NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Sophomore right-hander Casey Bloomquist earned his 12th victory, scattering six hits over seven innings, while senior third baseman Jimmy Allen and sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias combined for six hits and three RBI as No. 5 Cal Poly defeated Cal State Northridge 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Matador Field.
Cal Poly clinched the Big West Conference baseball series, has won 13 of 14 series of three or more games this season and improved to 44-10 overall and 18-5 in conference games with its fifth straight victory and wins in eight of its last nine contests.
Cal State Northridge fell to 18-34 and 6-14.
Coupled with Cal State Fullerton's 10-inning 2-1 triumph at UC Irvine (35-18, 15-5 Big West) on Saturday night, Cal Poly can clinch at least a share of its first Big West championship and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA regionals with a victory over the Matadors on Sunday. The Titans overcame a 1-0 deficit with single runs in the ninth and 10th innings.
Bloomquist (12-1) allowed two runs and one walk with seven strikeouts, starting on Saturday as Mustang head coach Larry Lee aligns his pitching rotation for the postseason.
Junior southpaw Taylor Chris allowed his first earned run in over 27 conference innings on the mound, but nothing else in securing the final six outs of the game.
The loss went to Matador southpaw Jerry Keel (0-10) as he allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings with three walks and one strikeout.
Allen hit his third home run of the series and fifth of the season, a solo shot leading off the second inning. He also singled twice, giving him six hits in the series.
Mathias (pictured above) singled and scored to open the game and added a pair of doubles, the second one driving in two insurance runs in the sixth inning. Mathias has hit safely in 40 of his last 43 games.
Senior catcher Chris Hoo singled twice as Cal Poly, which had 20 hits in Friday's 16-10 victory, outhit Cal State Northridge 12-8 in Saturday's contest. Junior right fielder Nick Torres contributed a run-scoring triple in the first inning.
Center fielder Ranny Lowe drove in both Northridge runs with a grounder and sacrifice fly. Right fielder Chester Pak added a pair of doubles and a run-scoring single for the Matadors and shortstop Brett Balkan had a single and double.
Cal Poly scored single runs in the first and second innings for a 2-0 lead it never relinquished. Cal State Northridge scored in the third but the Mustangs pulled away with a run in the fifth, two more in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Final game of the 2014 regular season for Cal Poly will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock. Freshman right-hander Justin Calomeni (8-2, 3.56 ERA) of Cal Poly will face Cal State Northridge sophomore right-hander Jordan Johnson (3-4, 3.98 ERA).