Sophomore right-hander Evan Reed pitched five scoreless innings for his first victory of the season and junior catcher Matt Canepa had three hits and an RBI to lift Cal Poly to a 5-1 victory over Loyola Marymount in the final game of a three-game non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon at George C. Page Stadium.
The victory gave the No. 25-ranked Mustangs their third straight series, two games to one, and improved their record to 7-2 on the season. Loyola Marymount fell to 2-5 on the year.
Reed walked two, struck out two and allowed just two hits over five innings as Cal Poly built a 3-0 lead in the first three innings and added single runs in the sixth and seventh frames for the win. Thomas Eager and Casey Fien each pitched two innings in relief – Eager allowing one run and three hits while Fien gave up just one hit with one strikeout.
For the fourth straight game, Cal Poly reached double figures in hits. The Mustangs banged out 15 hits in Friday’s 10-8 loss, then parlayed a 19-hit attack into a 16-4 victory Saturday. Cal Poly collected 10 hits Sunday, including a double and two singles by Canepa. Designated hitter Jacob Luque added two singles while left fielder Matt Cooper singled in a pair of runs in the third inning to give Cal Poly a 3-0 lead.
Overall, for the series we got some quality outings from the bullpen and our two catchers – Canepa and Jonathan Woodcox combined for eight hits from the No. 8 hole in our lineup, Mustang fourth-year head coach Larry Lee said. Both also caught well and handled our pitching staff extremely well.
Cal Poly has collected 60 hits in its last four games, including 16 in the series finale at San Jose State last Sunday. The Mustangs hit .373 as a team against Loyola Marymount this weekend.
“Our offense feels more comfortable, we’re getting more at-bats under our belts and we’re getting a better feel for our lineup,” said Lee. “We also played very good defense and turned a number of double plays (five).”
Freshman first baseman Brent Morel opened Cal Poly’s scoring in the second inning, reaching base on an error, moving to third on a single by Luque and scoring on Canepa’s single through the left side of the Loyola Marymount infield.
A single by second baseman Brent Walker and two hit batsmen loaded the bases in the third inning before Cooper’s single scored two runs and gave the Mustangs a 3-0 cushion.
Cal Poly led 4-0 in the sixth inning after Luque singled up the middle, took third on a single to right by Canepa and scored on a push bunt by shortstop Gilbert Gil.
It was 5-0 in the seventh inning after center fielder Grant Desme reached base on an error, took second on a passed ball and came home on Jimmy Van Ostrand’s single down the left-field line.
Loyola Marymount scored its lone run in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on a walk, single and hit batsman before De’Andre Miller’s infield single pushed across the run.
For the series, Cal Poly’s top hitters were Canepa (5-for-8, .625), Desme (7-for-15, .467) and third baseman Josh Lansford (6-for-14, .429). Cal Poly was 7-for-10 in stolen bases in the series, compared to just four stolen bases in the first six games of the season.
Cal Poly visits San Diego State for a three-game non-conference series next weekend at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs are 2-5 after losing two of three games at Santa Clara over the weekend.