SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Freshman right-hander Bobby Ay (pictured above) earned his first collegiate victory while Michael Sanderson and Dylan Doherty both drove in a pair of runs as Cal Poly snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-2 non-conference victory over Santa Clara on Tuesday night in Baggett Stadium.
Ay (1-0) allowed one earned run and five hits over six innings with two walks and four strikeouts for the win, one week after tossing five innings and giving up one run and three hits in a no-decision at California.
Justin Bruihl and Spencer Howard combined for two scoreless innings, Howard striking out four, and Justin Calomeni earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one.
With the win, Cal Poly improved to 26-17 for the year and avenged a 10-1 loss to the Broncos four weeks ago. Santa Clara slipped to 19-23 with the loss.
Santa Clara jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Braden Frankfort.
Cal Poly gained the upper hand with a three-run third-inning rally. With one out, Brett Barbier and John Schuknecht both singled and Sanderson knocked both home with a double to left-center field. Kevin Morgan's RBI single to right-center field scored Sanderson (pictured at right).
The three-run uprising snapped a Mustang string of scoring just one run over 28 innings since a three-run first-inning rally last Friday at Long Beach State.
Santa Clara trimmed the deficit to a single run, 3-2, in the fifth inning on an error, a single and Evan Haberle's groundout.
Cal Poly pulled away with two runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth. In the seventh, Doherty doubled down the left-field line for an RBI and another run came courtesy of an error in the Santa Clara outfield. Doherty drew a bases-loaded walk for another RBI in the eighth.
Cal Poly won despite stranding 15 runners on the basepaths, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings. The Mustang pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts.
Schuknecht, Sanderson, Kyle Marinconz and Brett Binning all had two of Cal Poly's 12 hits. Santa Clara's seven hits included two each by Haberle, Matt Smithwick and Kyle Cortopassi.
The loss went to Santa Clara starter Travis Howard (2-3) as he surrendered three runs and seven hits in three innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
Cal Poly returns to Big West Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at CSUN.
Photos courtesy of Ray Ambler | RA Photos