Cal Poly Baseball Completes Sweep of Oklahoma State Series With 6-0 Win
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior right-hander Kyle Brueggemann scattered six hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings as Cal Poly shut out Oklahoma State for the second time this weekend and completed its first season-opening series sweep in six years with a 6-0 victory before 2,010 at Baggett Stadium, the largest home crowd in three years.
Brueggemann (1-0) struck out seven and walked two for the win in his first appearance on the mound as a Mustang. He threw 99 pitches, 60 for strikes. Nick Grim allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings while Chase Johnson retired all three batters he faced, two on strikeouts, for the second time in a row.
Cal Poly (3-0), which lost its first six games a year ago and 17 of its first 27 contests in 2010, is off to its best start since sweeping Fresno State in the opening series of the 2006 season.
Oklahoma State, which swept the Mustangs a year ago in Stillwater and was an NCAA regional qualifier last year, is now 0-3. Cal Poly, which won Friday's game 6-0 and Saturday's contest 11-3, struck out 27 Cowboy batters and walked only five in the series.
"This is a great way to open up the season against a perennial NCAA regional qualifier," said 10th-year Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee. "The pitching staff did an excellent job, getting two shutouts and allowing three runs total on the weekend.
"We always play some of the best competition in the country on opening weekend and this season is no different," Lee added. "To come up with three wins this early will hopefully set the tone and raise expectations for the rest of the season."
Cal Poly won its opener for the first time in six years Friday night. The five-game streak of season-opening losses was against such NCAA powers as San Diego in 2007, Alabama in 2008, Rice in 2009, USC in 2010 and North Carolina in 2011.
Oklahoma State has made 38 NCAA regional appearances, including 19 trips to the College World Series, but the Mustangs held the Cowboys to a .188 team batting average and three runs in three games. Offensively, Cal Poly hit .284 with 23 runs scored and a .397 on-base percentage.
"Offensively, we did just enough," Lee said. "We took advantage of opportunities with runners in scoring position and were close to .400 in on-base percentage while hitting only .284. That means we were very patient on offense and very opportunistic overall.
"Our defense played well with one error in each game," Lee added. "We really should have played errorless defense as the errors we committed were on routine plays."
Sunday's game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Cal Poly broke through for four runs off Oklahoma State starter Randy McCurry.
The Mustangs loaded the bases on a walk, a fielding error and a hit batsman. Senior shortstop Mike Miller doubled inside third base and down the left-field line to cash in two runs and sophomore left fielder Matt Russell singled through the right side of the Cowboy infield to drive home two more.
Cal Poly added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to complete the scoring. Junior second baseman Evan Busby singled to left-center field for an RBI in the sixth while sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen singled up the middle for the final run in the seventh.
Oklahoma State produced a couple scoring opportunities, but stranded runners at first and third in the second inning and left runners at first and second in the third, fourth and eighth frames.
McCurry (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Cal Poly's eight hits included two singles by Allen (pictured above) and doubles by Miller and freshman first baseman Ryan Drobny. Oklahoma State was led at the plate by second baseman Robbie Rea with two singles. Designated hitter Victor Romero added a double.
The crowd of 2,010 was the largest at Baggett Stadium since 2,032 paid to see the Mustangs against Cal State Fullerton on May 9, 2009.
For the series, sophomore catcher Chris Hoo was 3-for-6 while Allen was 4-for-12 and freshman right fielder Nick Torres 3-for-9. Miller was 4-for-14 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI. The Mustang pitching staff has a 0.67 ERA
Cal Poly concludes its season-opening four-game homestand Tuesday night, hosting Santa Clara at 6 p.m. in Baggett Stadium. Freshman right-hander Danny Zandona, a graduate of Santa Barbara High School, will start on the mound for the Mustangs.
The Broncos won all three of their games against Texas State, Wichita State and Louisiana-Lafayette in the Bobcat Invitational hosted by Texas State over the weekend in San Marcos, Texas, including two in extra innings.
"Tuesday is the most important game of the season," Lee said, "as we continue to develop as a team."