despite committing five errors.
For the Highlanders (21-33, 14-10), who used five pitchers, Joe Kelly (2-1) suffered the defeat after giving up five earned runs in just 1 2/3 frames.
Center fielder Carl Uhl had team highs of three hits and two RBI in six at-bats for UC Riverside.