The Cal Poly baseball team evened its series with UC Irvine with a 4-3 win Saturday in Irvine.
Mustangs left-hander Matt Imhof picked up his fifth win of the season, retiring the first eleven batters he faced. He gave up three runs on four hits and struck out six over seven innings for Cal Poly.
Imhof, who also has five no-decisions this season — Cal Poly is 4-1 in those games — recorded 10 fly ball outs, five grounders and six strikeouts, throwing 102 pitches.
With the win, the Mustangs improve to 33-15 on the year and move into a third-place tie with the Anteaters (30-15) in the Big West Conference standings at 12-8.
Cal Poly got to UC Irvine starter Matt Whitehouse early when Denver Chavez opened the game with a leadoff double. After Jordan Ellis reached base after an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, freshman designated hitter Brian Mundell hit a two-run double down the left-field line to give the Mustangs an early 2-0 lead.
Cal Poly added two more runs in the top of the sixth on a fielding error and an RBI single from Jimmy Allen.
Whitehouse worked six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) with no walks and five strikeouts and took the loss. Eleven of the outs he recorded were fly balls along with just one groundout.
UC Irvine, the Big West leader in fielding percentage at .981, committed three errors in a game for just the second time this season.
UC Irvine scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, and loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth before Mustangs closer Reed Reilly forced an infield popup to Chavez to end the inning.
Reilly retired the side in order in the ninth to register his 14th save of the season, tying the school record set by Mike Bille in 2005.
Cal Poly’s seven hits included two by Mundell and the double by Chavez. UC Irvine, which accumulated 14 hits in Friday’s 7-1 victory, was limited to just five hits Saturday, two by Dominique Taylor. Taylor Sparks added a double.
Catcher Elliot Stewart and shortstop Peter Van Gansen added one hit each for Cal Poly.
The series finale starts today at 1 p.m. with sophomore right-hander Bryan Granger (5-3, 4.88 ERA) getting the start for Cal Poly.