HONOLULU, Hawaii – Senior southpaw Trent Shelton pitched a five-hit shutout as Cal Poly produced a season-high 16 runs and opened its three-game Big West Conference baseball series at Hawaii with a 16-0 victory Friday night inside Les Murakami Stadium.
Shelton (4-2) earned Cal Poly's first complete game of the season, striking out four and allowing just one walk. Shelton (pictured above), who has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three outings, retired seven in a row early in the game and 11 consecutive Hawaii batters in the middle innings.
With the win, Cal Poly snaps a five-game losing streak, all against non-conference foes, and improves to 20-24 for the year and 7-6 in Big West games, moving into a tie for second place with UC Irvine (8-7), whoch is playing out of conference this weekend. Hawaii slips from second to a fourth-place tie with CSUN at 8-8 (22-18 overall).
The 16-run margin of victory was Cal Poly's largest since a 16-0 win over Pacific in the second week of the 2017 season.
Hawaii, shut out in back-to-back games -- CSUN blanked the Rainbow Warriors 2-0 last Sunday -- for the first time since 2013, has not scored in 19 consecutive innings.
Cal Poly scored early and often, leading 7-0 after five innings and coasting to the victory.
Center fielder Alex McKenna produced his fourth career four-hit game and right fielder Bradlee Beesley had three of Cal Poly's 14 hits. Beesley singled three times while McKenna added two singles, a double and a solo home run off the right field foul pole, his fifth homer of the year.
Beesley and McKenna both drove in three runs. Cole Cabrera, a native of Honolulu, contributed a single and double.
Tate Samuelson's RBI single and a two-run single by Beesley gave Cal Poly a 3-0 lead in the first. McKenna's home run in the second made it 4-0 and Cal Poly added two more in the fourth on a double-play ball and a run-scoring single by McKenna.
Nick Meyer, twice hit by a pitch in the game, was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning and came home on Beesley's third single of the night.
Cal Poly added a run in the seventh on a double by Dylan Doherty and completed the offensive outburst with eight in the ninth, two on wild pitches plus RBI doubles by McKenna and Cabrera, a Hawaii throwing error, a two-run double by Meyer and Blake Wagenseller's groundout.
Shortstop Maaki Yamazaki had two of Hawaii's five hits.
The loss was charged to Hawaii junior Jackson Rees (4-2) as he allowed six runs and six hits over four innings with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 9:35 p.m. PDT with freshman right-hander Darren Nelson (4-4, 5.13 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly, facing Hawaii freshman right-hander Cade Smith (1-1, 3.94 ERA).
Photo above of Trent Shelton courtesy of Lauren Pluim