No. 24 Cal Poly Scores Third Walkoff Win of Season, Beats UC Riverside 4-3
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Denver Chavez, Jordan Ellis and Brian Mundell produced two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift No. 24 Cal Poly to a 4-3 walkoff win over UC Riverside on Sunday in Baggett Stadium, completing a three-game Big West series sweep.
With two outs, the bases empty, Cal Poly trailing 3-2 and closer Trevor Frank on the mound for UC Riverside seeking his 10th save of the season, Chavez drew a full-count walk, Ellis tripled off the glove of Highlander center fielder Devyn Bolasky for an RBI triple, tying the game at 3-3, and Mundell beat the throw to first base on an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop, knocking in the winning run.
Cal Poly's third walkoff win of the season elevated the Mustangs' overall record to 31-14 and Big West mark to 11-7, tied for third place with UC Irvine. UC Riverside fell to 18-25 and 7-11.
Junior right-hander Michael Holback (3-1) pitched four scoreless innings for the win, scattering three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. The loss went to Frank (4-1) as he allowed two runs and three hits in two innings of relief work.
Cal Poly scored single runs in the second and fourth innings -- both driven in by first baseman Tommy Pluschkell (pictured at right) -- for a 2-0 lead before the Mustang bats were silenced, producing just one hit over the next four frames prior to the ninth-inning heroics.
David Armendariz opened the Mustang second with a single to right field, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. A groundout and single moved Armendariz to third and he scored on Pluschkell's RBI grounder to shortstop.
In the fourth, two Mustangs reached base on UC Riverside fielding errors and Pluschkell's safety squeeze bunt up along the first-base line scored the run for a 2-0 Cal Poly lead.
UC Riverside scored twice in the fifth on three doubles and took a 3-2 lead in the sixth as Nick Vilter tripled and came home on a groundout.
Mundell finished with three hits and the game-winning RBI for Cal Poly while Ellis contributed two hits, including a first-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
UC Riverside's 10 hits included two each by Bolasky, Joe Chavez and Francisco Tellez.
Mundell also knocked in the winning run in Cal Poly's first walkoff win of the season, a solo home run in the 10th inning to beat San Jose State 6-5 on March 12. Chris Hoo singled with the bases loaded in the 13th inning to give the Mustangs a 5-4 win over UC Davis on March 30.
Cal Poly was 0-for-11 in games in which it trailed after eight innings before Sunday's victory. The Mustangs are 3-12 when trailing after six innings this season, two of the wins occurring this weekend. Elliot Stewart's three-run home run capped a four-run seventh-inning rally Friday night as Cal Poly turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 victory.
Cal Poly hit .276 in the series, led by Ellis, who was 6-for-14 with a triple and one RBI. Mundell went 5-for-12 with a home run and two RBI while Armendariz and Nick Torres both contributed four hits. The Mustangs had just four extra-base hits in the series and earned the sweep despite scoring only 11 runs in three games.
Cal Poly has won eight of 12 weekend series this season, including sweeps against San Francisco, Seattle, UC Davis and UC Riverside.
The Mustangs will try to move 18 games above the .500 mark for the first time this season Tuesday night with a 6 o'clock non-conference game at San Jose State.