SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore left fielder David Armendariz produced his first career four-hit game and junior right-hander Kyle Brueggemann scattered five hits over 7 1/3 innings as Cal Poly completed a three-game Big West Conference series sweep with an 8-1 victory over UC Irvine on Saturday before 1,141 in Baggett Stadium.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 4-2 in Big West games and 20-10 for the season. The Mustangs are tied for second place in the Big West with Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara, all at 4-2 and one game behind first-place Cal State Fullerton (5-1). UC Irvine, 17-12 overall, fell to fifth place at 3-3.
UC Irvine was swept in a three-game Big West series for the first time since 2006 when Long Beach State swept the Anteaters on March 31-April 2. UC Irvine had played 48 Big West series without being swept.
Armendariz (pictured at right) singled three times and capped his 4-for-4 day at the plate with a long home run to left field in the eighth inning. The solo blast was his second of the season and third of his Mustang career. Armendariz lifted his average 26 points to .309 and has a career-long five-game hitting streak.
Brueggemann (4-2) allowed one run in the fifth inning, walked two and struck out one before giving way to freshman southpaw Matt Imhof with one out in the eighth inning. Imhof secured the final two outs of the frame, then gave up a walk and hit batsman in the ninth. Sophomore right-handed closer Chase Johnson was summoned from the bullpen to get the final three outs.
With UC Irvine runners at first and second with nobody out in the ninth, catcher Jerry McClanahan, singled through the right side, but Mustang freshman right fielder Nick Torres fired a one-hop strike to sophomore catcher Chris Hoo in time to get pinch-runner Justin Castro at the plate. Dillon Moyer then grounded into a double play to end the game.
The loss went to UC Irvine starter Phillip Ferragamo (3-3), who was chased with two outs in the first inning after surrendering four runs and six hits.
Cal Poly jumped to a 4-0 lead with six singles in the first inning, added two more runs in the third on Hoo's two-run double to left-center field and posted single runs in the sixth and eighth frames.
UC Irvine tallied its only run in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right field by second baseman Tommy Reyes.
Cal Poly, held to 14 hits in the first two games of the series, exploded for a 14-hit offensive attack Saturday.
In addition to Armendariz's four hits, senior shortstop Mike Miller, sophomore designated hitter Tim Wise, sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen and redshirt freshman first baseman Tommy Pluschkell each added a pair of hits.
Among Miller's hits was his fourth triple of the season. Armendariz and Hoo each drove in two runs.
UC Irvine, which mustered just three runs and 18 hits in the series, hitting .200, collected six hits Saturday, including a single and double by first baseman Jordan Fox. Reyes added a double.
Armendariz went 6-for-12 in the series while Pluschkell was 5-for-11 and is hitting .429 for the season. Allen contributed four hits and three RBI.
Cal Poly is 10 games above the .500 mark for the first time since finishing the 2009 campaign with a 37-21 record. That team jumped to a 17-4 mark and was 20 games over the .500 mark three times en route to the Mustangs' lone NCAA Division I regional playoff berth.
Cal Poly has won five of seven weekend series, sweeping three of them – Oklahoma State, Loyola Marymount and UC Irvine – and also went 2-2 in the Aztec Invitational a month ago in San Diego.
Cal Poly, which concluded an 11-game homestand with Saturday's win, going 8-3, plays its next four games on the road, visiting UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. non-conference and traveling to Cal State Northridge next weekend for a three-game Big West series.