Graig Mantle

The Cal Poly baseball team has a new strategy to beat Cal State Fullerton on Saturday: get the biggest crowd that Baggett Stadium has ever seen.

The Break the Record Night event on Saturday aims to beat the current record of 3,274, which was set April 23, 2004, in an 11-5 loss to Jered Weaver and Long Beach State.

Sophomore center fielder Logan Shafer, sophomore pitchers D.J. Mauldin and Thomas Eager, junior right fielder Grant Desme and freshman pitcher Mark DeVincenzi thought up the idea as a group project for their BUS 387 class, organizational behavior.

“We know we’re going to have a lot of fans there in the first place,” Schafer said of why they chose this particular game for the event. “Fullerton’s always been like the top tier, supposedly the team to beat. We figured a lot of baseball fans would like to watch us play them.”

Cal Poly (27-23, 8-7 Big West) and No. 24 Cal State Fullerton (31-19, 8-7 Big West) are tied for fourth place in the conference.

As well as satisfying their project requirements, the event will benefit the team.

“For Fullerton, we’d like to have a big crowd behind us because they’re going to be a tough opponent,” Schafer said.

As well as advertising their event through flyers, radio and over the public address system during games, the five players put on a skills clinic last weekend for children ages 5 to 13. The group talked to lots of Little League teams around the area for camp publicity as well.

“It’s just time to go out there, have a lot of fun with some kids,” Schafer said. “We’ll let them come out and enjoy a day with some Cal Poly baseball players.”

They wanted to do something interactive with the community that would also help attendance. In addition to the outfield, infield, pitching and hitting drills, each child received free admission to Saturday’s game.

“Kids come up after games and ask for your autographs and stuff, so it’d be nice to come out and teach them a little thing or two,” Schafer said.

The Break the Record Night will only take place on the Saturday of the series, but they hope it will still help get them pumped up.

“Having a crowd behind us is a lot of fun,” Schafer said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that haven’t played in front of a bigger crowd – it’s a big thriller for them.”

The three-game series begins at 6 p.m. Friday in Baggett Stadium, followed by Saturday’s 6 p.m. start and Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale, which will be Senior Day for the Mustangs.

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