SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior right-hander Joey Wagman, who never pitched a complete game in high school, earned his first collegiate complete game Friday night with a five-hitter as Cal Poly defeated Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara 5-1 in the opener of a Big West Conference baseball series Friday night before 1,226 in Baggett Stadium.
Wagman (8-3) lost his bid for Cal Poly's sixth shutout of the season when he allowed a run in the eighth inning. Wagman (pictured at right), who had pitched eight innings five times earlier this season, walked three while striking out three, throwing 115 pitches.
With its ninth win in 12 games, Cal Poly improved to 31-20 on the year and 11-8 in Big West games, moving into a virtual tie for third place with UC Irvine (12-9), which is playing out of conference this weekend. UC Santa Barbara fell to 24-25 and 10-12, losing for the eighth time in its last 11 games.
First-place Cal State Fullerton (15-4) edged UC Riverside 3-2 while second-place Long Beach State (13-6) was a 5-4 winner over Pacific.
UC Santa Barbara produced just two rallies, loading the bases in the fourth inning and getting the first two batters on base in the eighth. Each time, Wagman was able to get out of the jams with minimal damage.
Cal Poly scored single runs in three of the first four innings and added two more in the sixth for its 5-0 advantage.
Senior shortstop Mike Miller led off the Mustang first with a double down the left-field line and eventually scored on Allen's sacrifice fly to right.
Armendariz led off the second inning with his third home run of the season, a shot to left field, and Allen tripled with one out in the fourth and came home on a safety squeeze bunt by Armendariz.
In the Mustang sixth, Allen doubled to tally one run and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Gauchos left the bases loaded in the fourth as Wagman induced first baseman Joey Wallace to strike out. Center fielder Brett Vertigan's infield single in the eighth accounted for the lone UCSB run of the game. Wagman extricated himself out of that rally when Lance Roenicke lined into an inning-ending double play.
Allen and sophomore designated hitter Tim Wise each had two of Cal Poly's seven hits. Wise has reached base safely in 27 straight games.
UC Santa Barbara's five hits included two singles by Vertigan.
The loss went to senior southpaw Kevin Gelinas (2-3) as he allowed five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Cal Poly, 20-7 at home, is now 14-2 in games in which it scores in the first inning. The Mustangs are 11 games above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Second game of the series is set for Saturday at 1 o'clock in Baggett Stadium. Cal Poly will send senior southpaw Kyle Anderson (8-1, 3.33 ERA) to the mound against Gaucho freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez (6-4, 1.73 ERA).