Nick Torres hit a walk-off double to score Mark Mathias in the 13th inning, backing 4 2⁄3 no-hit innings of scoreless relief by Reed Reilly as the No. 3 Cal Poly baseball team beat Cal State Fullerton in 13 innings and clinched the series victory over the Titans on Friday.
Much of Baggett Stadium’s season-high 2,831 spectators had left by the time Torres stepped to the plate with Mathias on first and one out. He drove a 0-1 pitch from Cal State Fullerton closer J.D. Davis over Marcus Vidales’s head and off the wall in left for the winning score.
Twice before, games had gone to 13 innings at Baggett, both against UC Davis. Now, all three ended there, though it appeared Reilly could go on indefinitely for the Mustangs (33-5, 10-1 Big West Conference).
The Cal Poly closer came on with a runner on third and one out in the top of the ninth. He struck out two to preserve the 3-3 tie, went on to strike out a career-high nine and walk just one while earning his second win of the season.
Mathias and Peter Van Gansen each had four hits for Cal Poly. Hitting 4 for 7 with two doubles, Mathias raised his team-leading batting average to .409.
Van Gansen, who was 4 for 5 with a run and two RBI, and Torres each tripled.
Coming up clutch, Van Gansen twice tied the score. His second-inning triple scored Jimmy Allen to tie it at 1. He also had a single up the middle to tie it at 3 in the bottom of the eighth.
Cal Poly racked up 17 hits compared to just five for Cal State Fullerton (18-15, 3-5 Big West), but the Mustangs failed in several opportunities to win it late.
Cal Poly had the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth, ninth, 11th and 12th innings but came up short each time.
Despite the high hit total for the Mustangs, it was a pitchers’ game.
Titans starter Thomas Eshelman scattered eight hits and walked one but allowed just two runs while striking out four in seven innings. Then Davis came in to match Reilly until the end.
Davis allowed six hits and walked one while striking out five in 4 1⁄3 innings.
Slater Lee, a former teammate of Eshelman’s at Carlsbad High, got the start for Cal Poly, but the duel between the pitchers who led Carlsbad to the CIF-San Diego Section Division I semifinals in 2012 never materialized.
After giving up three runs on four hits and walk in four innings, Lee was replaced by Bryan Granger to start the fifth.
Granger pitched 1 1⁄3 innings of hitless relief, and Taylor Chris followed that up with 31⁄3 innings of one-hit ball.
The Mustangs will go for the series sweep at 1 p.m. today.