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February 24, 2013

Unbeaten Cal Poly Completes Sweep of Seattle Series With 4-1 Victory

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore right-hander Bryan Granger scattered eight hits over eight-plus innings and freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell singled three times, knocking in one run, as Cal Poly completed its second series sweep of the 2013 season and remained unbeaten with a 4-1 victory over Seattle on Sunday before 1,042 in Baggett Stadium.

Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs are 7-0 and off to the program's best start since the 1981 squad also went 7-0. The 1954 and 1974 teams went 8-0 while the best start in school history belongs to the 1951 squad at 10-0.

Seattle fell to 1-6.

Granger (pictured below) struck out five and walked one. He threw just 83 pitches, the last one resulting in a leadoff single by catcher Brian Olson in the top of the ninth inning. Sophomore southpaw Taylor Chris, who missed most of the 2012 season with an arm injury, secured the final three outs on two fly balls and a strikeout for his first save.

Granger gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings for the win a week ago at San Francisco.

"I was stressed out in that game, but felt much more comfortable out there today," Granger said.

Seattle tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth, but Cal Poly regained the lead quickly in the bottom of the frame. With one out and runners at first and second, senior second baseman Denver Chavez singled to left field. The throw from Sean Narby to the plate sailed over Olson's head for a throwing error, allowing Mustang junior catcher Chris Hoo to score the go-ahead run.

Cal Poly added two insurance runs in the seventh on an RBI single to left by Hoo and a run-scoring groundout by senior pinch-hitter Elliot Stewart.

Mundell's three singles lifted his average to .333. His first single in the opening frame gave Cal Poly a 1-0 lead. Chavez added two hits and is now hitting .481. Chavez (pictured above flipping the ball from the gloved hand to shortstop Peter Van Gansen to start a double play in seventh inning) is the lone Mustang to hit safely in each of Cal Poly's seven games this season.

Sophomore right fielder Nick Torres contributed a single and double while junior third baseman Jimmy Allen tripled in the first inning, eventually scoring the game's first run, as Cal Poly outhit Seattle 12-8.

Seattle was led offensively by designated hitter Ryan Somers with two singles. Shortstop Nate Roberts had the lone Redhawk RBI on a groundout in the sixth inning.

Cal Poly had other scoring opportunities, stranding 13 runners on the basepaths. Seattle left five on base and three other runners were erased on Mustang double plays.

The loss went to Skyler Genger (0-2), the second of six Seattle pitchers used in the game. Starter Kyle Doyle allowed one run and seven hits in four innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

After hitting .330 in the season-opening series sweep at San Francisco a week ago, Cal Poly struggled offensively against Seattle, hitting just .175 in the first two games and .234 for the series. Three of the Mustangs' four runs Sunday were unearned as Seattle committed four errors.

"I am a little concerned about our offense, but our hitters are making some mechanical adjustments and some individuals had success this weekend," said Lee. "Offense is contagious. When you get a couple more guys into the mix, it spreads throughout the lineup. We had better approaches at the plate today."

Mundell was 5-for-8 in the series with one RBI while Chavez finished 5-for-12 with a double and two RBI.

The Mustang pitching staff compiled a 0.33 ERA in the Seattle series and owns a 1.29 staff ERA for the season.

"We pitched extremely well this weekend," Lee added. "We've had great starting pitching and there has been no decline with the guys we've brought in for relief."

Seattle scored 32 runs on 38 hits in last weekend's three-game series at Santa Clara, losing two of three, but the Redhawks were held to two runs and 17 hits in three games by the Mustangs this weekend.

The Mustangs won their final seven games of the 2012 season and currently sport a 14-game winning streak over the two campaigns.

Cal Poly will hit the road for a three-game non-conference series at the University of Washington next weekend in Seattle. The Huskies are 2-6 after losing three of four games at Lamar over the weekend.

Photos by Ray Ambler