Notre Dame Clinches Series Against Cal Poly With 6-5 Victory
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Despite a 14-hit offensive attack and three Notre Dame errors, No. 20 Cal Poly dropped a 6-5 decision to the No. 17 Irish in the finale of a three-game non-conference baseball series Saturday afternoon before 1,602 in Baggett Stadium.
Notre Dame won the series, two games to one, and improved to 12-5 on the year. Cal Poly is 15-4 with its first two-game losing streak of the season. The Mustangs won Thursday's game 6-3 while the Irish claimed Friday's contest 1-0.
Notre Dame led all the way Saturday, scoring a run in the first and four more in the third to chase Mustang starter Bryan Granger (3-2) and grab a 5-0 advantage.
Cal Poly climbed back to within a run at 6-5 with a run in the third, another in the fifth and three more in the sixth, but neither team scored in the final three frames of the first series between the two clubs.
Third baseman Eric Jagielo homered with two outs in the first inning and the four-run third-inning rally was highlighted by designated hitter Phil Mosey's run-scoring single and shortstop Lane Richards' two-run single up the middle.
An RBI single by senior second baseman Denver Chavez gave Cal Poly its first run of the game in the third inning and senior catcher Elliot Stewart added a run-scoring single in the fifth to make it 5-2.
After left fielder Ryan Bull tripled to knock in a run in the Irish sixth, Cal Poly answered with three in the bottom of the sixth on sophomore right fielder Nick Torres' leadoff home run, an Irish error in the infield and freshman shortstop Peter Van Gansen's RBI double to right field.
The Mustangs were poised to take the lead with one out and runners at second and third, but Chavez lined out to second base and Stewart grounded out to third to end the inning.
Cal Poly also hit the ball well in other scoring opportunities, but sophomore first baseman Tommy Pluschkell lined into double plays in both the second and fourth innings and Van Gansen lined out to right field with Mustang runners at first and second with one out in the eighth.
Granger absorbed the loss as he allowed five runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. Junior right-hander Michael Holback pitched well in relief, throwing 86 pitches over 4 2/3 innings and allowing just one run and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
The win went to Matt Ternowchek (2-0), the fourth of five Irish pitchers used in the game. Ternowchek tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout. Dan Slania earned his second save of the series and fifth of the year with two scoreless innings.
Cal Poly's 14 hits included a home run and two singles by Nick Torres (pictured above), extending his hitting streak to 13 games, and freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell with a double and two singles. Van Gansen and junior center fielder David Armendariz each added two hits while junior third baseman Jimmy Allen extended his hitting streak to eight games with a fifth-inning single.
Armendariz has hit in seven straight games.
The Irish were led offensively by second baseman Frank DeSico with a double and two singles. Jagielo and Richards each added two hits.
Cal Poly pitchers combined to strike out 35 Irish batters in the series -- 12 on both Thursday and Friday and 11 more Saturday.
Mundell was 7-for-12 in the series with two doubles, a home run and three RBI while Torres went 6-for-13 with a home run and one RBI. Van Gansen and Armendariz each contributed five hits in the series, which drew 5,029 fans.
Cal Poly takes a break for Winter Quarter finals, returning to action Friday with a non-conference game against Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara at 6:30 p.m. in Baggett Stadium. The Blue-Green Rivalry continues Saturday at 2 p.m. in Santa Barbara, with the finale set for Sunday at 1 o'clock in Baggett Stadium.