SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Junior catcher Chris Hoo belted a grand slam to cap a seven-run sixth-inning rally as Cal Poly completed a sweep of its season-opening three-game non-conference baseball series at San Francisco with a 10-5 triumph Sunday at Benedetti Diamond.
Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs trailed 3-1 after five innings, but senior designated hitter Elliot Stewart led off the sixth with the first of his two solo home runs, junior center fielder David Armendariz hit a two-run double and Hoo smashed his third career home run, a bases-loaded shot to right field, to give Cal Poly an 8-3 advantage.
That was more than enough for sophomore right-hander Bryan Granger and two relievers, though the host Dons scored two in the eighth and had a pair of baserunners in the ninth as well.
Cal Poly is off to a 3-0 start for the second straight year. The Mustangs swept Oklahoma State in last year's season-opening series at Baggett Stadium. San Francisco fell to 0-3.
"It was a very successful series in a very difficult place to play and we overcame some adversity right off the bat, losing our best hitter, Tim Wise, an hour before game time Friday," said Lee.
"We pitched extremely well on Friday and Saturday and were a little shaky Sunday but gained some valuable experience," Lee added.
Wise sprained an ankle during batting practice Friday and is day to day.
Senior second baseman Denver Chavez paced Cal Poly's 14-hit offensive attack with three singles and a double. Four other Mustangs, including Hoo (pictured at right), added two hits apiece. Stewart homered twice, Armendariz added a single and double and freshman left fielder John Schuknecht contributed a single and double, his first two collegiate hits.
With many of his former San Benito High School teammates looking on, Granger (1-0) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings for the win with two walks and three strikeouts.
Junior Chase Johnson secured five outs, giving up two runs and four walks with one hit and three strikeouts, and junior Michael Holback worked the final 1 1/3 innings in scoreless fashion, giving up two hits and striking out two.
The loss went to San Francisco's KJ Edson (0-1), the second of five Don hurlers.
Cal Poly reached double figures in hits in two of the three games and committed five errors in the series, including three in Sunday's contest.
"Offensively, we were very opportunistic, winning two ballgames on Firday and Saturday even though we only scored in one inning each game," said Lee. "We were able to swing the bats a little better in today's game.
"We need to shore up our defense and be more consistent as a team, Lee added.
Last grand slam by a Mustang batter was hit by Mitch Haniger in his freshman season in 2010 at Pacific.
Cal Poly wraps up the four-game Bay Area road trip Monday with a 3 p.m. contest at Santa Clara. Senior right-hander Kyle Brueggemann will start on the mound for the Mustangs.