SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Jimmy Allen's run-scoring single in the eighth inning snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted the Cal Poly baseball team to a 6-4 victory over Long Beach State on Saturday night in Baggett Stadium.
The decision evened the three-game series at a game apiece. Long Beach State won the opener Friday night 4-3. Rubber match is set for Sunday at 1 o'clock.
Cal Poly overcame an early 2-0 deficit with three runs in the third inning and rallied again, this time from a 4-3 deficit with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the win.
The Mustangs are 17-9 on the year while Long Beach State fell to 9-16. Both teams are 1-1 in Big West games. Saturday's game was delayed 19 minutes at the start due to afternoon rainfall.
Mustang starter Kyle Anderson allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings but was not involved in the decision. Nick Grim became Cal Poly's pitcher of record when Allen (pictured above) singled off the chest of Long Beach State third baseman Juan Avila, scoring Tim Wise from second base and snapping the 4-4 tie.
Grim (2-1) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Chase Johnson tossed a perfect ninth for his fifth save, striking out one.
Cal Poly added an insurance run in the eighth when Chris Hoo singled to third base with runners at first and second. Hoo beat the low throw to first base and the ball skipped past first baseman Jeff Yamaguchi, allowing Allen to score from second base.
Four of Cal Poly's six runs were unearned, the result of three Long Beach State errors.
Cal Poly outhit Long Beach State 9-8, led by Mike Miller, Hoo and Tommy Pluschkell, each with two. Miller and Pluschkell both contributed a double. Miller extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single.
Avila and Ino Patron each had two of Long Beach State's eight hits.
The loss was charged to Long Beach State southpaw Ryan Strufing (3-2), who gave up five runs (two earned) and six hits in seven-plus innings. Eddie Magallon allowed a run and three hits in one inning of relief work.
After Long Beach State scored single runs in the first and third innings on RBI doubles by Avila and Matt Duffy, respectively, Cal Poly answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. Miller doubled down the left-field line to score two and Mitch Haniger's grounder to second base scored Miller.
Avila's two-run single to left-center field in the seventh put Long Beach State back on top, 4-3.
Pluschkell, starting at first base for just the fourth time this season, doubled down the left-field line to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pluschkell, a redshirt freshman, is now hitting .467 on the year.
Cal Poly evened the series with two runs in the bottom of the eighth on Allen's bad-hop RBI single and Long Beach State's third error of the game.
Junior right-hander Kyle Brueggemann (3-1, 4.40 ERA) will start on the mound Sunday for Cal Poly against Long Beach State senior right-hander Shawn Stuart (1-0, 2.76 ERA).