SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly (6-10, 0-0 Big West), which dropped three of four games at Nebraska over the weekend in Lincoln, Neb., opens a seven-game home stand Monday night by hosting New Mexico (6-8-1, 2-4 Mountain West) for a single game.
Weather permitting, first pitch has been moved up to 4:30 p.m. Check www.GoPoly.com periodically for updates.
Cal Poly opened the 2018 season by winning one of four games in a tournament hosted by the City of Surprise, Ariz., then upset No. 4 Arkansas and defeated Michigan in the Tony Gwynn Legacy in San Diego. Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs opened their home schedule during the first weekend in March by splitting four games against Pacific before falling three times in a four-game series at Nebraska.
During the College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz., Cal Poly fell 3-1 in 10 innings to New Mexico on Feb. 17. The Lobos snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the 10th inning and held Cal Poly to just five hits, including a home run and single by freshman designated hitter Blake Wagenseller.
New Mexico dropped two of three Mountain West Conference games at Fresno State over the weekend and will visit Pepperdine on Tuesday before returning home. Coached by Ray Birmingham (11th season at New Mexico, 347-259-2), New Mexico finished 30-27-1 in 2017, placing first in the Mountain West at 19-9-1 but denied an NCAA regional bid after finishing third in the conference tournament.
Top returners include outfielders Jared Mang (.373, 17 doubles, nine home runs, 62 RBI in 2017), a first-team All-Mountain West selection, and Danny Collier (.328, 13 doubles, 51 RBI). Collier has hit in 10 straight games and is hitting .333 while third baseman Hayden Schilling sports a .429 average with 10 RBI.
After their appearance in the tournament in Surprise, the Lobos went 3-0-1 at home against Central Michigan before opening Mountain West Conference play by losing two of three games, also at home, against Nevada. New Mexico is hitting .279 as a team and has compiled a 5.15 staff ERA while committing 18 errors in 15 games for a .969 fielding percentage.
The Mustangs and Lobos have met just twice before. In addition to the game Feb. 17, Cal Poly earned a 6-4 in 10 innings at Corvallis, Oregon, back in 2006.
Starting pitchers for tonight's game will be true freshman right-hander Darren Nelson (2-1, 2.60 ERA) for Cal Poly and senior right-hander James Harrington (0-0, 7.04 ERA) for New Mexico.
Cal Poly's top hitter through 16 games is junior center fielder Alex McKenna with a .349 average and nine RBI. Freshman first baseman Tate Samuelson sports a .344 mark with the team lead in doubles (5) and RBI (14) while junior infielder Kyle Marinconz is hitting .306.
Cal Poly continues its home stand with a three-game series against San Diego State on Friday through Sunday (6 p.m., 6 p.m. and 1 p.m.). The Mustangs also will host Dartmouth the following weekend (Thursday through Saturday) before opening Big West Conference play at CSUN in three weeks.