No. 16 Cal Poly Edges No. 4 Cal State Fullerton 2-1 in Big West Series Opener
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Senior right-hander Joey Wagman earned his 22nd career victory, sophomore righty Reed Reilly claimed his 10th save and sophomore center fielder Jordan Ellis had three hits and scored both Cal Poly runs as the No. 16 Mustangs edged No. 4 Cal State Fullerton 2-1 in the opener of a Big West Conference baseball series Friday night in Baggett Stadium.
Wagman (8-2) did not strike out a batter, walked two and scattered six hits over seven innings, giving up one run in the first inning to the Titans. His 22 career wins is tied for fifth all-time at Cal Poly with Bruce Freeberg (1974-77) and Tyler Fitch (2000-03).
Reilly gave up just one walk in two scoreless, hitless frames, striking out one. His 10 saves ties him with Rocky Roquet (2006) for No. 3 all-time in a single season.
Ellis (pictured at right) tripled and scored in the fourth, singled and came home in the sixth, and also singled in the eighth for his third three-hit game of the season.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 26-9 overall and 7-3 in the Big West, alone in second place and one game behind Cal State Fullerton (32-6, 8-2). The Mustangs have won six of their last seven games.
Richy Pedroza opened the game with a single to left, moved to second on a groundout, took third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly by Michael Lorenzen, giving Cal State Fullerton the early 1-0 lead.
Cal Poly answered in the fourth as Ellis led off with a triple to left-center field and scored on junior third baseman Jimmy Allen's groundout to second base.
The Mustangs snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth. With one out, Ellis singled to right field, took second on Allen's sacrifice bunt and scored on sophomore right fielder Nick Torres' single to center field.
Trailing by a run, Cal State Fullerton got a leadoff single by Jake Jefferies in the seventh and a one-out walk by J.D. Davis in the eighth, but couldn't cash them in. Reilly retired the side in order in the ninth on three fly balls, including a line drive caught by senior second baseman Denver Chavez.
In addition to Ellis' three hits, Torres added a pair of singles for Cal Poly. Right fielder Austin Kingsolver singled twice to lead Cal State Fullerton's six-hit attack.
The loss went to Titan freshman right-hander Thomas Eshelman (7-2) as he allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Eshelman's only other loss this season was to Texas A&M on March 8.
Friday's game drew a season-high 2,158 fans, the largest crowd in four years at Baggett Stadium.
Cal Poly has won eight of its last 19 games against Cal State Fullerton, which has won four College World Series titles, appeared in 34 NCAA regionals, including 21 straight years, and has claimed 26 conference titles, including the last three. The Titans are 16-2 on the road this season.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium with sophomore southpaw Matt Imhof (4-1, 1.51 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly, facing Cal State Fullerton freshman right-hander Justin Garza (7-0, 2.36 ERA).