Cal Poly Baseball Completes Sweep of Pacific Series, 6-4
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – One day after producing his first five-hit game as a Mustang, senior shortstop Mike Miller hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot, to help Cal Poly defeat Pacific 6-4 on Sunday afternoon in Baggett Stadium.
The victory enabled head coach Larry Lee's Mustangs to complete a three-game Big West Conference baseball series sweep, their fourth sweep of the season, and lifted Cal Poly's overall mark to 25-17. The Mustangs remain tied for third place in the Big West with UC Santa Barbara, both with 9-6 marks.
Pacific, which has lost seven straight and 15 of its last 18 games since sweeping Brown in a four-game series in late March, fell to 11-31 and 1-11.
Cal Poly has won 13 consecutive series against Pacific, including three sweeps, and the Mustangs have won 23 of their last 29 games against the Tigers.
Pacific led 1-0, 2-1 and tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning before Cal Poly tallied single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames to seal the victory.
Junior center fielder Mitch Haniger doubled off the left-center field wall in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1 and Miller's two-run home run to left in the fifth gave Cal Poly a 3-2 lead.
After Pacific tied the game in the top of the sixth on an RBI single down the left-field line by designated hitter Tyger Pederson, Cal Poly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on sophomore catcher Chris Hoo's single to left field.
The Mustangs made it 5-3 in the seventh on sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen's grounder to second base. Third baseman Curtis Gomez singled in the eighth to close the gap to 5-4, but Cal Poly restored its two-run cushion in the bottom of the eighth on a Pacific fielding error with the bases loaded.
Sophomore right-hander Chase Johnson (2-4), the third of four Mustang pitchers used in the game, tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win and redshirt freshman right-hander Reed Reilly earned his first collegiate save with two innings of work on the mound.
The loss went to Pacific starter Mike Hager (3-4) as he allowed six runs (five earned) and nine hits in 7 1/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Miller (pictured above) and Allen each had two hits for Cal Poly. Hoo stretched his hitting streak to seven games with his RBI single in the sixth inning and has gone 9-for-23 (.391) in those seven games to lift his average 39 points to .223.
Hoo also threw out two Pacific runners trying to steal second base, raising his Big West-leading total to 17, and picked off a Tiger runner at first base, his fifth of the season.
Pacific outhit the Mustangs 11-9, led by Gomez with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, including a leadoff home run in the fourth inning, his first of the year. Center fielder Tyler Sullivan and catcher Jason Taasaas both had two hits for the Tigers.
For the series, Miller was 7-for-11 with a double, two home runs and five RBI while Allen went 7-for-13 with a double and six RBI. Haniger was 5-for-10 with three doubles, a home run and five RBI while Hoo and junior second baseman Evan Busby both had four hits.
The Mustangs hit .343 in the series with 12 extra-base hits, including five home runs, and the pitching staff compiled a 3.00 ERA with just six walks in 27 innings.
Cal Poly hosts Pepperdine for a single non-conference game Tuesday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium.