SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Freshman right-hander Casey Bloomquist struck out a career-high eight over 6 1/3 innings and No. 16 Cal Poly scored five times in the first two innings and never looked back en route to a 7-2 victory over Santa Clara in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday night in Baggett Stadium.
Bloomquist (pictured at right) improved to 2-0 -- he pitched six solid innings in a win over CSU Bakersfield last week -- by allowing just two runs and four hits with two walks. Danny Zandona and Taylor Chris combined to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief -- Zandona striking out four.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 25-9 on the year, winning five of its last six games and eight of 11. Santa Clara fell to 9-25 and has lost four straight and 17 of its last 18 games after an 8-8 start.
Sophomore center fielder Jordan Ellis collected three of Cal Poly's seven hits, including a run-scoring triple in the seventh inning. Senior second baseman Denver Chavez added a single and double to lift his batting average to .403.
Junior third baseman Jimmy Allen contributed an RBI single in the first inning and a run-scoring groundout in the second frame while sophomore right fielder Nick Torres added his Big West-leading sixth sacrifice fly of the season in the seventh inning.
Other Mustang RBI were collected by freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, junior center fielder David Armendariz with a sacrifice fly and freshman first baseman Mark Mathias with a run-scoring groundout, all in the first inning.
Santa Clara scored its only runs of the game in the seventh, chasing Bloomquist, on pinch hitter C.J. Jacobe's two-run double to right field. The Broncos were held to just four hits, including a double by designated hitter Ben Wright.
The loss went to Bronco starter Jake Steffens (0-3) as the freshman right-hander allowed five runs and six hits in two-plus innings. He walked one and did not strike out a batter. Chris Mendoza allowed just one hit over 4 1/3 innings in relief, striking out three Mustangs.
Cal Poly's pitching staff struck out a dozen batters Tuesday, lifting its total for the season to 310. School record is 488 by the 2004 Mustang squad.
The Mustangs also beat Santa Clara 5-4 on Feb. 18, but still trail the overall series, 36-41.
Cal Poly will host No. 4 Cal State Fullerton in a key Big West series matching the first- and second-place teams in the conference this weekend in Baggett Stadium. First pitch Friday and Saturday nights will be at 6 o'clock with Sunday's series finale set to start at 1 p.m.