Cal Poly won the first two games of its three-game series against University of San Diego, but eventually fell on Sunday.
Justin Snyder and Steve Singleton both singled to drive in runs in the eighth inning as No. 25 San Diego (Baseball America and ESPN/USA Today polls) rallied to beat No. 30 Cal Poly (Collegiate Baseball Newspaper) 5-4 in the final game of a three-game non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon before 1,044 in Baggett Stadium.
San Diego, which swept preseason No. 1-ranked Texas in a season-opening series, snapped a seven-game losing streak with Sunday’s win, evening its record at 8-8. Cal Poly, which clinched the series aganist the Toreros with 4-0 and 8-6 victories Friday and Saturday, respectively, fell to 12-6.
San Diego led most of the way after scoring three runs off Mustang starter Evan Reed in the second inning. A throwing error allowed the first run to score, a balk accounted for the second run and Logan Gelbrich singled to right-center field for the third run.
Cal Poly bounced back with a run in the fifth. After Matt Couch had retired the first 12 batters he faced in the game, Josh Lansford doubled down the left-field line and came home on Bryan Kepner’s single to right-center field.
The Mustangs tied the game with two runs in the sixth, scoring on a passed ball and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. Cal Poly took the lead in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to right field by pinch-hitter Jonathan Woodcox.
With two outs in the San Diego eighth, Ryan Lilly singled up the middle, Gelbrich also singled and Snyder’s single to right scored Lilly. Singleton singled up the middle to plate Gelbrich.
Lansford drew a one-out walk in the Cal Poly eighth but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Russell Holzhauer (2-1) retired the Mustangs in order in the ninth to pick up the win. He allowed no runs and one hit in 2.1 innings with one walk and no strikeouts.
In Saturday’s action, Lansford and Van Ostrand powered the Mustangs to victory, each with three-run home runs. Casey Fien came out of the bullpen to earn the victory with six scoreless innings of relief.
Van Ostrand gave the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead with his three-run shot to left field in the first inning. San Diego rallied to take a 5-3 lead with two runs in the second and three in the third, chasing Mustang starter Bud Norris.
Shane Buschini led off the second inning with a home run and Kevin Hansen’s RBI single pulled the Toreros to 3-2. In the third, Buschini’s RBI single up the middle tied the game at 3-3 and Keoni Ruth and Ryan Lilly followed with run-scoring singles to give the Toreros a 5-3 advantage.
Cal Poly trimmed the deficit to 5-4 with a run in the sixth as Brent Morel grounded out to second base with the bases loaded and one out.
In the Mustang seventh, Van Ostrand doubled to center field, tying the game at 5-5, and Lansford homered to left, driving in three runs and giving Cal Poly an 8-5 lead. Lansford’s only other home run of the season was a walkoff two-run shot in the series finale against Fresno State on Jan. 29.
Jordan Abruzzo’s RBI single in the ninth accounted for the final run of the game.
Friday’s game belonged to Cal Poly’s Gary Daley Jr. The junior pitcher pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, before Rocky Roquet closed the game out in the ninth with a scoreless inning of his own.
Cal Poly scored an unearned run in the third inning as Gilbert Gil singled deep in the hole at shortstop, took second on an error and came home on Lansford’s single to left field.
The Mustangs added three more runs in the sixth. Van Ostrand led off with an infield single and took second on the overthrow at first base. Lansford drew a walk and Bryan Kepner was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Canepa’s double into the right-field corner scored both Van Ostrand and Lansford, but Kepner was thrown out rounding third base too far. Grant Desme’s double to left-center field scored Canepa.
All four runs were given up by San Diego junior right-hander Josh Butler (3-2), who entered the game with a 0.35 ERA. In 5.2 innings, Butler struck out three and walked two, allowing four runs and six hits.
Cal Poly plays three non-conference games against Big West rival UC Santa Barbara next weekend. The Friday and Sunday contests will be played in Santa Barbara, with the Saturday game set for 1 p.m. in Baggett Stadium.