SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – First baseman Tim Wise and center fielder Jordan Ellis combined for six hits and three RBI while junior right-hander Danny Zandona picked up his first win of the season as No. 8 Cal Poly defeated Northern Illinois 10-1 in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday night in Baggett Stadium.
Wise knocked in two runs, Ellis drove in one and both went 3-for-4 at the plate, all singles, as Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs improved to 13-3 on the year and clinched the three-game series. Northern Illinois, a 4-2 loser Tuesday night, fell to 1-14-1.
Zandona (1-0) (pictured at right), making his first start this season and second career start, scattered nine hits over six innings of work on the mound, allowing no walks and striking out six. Nick Suniga, Jearl Jesson and Bryan Granger each tossed one scoreless inning and the quartet of Mustang pitchers combined to strike out 11 Husky batters.
Cal Poly jumped on Northern Illinois starter Jordan Ruckman (0-5) early, scoring three times in the first inning, adding a run in the second and breaking the game open with a five-run third-inning uprising.
Wise singled to right field on the first pitch from Ruckman and, when the ball skipped by Connor Schomig for an error, Wise came all the way around to score. Five batters later, sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias blooped a bases-loaded single to left-center field, scoring two more runs.
Senior catcher Chris Hoo led off the second inning with his second career triple and Wise singled up the middle to make it 4-0. The five-run third-inning rally was highlighted by RBI singles from Wise and junior center fielder Jordan Ellis, a pair of bases-loaded walks and a throwing error.
Northern Illinois scored its lone run in the third on doubles by third baseman Tommy Hook and designated hitter Chris DiVarco. Cal Poly wrapped up the scoring in the eighth on sophomore first baseman John Schuknecht's first home run of the year, a solo shot down the left-field line.
Northern Illinois' nine hits included two singles by catcher Johnny Zubek.
Ruckman absorbed the loss, allowing nine runs (six earned) and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out four. Matt Williams tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, giving up two hits with three strikeouts.
Final game of the series will be played Thursday night with freshman right-hander Slater Lee (2-1, 4.76 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly against Northern Illinois freshman right-hander Andrew Frankenreider (0-0, 8.31 ERA).
The Mustangs continue their 18-game home stand with a weekend series against Wagner (2-8) with games scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.