Wild pitching and defensive miscues were too much for the Cal Poly baseball team to overcome in the Mustangs’ season-opening 8-6 loss to Baylor in Waco, Texas, on Friday.
Preseason All-America pitcher Casey Bloomquist had an inauspicious outing in his first start as Cal Poly’s Friday night ace. Although he avoided the loss with the help of the Mustangs’ offense, Bloomquist walked four batters, and he threw four wild pitches to either put a runner on first or advance them on the basepaths.
Baylor put up five runs, four earned, on Bloomquist with just four hits in four innings.
The Mustangs also had three costly errors — throwing errors at catcher and third base and a dropped fly ball in left field — that contributed to the loss, which came despite Cal Poly outhitting the Bears 12-7. Baylor had five sacrifice flies.
John Schuknecht was 4 for 5 with a double, two runs and an RBI for the Mustangs.
Teammates Zack Zehner and Peter Van Gansen were 2 for 4 at the plate. Zehner and Brian Mundell, who was 2 for 5, each had a double, and Zehner drove in two.
Despite the pitching and defensive troubles, the Mustangs twice tied the score and went into the eighth inning knotted with Baylor at 5. That proved to be the decisive inning as a wild pitch by reliever Danny Zandona led to a sacrifice fly, and a triple by the Bears’ Logan Brown drove in two more.
Cal Poly got one run back in the top of the ninth, but with the tying run at the plate, Jake Lesinski flied out to center and Ryan Drobny grounded out to second.
Zandona took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three in three innings.
The series continues today at 1 p.m. and wraps up Sunday at 10 a.m.
Cuesta 3, Saddleback 2
Cuesta’s Josh Flaco hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie. Jackson Gentes allowed two earned runs over 8 1⁄3 innings, and James Kannenburg earned the save, surviving a bases-loaded scare in the ninth.
Kyle Raubinger was 2 for 4 with a double for the Cougars (2-6).
Cal Poly 4, New Mexico 3
The Mustangs won four out of six singles matches at home to recover from dropping two out of three doubles matches and losing the doubles points.
Corey Pang and Devin Barber were the only doubles pairing to win.
In singles, the Mustangs (4-3) received straight-set wins from Ben Donovan (6-2, 7-5) and Naveen Beasley (6-4, 6-4) while Pang rebounded after dropping the first set to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, and Garret Auproux won 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Stanford Nike Invitational
Cal Poly split its two games, beating Pacific 6-0 and losing to Stanford 10-2.
Against Pacific, the Mustangs scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning as Ashley Tornio and Sierra Hyland both had two-run doubles.
Freshman Lindsey Chalmers had four strikeouts over five innings before Hyland came on to pitch the final two innings.
Emily Cecacci went 2 for 4 and added Cal Poly’s final run on an RBI double in the sixth.
Against Stanford, Hyland gave up nine runs in the second inning on two hits, two bases loaded walks, and a wild pitch.
The Mustangs (4-3) answered with two runs in the third on a two-run single by Hyland but couldn’t mount a comeback, leaving eight runners in scoring position.