No. 18 Cal Poly Opens Long Beach State Series With 8-5 Victory
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Cal Poly erupted for five runs in the first inning before an out was recorded and the No. 18 Mustangs held on for an 8-5 victory over Long Beach State in the opener of a Big West Conference baseball series Friday night at Blair Field.
Senior right-hander Joey Wagman (9-2) earned his 23rd career victory, alone at No. 5 all-time at Cal Poly, as he allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits in six innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
Sophomore right-hander Reed Reilly earned a three-inning save, his 11th of the year. Reilly did not allow a run and gave up three singles, one with two outs in each of his three innings pitched, and struck out four.
The loss went to Long Beach State right-hander Shane Carle (2-7), who surrendered eight runs (five earned) and 10 hits in seven innings with two walks and a career-high eight strikeouts.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 28-11 for the season and 8-5, tied with UC Irvine for third place in the Big West. Long Beach State fell to 18-21 and 7-6, tied for fifth place with UC Santa Barbara.
The Mustang loaded the bases on three singles in the first inning. Sophomore right fielder Nick Torres was hit by a pitch to force in the first run of the game. Freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell doubled to drive in two and junior left fielder David Armendariz followed with a two-run single for a 5-0 Cal Poly lead.
Long Beach State tallied three runs in the second inning on a run-scoring single by Zack Rivera and a two-run single by Colby Brenner.
Cal Poly, however, restored its five-run advantage with three unearned runs in the fifth. After a one-out error by Long Beach State, Mustang sophomore first baseman Tommy Pluschkell doubled with two outs to knock in two runs and freshman shortstop Peter Van Gansen added a run-scoring single for an 8-3 Cal Poly lead.
Long Beach State scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to close the gap to three, but could get no closer. Cal Poly committed two errors, allowing the Dirtbags to tally an unearned run in the fifth, and Nipomo High School graduate Jeff McNeil doubled to knock in the run in the sixth.
McNeil finished with three hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games, while Ino Patron singled twice for Long Beach State.
Cal Poly collected 10 hits, two each by Allen and Mundell (pictured above). Sophomore center fielder Jordan Ellis extended his hitting streak to seven games with a first-inning single.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. with two left-handers on the mound – sophomore Matt Imhof (4-2, 2.22 ERA) for Cal Poly and junior Jake Stassi (4-1, 2.75 ERA) for Long Beach State.