NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Nick DiCarlo and Scott Ogrin, the last two hitters in the batting order, knocked in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning as Cal Poly turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 victory over CSUN in a Big West Conference baseball game Saturday afternoon at Matador Field.
DiCarlo's sacrifice fly to right field tied the game and Ogrin put Cal Poly in the lead with an RBI double down the left-field line. Junior right-hander Austin Dondanville (pictured above) then came out of the bullpen to secure six outs for his second career save.
With the victory, Cal Poly salvaged a win in the three-game series – CSUN taking the first two 5-3 and 10-7 – and improved to 12-14 on the year and 1-2 in the Big West. The Matadors fell to 12-15 and 2-1.
Cal Poly overcame an early 1-0 deficit with three runs in the third inning and CSUN regained the lead with a run in the third and two more in the fourth, setting the stage for the Mustangs' two-run uprising in the eighth.
Albie Weiss hit his 13th home run of the season and knocked in his 37th run with a solo home run in the first inning for the Matadors.
After the Matadors regained the lead, 4-3, including a two-run home run by Riley Conlon, Meyer opened the eighth with a walk and George singled to left field. Tate Samuelson's first sacrifice bunt of the season moved the runners into scoring position. DiCarlo's sacrifice fly tied the game at 4-4 and Ogrin (pictured at right) snapped the deadlock with his double.
Dondanville retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth, two on strikeouts. Alvaro Rubalcaba singled with one out in the ninth, but was thrown out trying to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt, and Dondanville induced leadoff hitter Joey Cooper to fly out to right field, ending the game.
Mustang starter Darren Nelson pitched 6 2/3 innings in the no-decision, allowing four runs and seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Freshman southpaw Andrew Alvarez (2-0) earned the win by getting one out in the seventh on a pop-up to shortstop before Cal Poly took the lead for good in the eighth.
The loss went to Jayson Newman (1-2), the fifth of seven Matador pitchers used in the game. Newman allowed the tying and winning runs on base in the eighth.
For the third time in the series, the losing team produced more hits. CSUN had the 8-7 advantage Saturday, led by catcher Trevor Casanova with a single and double. Alex McKenna singled and doubled for Cal Poly.
Though Cal Poly won just one of the three games, the Mustangs hit .304 in the series, led by McKenna (6-for-13, one double, one RBI) and Bradlee Beesley (5-for-12, two doubles, two RBI).
Cal Poly hosts CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside Baggett Stadium before going back out on the road next weekend, visiting Cal State Fullerton for a Big West series Friday through Sunday. The Titans lost two of three games at UC Santa Barbara over the weekend.