HONOLULU, Hawai'i – Junior southpaw Matt Imhof and junior right-hander Reed Reilly combined on a five-hitter and senior left fielder Tim Wise knocked in the go-ahead run as No. 4 Cal Poly defeated Hawai'i 3-2 in the opener of a three-game Big West Conference series Friday night before 3,647 in Les Murakami Stadium.
With their fourth straight win, 10th in their last 11 contests and 18 of 20, the Mustangs improved to 28-5 for the season and 6-1 in Big West games, tied for first place with UC Irvine.
Hawai'i fell to 14-17 and 2-5.
Hawai'i scored single runs in the first and second innings before Imhof settled down, stringing together four scoreless frames before giving way to Reilly.
The Mustang offense, held silent in the first four innings with just one baserunner, broke through for two runs in the fifth to tie the game and snapped the deadlock with an RBI single to center field by Wise in the sixth.
Reilly closed the door by retiring all nine Hawai'i batters he faced, four via strikeout, for his sixth save.
Imhof (7-2) (pictured at right) earned his seventh win by striking out seven over six innings, issuing three walks and allowing two runs and five hits.
The loss went to Hawai'i ace right-hander Matt Cooper (3-3) as he allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in seven innings of work. Cooper walked one and struck out eight.
Hawai'i first baseman Marc Flores singled in the first inning and center fielder Kaeo Aliviado doubled in the second to knock in the Rainbow Warrior runs.
Senior third baseman Jimmy Allen sparked the Mustang offense with a leadoff double in the fifth. Wise's fly ball to right field was dropped for an error, allowing Allen to score. Sophomore first baseman Ryan Drobny singled to send Wise to third and sophomore shortstop Peter Van Gansen's perfectly placed safety squeeze bunt up along the third-base line scored Wise.
Cal Poly broke the deadlock in the sixth, all with two outs. Sophomore designated hitter Brian Mundell singled, moved to second base on a wild pitch and, after a walk to Allen, Wise singled up the middle to score Mundell with the tiebreaking run.
Cal Poly's eight hits included two singles by senior catcher Chris Hoo. Allen had the lone extra-base hit for the Mustangs.
Aliviado and second baseman Stephen Ventimilia both had two hits for Hawai'i.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 9:35 p.m. Pacific with freshman right-hander Slater Lee (2-1, 5.88 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly against Hawai'i senior right-hander Scott Kuzminsky (3-3, 3.30 ERA).
Sunday's series finale is scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. Pacific.