SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior southpaw Matt Imhof picked up his fifth win, combining with Taylor Chris on a five-hitter, while senior catcher Chris Hoo (pictured at right) and sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias combined for five hits and three RBI as No. 6 Cal Poly defeated Cal 4-1 in the opener of a four-game non-conference baseball series Friday night before 1,468 in Baggett Stadium.
Imhof (5-1) struck out nine, walked four and allowed one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings before giving way to Chris. The junior lefty secured his third save with a pair of strikeouts in 1 1/3 scoreless frames.
With the win, Cal Poly extended its winning streak to eight games, its home winning streak extending back to the 2013 season to a nation-best 18 games and improved to 18-3 on the year. Cal fell to 10-10 with its fifth straight loss.
Hoo's squeeze bunt in the second inning gave Cal Poly a 1-0 lead and his RBI single in the sixth staked the Mustangs to a 3-1 advantage. He went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Mathias extended his hitting streak to 11 games with three singles in a 3-for-4 night at the plate, knocking in a run with a sixth-inning single that snapped a 1-1 tie. Mathias is 18-for-36 (.500) during his hitting streak with 14 RBI.
Junior center fielder Jordan Ellis pushed across the final Mustang tally in the eighth with a single through the right side of the Cal infield.
Sophomore designated hitter Brian Mundell added two hits for Cal Poly, which outhit the visiting Bears 11-5. Senior third baseman Jimmy Allen tripled leading off the sixth inning and eventually scored the go-ahead run on the squeeze bunt by Hoo.
Cal's five hits included doubles by first baseman Devon Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Campbell.
Cal scored its lone run in the sixth inning as center fielder Devin Pearson was hit by a pitch and moved around on a wild pitch, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Vince Bruno.
The loss went to Cal freshman right-hander Daulton Jefferies (2-2), who allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cal Poly has won 81 of its last 104 home games (78 percent)
Second game of the weekend series will be played Saturday night at 6 with freshman right-hander Justin Calomeni (5-0, 1.95 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly against Cal senior southpaw Kyle Porter (2-1, 1.78 ERA).
The Mustangs and Bears also play Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 3 p.m.