SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell drove in three runs with three hits, including a two-run home run, as No. 20 Cal Poly clinched its three-game non-conference baseball series against UC Santa Barbara with a 10-4 victory Sunday afternoon before 1,350 in Baggett Stadium.
Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs improved to 17-5 on the year while UC Santa Barbara fell to 12-10. The two teams meet again, this time in a Big West Conference series, April 5-7 in Santa Barbara.
Mundell's seventh home run of the season capped a three-run Mustang rally in the third and gave Cal Poly a 5-0 advantage. Mundell is two shy of Cal Poly's Division I record for home runs by a freshman. Matt Jensen hit nine homers in 2009.
Mundell (pictured at right) also drove in a run in the seventh inning with a single to left-center field. His 3-for-5 day at the plate lifted Mundell's average for the season to .358.
Sophomore right fielder Nick Torres went 2-for-4 with a single and double, driving in two runs, to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and improve his average to .355.
Senior second baseman Denver Chavez, junior third baseman Jimmy Allen and junior center fielder David Armendariz each added two hits as Cal Poly outhit the visiting Gauchos 14-9. Chavez, Mundell and freshman shortstop Peter Van Gansen, who contributed an RBI triple Sunday, all have seven-game hitting streaks.
Sophomore right-hander Bryan Granger (4-2) earned the victory, allowing one run and three hits in five innings with one walk and three strikeouts. Junior Michael Holback and sophomore Reed Reilly, both right-handers as well, pitched in relief to close out the victory.
The loss went to UC Santa Barbara starter Greg Mahle (3-3) as the sophomore southpaw surrendered five runs (three earned) and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Six more Gauchos took turns on the mound Sunday.
Left fielder Luke Swenson, center fielder Cameron Newell and catcher Jackson Morrow all had two of UC Santa Barbara's nine hits, Newell knocking in two runs with an eighth-inning double.
Cal Poly led all the way, scoring two unearned runs in the second inning and adding three tallies in the third on a sacrifice fly by Torres and the two-run home run to left by Mundell.
After the Gauchos scored in the fifth and sixth to trim the deficit to 5-2, Cal Poly pulled away with a run in the sixth on Van Gansen's RBI triple, two in the seventh on run-scoring singles by Mundell and freshman left fielder John Schuknecht and two more in the eighth on a double-play ball and an RBI double by Torres.
For the series, Chavez and Torres both collected seven hits. Chavez doubled twice in the series and is now hitting a team-leading .395 while Torres produced two doubles, one home run and drove in four runs.
Mundell added five hits, including two home runs, and knocked in five runs in the series while Armendariz contributed four hits, including a double.
Cal Poly hosts Pepperdine for a single non-conference game Tuesday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium before opening Big West Conference play Thursday through Saturday with a three-game series against UC Davis, also in Baggett Stadium.
Pepperdine is 13-9 on the year with a five-game winning streak after completing a West Coast Conference series sweep against Santa Clara on Sunday with a 19-4 victory in Malibu.