Cal Poly needed to sweep the No. 2 team in the nation in order to stay alive in the race for a Big West Conference championship. However, it was the four-time national champion Cal State Fullerton doing the sweeping this weekend, virtually ending the Mustangs’ playoff hopes with wins of 6-4, 3-1 and 1-0 at Goodwin Field.
The offensive output of five runs ties for Cal Poly’s lowest three-day tally this year. UC Irvine held the Mustang bats at bay in mid-April, winning two-of-three games at Baggett Stadium while only allowing a combined five runs.
In Sunday’s action, Dustin Miller outduelled Casey Fien in a classic match-up of senior right-handers as Cal State Fullerton defeated Cal Poly 1-0.
Miller pitched a five-hit shutout to improve to 10-1 on the year – giving the Titans three 10-game winners – with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Fien struck out five and walked none, allowing one run and three hits in falling to 5-5 on the season.
With the win, Cal State Fullerton clinched at least a tie for the Big West Conference championship, improving to 39-13 overall and 15-3 in conference games. The Titans swept the Mustangs for the third time in the last four years.
Cal Poly fell to 27-26 and 8-10 in the Big West.
The lone run of the game was a solo home run by Cal State Fullerton second baseman Justin Turner in the sixth inning.
Cal Poly could get just one runner to second base – in the eighth inning – and lost the game despite outhitting the Titans 5-3.
Senior first baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand led the Mustangs offensively with two singles, lifting his average to .295. No other player in the game collected more than one hit.
Van Ostrand was hit by a pitch for the 15th time this season, taking over the No. 2 spot on Cal Poly’s all-time single-season list.
CSU Fullerton 3, Cal Poly 1
Brett Pill snapped a 1-1 tie with a solo home run in the sixth inning and Lauren Gagnier allowed one run and seven hits in 6.1 innings to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 3-1 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday night.
Gagnier (11-4) struck out four and also walked four for the Titans. John Estes and Adam Jorgenson worked in relief before Ryan Paul came in to record his second save in as many nights, securing the final out of the game.
Cal Poly squandered numerous scoring opportunities, leaving the bases loaded three times and stranding 12 players on the basepaths.
The Mustangs loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, but Matt Canepa lined out to Gagnier and Brent Morel and Gilbert Gil both flied out to the outfield.
Cal Poly again loaded the bases, this time with two outs, in the sixth inning, but Gil struck out on a check swing. Pinch-hitter Adam Buschini grounded out to third base with the sacks filled in the seventh.
CSU Fullerton 6, Cal Poly 4
Wes Roemer scattered nine hits over 8.1 innings and Danny Dorn’s two-run single snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning as Cal State Fullerton defeated Cal Poly 6-4 on Friday night.
Roemer (10-1) struck out nine and walked none – he’s allowed just four walks all season – surrendering only a two-run home run by Jimmy Van Ostrand in the fourth inning, an RBI double by Grant Desme in the eighth and Matt Canepa’s run-scoring single up the middle in the ninth.
Roemer, a sophomore right-hander, retired 12 consecutive Mustang batters after Van Ostrand’s homer.