SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior southpaw Matt Imhof tied a Cal Poly Division I record with 14 strikeouts and senior third baseman Jimmy Allen broke up a scoreless duel with a two-run single in the sixth inning as No. 27 Cal Poly opened its 2014 baseball season with a 3-0 victory over No. 22 Kansas State on Friday night before 1,126 in Baggett Stadium.
Imhof (1-0), Cal Poly's first Golden Spikes Award watch list member, allowed just two singles in seven innings and walked three. His previous career high for strikeouts in a game was 12 against Cal State Northridge a year ago. Junior right-hander Reed Reilly earned a two-inning save with one strikeout.
Kansas State starter Levi MaVorhis pitched five scoreless innings with four strikeouts before he was lifted and Landon Busch (0-1) suffered the loss as he allowed a walk and two hits with all three Mustang baserunners coming around to score in the sixth frame.
Cal Poly loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Tim Wise and Jordan Ellis plus an intentional walk to Brian Mundell. With one out, Allen greeted Jake Fromson with a two-run single up the middle and sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias drew a bases-loaded walk to push across the third run of the inning.
That was more than enough for Imhof (pictured at right) and Reilly, whose 15 combined strikeouts are three short of the school Division I record. Imhof retired the side in order twice, struck out the side twice and recorded two strikeouts in three other innings. He allowed two runners to reach second base.
Imhof's 14 strikeouts tied the school mark established by Mike Zirelli in 1999 and equalled by Mason Radeke in 2011.
Kansas State had two runners on base with one out in the eighth but Reilly induced first baseman Shane Conlon to hit into an inning-ending double play and he retired the side in order in the ninth for his 16th career save.
Cal Poly collected seven hits, including two singles by Ellis. Kansas State's two hits were singles by second baseman Ross Kivett and third baseman RJ Santigate.
Mustang head coach Larry Lee is now 7-5 in season openers, winning his last three (Oklahoma State in 2012, San Francisco in 2013 and Kansas State in 2014).
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium with freshman right-hander Slater Lee to make his first collegiate start for Cal Poly against Kansas State senior southpaw Jared Moore.
Photo by Ray Ambler | RA Photos