SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly compiled a 13-hit offensive attack. Freshman center fielder Alex McKenna produced his first four-hit game as a Mustang, knocking in two runs. Sophomore right-hander Erich Uelmen struck out a career-high nine batters.
San Jose State, however, turned three double plays, erased 2-1, 4-3 and 5-4 deficits, outhit Cal Poly 14-13 and scored in all but two innings for a 9-7 victory Sunday afternoon in Baggett Stadium, clinching the three-game non-conference series.
Cal Poly extended its winning streak to four games with a 7-4 victory in the series opener Friday night and hit .346 in the series, but dropped Saturday's contest 7-4 and left 11 runners on the basepaths in Sunday's finale, including the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
With the loss, Cal Poly falls to 17-9 for the year. San Jose State improved to 10-17.
Prior to Saturday's game, the Mustangs were 12-2 at home, 15-0 when leading after the sixth inning and 14-1 when scoring six or more runs. The Spartans rallied from a 3-1 deficit with one in the sixth and six more in the eighth Saturday. On Sunday, Cal Poly lost despite scoring seven times.
Behind 8-5 in the eighth Sunday, Cal Poly tallied a run in the bottom of the eighth on McKenna's fourth hit of the game, an RBI single through the left side of the San Jose State infield, but Cal Poly stranded two runners on base in that frame.
After the Spartans got the run back in the top of the ninth, the Mustangs rallied again in the bottom of the ninth. Cooper Moore's groundout with the bases loaded brought home one run and Cal Poly loaded the bases with one out, trailing by two, but an infield popup and a groundout ended the threat and the game.
The contest featured at least one run scored by either team in every inning but the fourth. The game was tied four times and the lead changed hands four times as well.
McKenna (pictured above) went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double and his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot leading off the fifth inning. Brett Barbier, Josh George, Michael Sanderson and Nick Meyer all added a pair of hits. Both of Meyer's hits were doubles.
David Campbell and Joe Stefanki both had three hits for San Jose State.
The win went to Jonathan Hernandez (1-0), the second of four San Jose State pitchers, as he was the pitcher of record when the Spartans took the lead for good at 6-5 in the seventh inning.
Freshman southpaw Justin Bruihl (0-2) suffered the loss, giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh on a double down the left-field line by Shane Timmons. Bruihl was the second of seven pitchers Cal Poly used in the contest.
Uelmen, who remained 4-0, struck out nine and walked one over 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) and eight hits.
McKenna, whose average had dropped to .270 earlier in the week, went 8-for-14 in the San Jose State series to bump his average back up to .311. Barbier was 5-for-11 in the series while George was 5-for-12.
Despite all the offense, the Mustangs dropped the series due in part to eight errors, allowing the Spartans to score six unearned runs. San Jose State also produced 14 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles.
Cal Poly has one more game before opening Big West Conference play, visiting Santa Clara on Tuesday night. The Mustangs host Cal State Fullerton for a three-game Big West series next Friday through Sunday.