NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Cal Poly slugged four home runs and also doubled seven times as part of a 20-hit offensive attack, all season highs, coasting to a 16-10 victory over Cal State Northridge in the opener of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Friday afternoon in 99-degree heat at Matador Field.
Senior third baseman Jimmy Allen hit two home runs and doubled once, driving in four runs, and set a new career record for hits while junior southpaw Matt Imhof scattered seven hits over seven innings for his first win in a month and ninth of the season as coach Larry Lee's Mustangs earned their fourth straight victory and seventh in eight games, improving to 43-10 on the year and 17-5 in the Big West.
Cal Poly broke the school record for victories in a season Tuesday at Saint Mary's.
Cal State Northridge fell to 18-33 and 6-13.
Imhof (9-4) held Cal State Northridge scoreless in the first five innings and, for the game, gave up three runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He had not won since April 17 in the Cal State Fullerton series.
The loss went to Northridge starter Brycen Rutherford (4-6), who allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
With the win, Cal Poly moved a half-game ahead of UC Irvine (35-17, 15-4 Big West), which fell 9-1 at home to Cal State Fullerton as the Titans handed Andrew Morales his first loss in two years with the Anteaters. Third-place Long Beach State (27-24, 12-7 Big West) also lost Friday at UC Riverside 8-2.
Allen (pictured at right) doubled his home run total for the season with a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run shot in the fifth which gave Cal Poly an 8-0 lead. His RBI double in the seventh after Cal State Northridge had scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth made it 9-3.
Allen now has 245 hits in his four-year Mustang career, surpassing Jon Macalutas, who had 243 career hits. Allen, who tied the mark with his first home run and broke the record with his second blast, already has the career marks for most at-bats and doubles.
Cal Poly added three runs in the eighth on an RBI double by reserve left fielder Kevin Morgan, a run-scoring single by junior right fielder Nick Torres and a double play. Morgan doubled home a pair of runs in the ninth and came home on another RBI single by Torres.
Torres and sophomore designated hitter Brian Mundell both produced four hits. Torres drove in three runs with two doubles and a pair of singles while Mundell also had two doubles and two singles with one RBI.
Eight of Cal Poly's nine starters collected at least one hit as the Mustangs' 20-hit total is the most since collecting 22 against Pacific on May 22, 2011. Sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias and junior left fielder Zack Zehner both hit home runs – the second for both this season – in the first inning. Mathias opened the game with his round-tripper and, three batters later, Zehner hit a two-run shot.
Morgan and Zehner each had two hits.
Right fielder Chester Pak had three hits and first baseman William Colantono contributed two for Cal State Northridge, combining for six RBI.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday at 1 o'clock. Cal Poly will send sophomore right-hander Casey Bloomquist (11-1, 1.52 ERA) to the mound, facing Cal State Northridge senior southpaw Jerry Keel (0-9, 3.47 ERA).
Sunday's series finale also will start at 1 o'clock.