SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior right fielder Nick Torres smashed a three-run home run and sophomore designated hitter Brian Mundell added three hits, including two doubles, and a pair of RBI as No. 27 Cal Poly completed a three-game season-opening series sweep against No. 22 Kansas State with a 10-1 victory Sunday afternoon before 1,528 in Baggett Stadium.
Cal Poly amassed 14 hits in the game, scoring twice in the first, third and sixth innings before breaking the game open with a four-run seventh-inning rally highlighted by Torres' blast over the left-field wall.
Sophomore right-hander Casey Bloomquist (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings, retiring nine in a row, before tiring in the sixth, giving up a walk and hitting two batters. Nick Suniga, Danny Zandona and Bryan Granger combined to pitch four scoreless innings in relief with five strikeouts to close out the game.
Cal Poly, off to a 3-0 start for the third straight year – the Mustangs swept Oklahoma State in 2012 and San Francisco a year ago – scored 18 runs on 33 hits for a .324 team batting average in the series while the pitching staff held the Wildcats to just three runs and 11 hits with 33 strikeouts for a 1.00 ERA.
"Overall, it was a very successful weekend in all facets of the game," said 12-year Mustang head coach Larry Lee. "We posted some real good pitching numbers and were able to take away what Kansas State does best.
"We had a couple outstanding starting performances on the mound and made just one error in 27 innings of defense," Lee added. "Our hitters got more comfortable at the plate as the series progressed and some of our younger players got their feet wet for the first time as well."
Bloomquist struck out two during his five-plus-inning stint on the mound. Suniga, in his first college game, worked out of a bases-loaded nobody-out jam in the sixth, allowing just one inherited runner to score on a groundout, and finished with three strikeouts in two innings while Zandona and Granger each collected one strikeout in one inning of work on the mound.
The loss went to Kansas State right-hander Jordan Witcig (0-1), who allowed four runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Mundell (pictured at right) went 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of walks while Torres, senior third baseman Jimmy Allen, senior first baseman/outfielder Tim Wise and sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias all collected a pair of hits for Cal Poly.
Kansas State, an NCAA Super Regional team in 2013 with 19 returning lettermen this spring, was held to four singles by four different hitters. A groundout to shortstop by right fielder Mitch Meyer in the sixth inning produced the lone Wildcat run of the game.
An RBI double by Mundell and a run-scoring single by Allen gave Cal Poly a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Torres scored on a wild pitch and Allen's line-drive sacrifice fly to center field made it 4-0 in the third.
Run-scoring singles by Mundell and Allen gave the Mustangs a 6-1 lead in the sixth and Wise singled to right field to drive in one run in the seventh before Torres belted his 13th career home run to cap the scoring.
Torres and junior center fielder Jordan Ellis both went 6-for-13 in the series while Mundell was 5-for-9 and Allen 5-for-12 with a team-leading six RBI.
Cal Poly plays 11 of its next 12 games on the road, beginning Tuesday night at Santa Clara. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., with freshman right-hander Justin Calomeni from nearby San Jose (Bellarmine Prep) set to make his first collegiate start for the Mustangs.