SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Gabe Barthelmass and Colby Barrick smashed two-run triples to the gap in right-center field, highlighting a seven-run sixth-inning rally as Cal Poly erased a 4-0 deficit and held on to beat the alumni 7-5 in the baseball program's annual Alumni Game on Saturday in Baggett Stadium.
Sophomore right-hander Michael Clark secured the final out of the game, his second strikeout of the ninth inning, with potential game-tying runners at second and third for the save.
Held scoreless on three hits through the first five innings, Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs scored all of their runs in the sixth frame.
Myles Emmerson pushed across the first run with a grounder to first base and Barthelmass made it 4-3 with his two-RBI triple. Alec Smith's ground ball to shortstop tied the game at 4-4 and Barrick's triple snapped the deadlock. Barrick later scored on a wild pitch.
The Mustangs were retired in order in the seventh and eighth frames and the Alumni staged a last-ditch rally in the ninth as the rain began to fall.
Zack Zehner led off with a single and, two outs later, John Schuknecht singled to right field to cut the deficit to two runs. Brett Barbier followed with a double to put runners at second and third, but Clark's strikeout, the ninth recorded by the four Mustang pitchers used in the game, ended the contest.
Sophomore right-hander Bobby Ay allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings with four strikeouts. Southpaw Trent Shelton, a transfer from Oregon State, earned the win, though he allowed a run and two hits in the sixth. Cam Schneider did not allow a run or a hit in two innings of work with three strikeouts before turning things over to Clark in the ninth.
The Alumni built their 4-0 lead with single runs in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings.
Brian Mundell's groundout to shortstop tallied the first run, Schuknecht (pictured at left) homered leading off the second inning, and Nick Torres and Chris Hoo both singled to knock in runs in the fifth and sixth frames respectively.
For the Alumni, Mike Miller and Adam Buschini both singled and doubled while Schuknecht singled and homered.
Cal Poly plays 10 of its first 11 games on the road, officially opening the 2017 season with a three-game series at Cal next Friday through Sunday.
The Mustangs' home opener is Monday, Feb. 20, against No. 16 Stanford, with the President's Day game starting at 1 p.m.
Score by innings: R H E
Alumni 110 011 001 — 5 12 0
Cal Poly 000 007 00x --- 7 9 2
Batteries: Joey Wagman, Casey Bloomquist (2), Kyle Anderson (3), Jeff Johnson (4), Andrew Bruder (5), Cameron Cotton (6), Doug Kopcha (7), Connor Redmond (8) and Chris Hoo, Brett Barbier (6), Elliot Stewart (7); Bobby Ay, Trent Shelton (6), Cam Schneider (7), Michael Clark (9) and Nick Meyer, Myles Emmerson (6).
Home run: Alumni — John Schuknecht (second inning, solo).
Triples: Cal Poly — Gabe Barthelmass, Colby Barrick.
Doubles: Alumni — Mike Miller, Adam Buschini; Cal Poly — Michael Sanderson.
Photo of play at second base courtesy of Matt Aguirre
Photo of John Schuknecht courtesy of Jack Duffy
Photos below courtesy of Ray Ambler | RA Photos