Jordan Ellis hit a grounder to score Peter Van Gansen in the eighth inning, Reed Reilly pitched three scoreless innings of relief, and the Cal Poly baseball team came from behind on the road to beat Long Beach State 6-3 in the series opener Friday for its 12th straight win.
After Columbia’s 15-game winning streak came to an end earlier in the day, the No. 2 Mustangs (36-5, 12-1 Big West) own the longest active win streak in the country.
With the score tied at 3 and one out in the top of the eighth, Cal Poly loaded the bases on singles from Van Gansen and Chris Hoo and a hit batter.
Ellis grounded out to first to put the Mustangs ahead, and Nick Torres followed with a two-run single to center field that scored Hoo and Mark Mathias.
Reilly allowed three baserunners in the final two innings, but no runs to earn the win.
Starting pitcher Matt Imhof gave up three runs and pitched into the seventh inning, striking out four, as Long Beach State scored twice in the first inning on a wild pitch and a single by Michael Hill.
Cal Poly got on the board in the third on a sacrifice bunt by Hoo, and took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, when Hoo scored on a wild pitch and Torres’ ground out brought home Mathias.
The Dirtbags tied it in the seventh on a sacrifice fly, but the Mustangs broke free in the eighth with the decisive three runs.
Torres drove in a team-high three runs for Cal Poly, and Van Gansen led the team with two of the Mustangs’ six hits.
Van Gansen is on the national watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the country’s best shortstop, and teammates Imhof and Casey Bloomquist are on the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year watch list.
Cal Poly is ranked in the top three in all five national baseball polls, including No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.
Compton throws no-hitter for Fresno State
Arroyo Grande High graduate Jill Compton threw a no-hitter for the Bulldogs in their 2-0 win over San Jose State.
The 2011 Tribune County Player of the Year, who also threw a no-hitter as a freshman last year, struck out seven batters in her seventh shutout of the season.
Cal Poly 4, UC Santa Barbara 0
The Mustangs are one win away from the NCAA Tournament after beating the rival Gauchos in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament in Indian Wells.
Freshman Ben Donovan won his No. 1 singles match for Cal Poly, topping Ziad Sultan 6-1, 6-2.
Jurgen De Jager beat Erik Johnsson 6-1, 6-3, and Naveen Beasley gained another point for the Mustangs, topping Luke Steeb 6-1, 6-4.
Cal Poly won all three doubles matches and will face Hawaii in the finals Sunday at 9 a.m.
UC Irvine 4, Cal Poly 0
The Mustangs (6-11) were eliminated from the Big West Conference Championships in Indian Wells as Cal Poly was swept by the Anteaters.
Ane McPike and Sayaka Tsugai lost to their opponents 8-1 in doubles.
The doubles team of seniors Mika Padmanabhan and Kathryn Webb fell 8-2. Padmanabhan lost 6-0, 6-1, and Hannah Stone fell 6-2, 6-2 in singles.
Cal Poly welcomes pair of transfers
The Cal Poly women’s basketball team added two players to its 2014 recruiting class as Lisa Marie Sanchez signed a National Letter of Intent and Amanda Lovely signed a scholarship tender.
Sanchez, a point guard from Ventura College, earned first-team All-America honors at the junior college level and was voted a co-California Community College Athletics Association State Player of the Year.
She led the Pirates to a state title, and finished her career with school records for assists in a game (17), season (249) and career (447).
Lovely, a forward transferring from Pepperdine, started 15 of 30 games and led the Waves in offensive rebounds (58) and free-throw shooting (78.8 percent) this past season.
She also played for Greece’s U-18 team national program.