Two series wins over ranked opponents — including the defending national champions — earned the Cal Poly baseball team serious recognition in national polls released Monday.
Following their 2-1 series victory at then-No. 12 UCLA this past weekend, the Mustangs (5-1) moved up to No. 13 in the Baseball America poll — nine spots higher than the No. 22 standing they garnered after sweeping then-No. 22 Kansas State to open the season.
Cal Poly also jumped to No. 14, No. 13 and No. 17 in polls by Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, respectively.
The highest ranking the Mustangs have achieved at the Division I level came in 2009, when they reached No. 12 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls after a 17-4 start.
Cal Poly travels to San Jose State (2-6) today before a weekend series at USC (7-0).
Lee named Big West Pitcher of the Week
The Mustangs had their second pitcher in as many weeks named the conference’s best arm.
Freshman right-hander Slater Lee was named Big West Pitcher of the Week after holding defending national champion UCLA to zero runs and two hits while striking out seven in a complete-game gem that Cal Poly won 8-0.
Lee, who threw 73 of his 108 pitches for strikes, is the first Mustang since Kyle Anderson against Washington in 2012 to throw a complete-game shutout. Lee and Mike Zirelli against Fresno State in 1996 are the only Mustangs to allow just two hits in a nine-inning complete game.
The Carlsbad High product also struck out seven in a victory over then-No. 22 Kansas State in the season-opening series. But it was teammate Matt Imhof who was named the Big West’s top pitcher last week, when he struck out 14 Wildcats in seven innings of a 3-0 victory in the season opener.
Hyland earns Pitcher and Player of the Week
Sierra Hyland, a freshman on the Cal Poly softball team, was named both Big West Pitcher and Player of the Week after throwing a no-hitter and batting .417 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Hyland struck out 12 without a hit in her fifth career start Saturday against Maryland, marking the first Mustang no-hitter since Anna Cahn in 2009.
The Visalia native hit safely in all four games she appeared at the plate, including home runs against No. 25 Texas and Syracuse.
The last player to earn both Big West honors in the same week was UC Davis’ Alex Holmes in 2011.
Cuesta basketball to open playoffs Friday
The Cuesta College basketball teams open California Community College Athletic Association Regional Playoffs action Friday, when the women’s team hosts its first playoff game since 2006 and the men’s team will travel.
The women’s team (22-7) finished second in the Western State Conference to earn the eighth seed in the playoffs, and will host No. 9 seed Orange Coast at 7 p.m.
Despite winning the Western State Conference, the Cuesta men’s team (21-9) is the ninth seed and will travel to No. 8 seed Cerritos at 7 p.m. Friday.