MANHATTAN, Kansas – No. 21 Cal Poly hit five home runs, three by freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell, and rode some long relief pitching from Reed Reilly and Michael Holback to a pair of victories over Kansas State in a Friday baseball doubleheader at Tointon Family Stadium.
Mundell (pictured at right) drove in four runs with two homers and a single in the first game, won by the Mustangs 13-10, then smashed a three-run shot over the pine trees in left field to break open the nightcap, won by Cal Poly 6-2.
With the sweep, Cal Poly improves to 13-1 on the year, its best 14-game start in 19 Division I seasons, and has won six straight. Kansas State, playing the Mustangs for the first time, fell to 8-5. The Wildcats had won five straight to open a 19-game homestand.
In the opener, Cal Poly overcame a 4-2 deficit with a run in the fourth and six in the fifth highlighted by Mundell's two-run home run and freshman left fielder John Schuknecht's three-run blast for a 9-4 advantage. Jimmy Allen's leadoff home run in the sixth made it 10-4.
Kansas State made it close with three runs in the sixth, one in the seventh and, after Cal Poly scored three in the top of the ninth, two more in the bottom of the ninth, trimming the Mustangs' lead to three. The Wildcats brought the potential game-tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Reilly induced Mitch Meyer to hit into a force play at second base to end the game.
Reilly pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief for his sixth save, throwing 72 pitches. Reilly struck out two, walked one and gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.
The loss went to Nate Williams (2-2), who allowed five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cal Poly collected 14 hits for the second straight game, led by Mundell with three hits and four RBI and junior first baseman Tim Wise with two doubles and a triple, driving in three runs. Allen, sophomore right fielder Nick Torres and junior center fielder David Armendariz each added two hits.
Kansas State designated hitter Joe Goodwin and shortstop Austin Fisher each produced three hits and an RBI.
The second game was knotted at 1-1 before Cal Poly shattered the deadlock with a four-run eighth-inning rally.
After the Wildcats scored on a double down the right-field line by Fisher in the second inning, Cal Poly answered with a run in the third on Allen's RBI single to right.
The tiebreaking eighth-inning rally came with two outs. Wise and Allen both singled and Torres extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single to center field for a 2-1 Mustang lead. Mundell hit a 1-1 pitch from Wildcat reliever Jared Moore well over the wall in left for a three-run home run and a 5-1 Mustang cushion.
Kansas State tallied a run in the bottom of the eighth, but Cal Poly got it back in the ninth on senior second baseman Denver Chavez's single to right.
Holback (2-0) pitched three innings for the win, throwing 40 pitches. He allowed one run and three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Both Reilly and Holback entered the twinbill with 0.00 ERAs.
Mustang starting pitchers Joey Wagman and Matt Imhof both pitched well. Wagman (3-1) earned the win in the opener with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, though he did allow six runs and seven hits, while Imhof gave up one run and six hits in six-plus innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
Cal Poly's top hitters in the second game were Allen with three singles and one RBI and Chavez with a pair of hits and one RBI. Mundell collected his first three home runs as a Mustang in the doubleheader while Schuknecht's homer and four RBIs in the first game were his first as a Mustang.
Fisher, first baseman Shane Conlon and third baseman RJ Santigate each had two of Kansas State's nine hits.
Cal Poly, which hit six home runs in its first 12 games of the season, added five to the team total Friday.
Final game of the three-game series will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. PST, weather permitting, with sophomore right-hander Bryan Granger (3-0, 1.42 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly against Kansas State sophomore right-hander Matt Wivinis (1-0, 5.28 ERA).
Should the game not be played Saturday, the series finale will begin Sunday at 9 a.m. PDT.