Sophomore right-hander Bobby Ay will make his first start of the season when Cal Poly takes on Stanford in a nonconference baseball game at 7 p.m. Thursday inside Sunken Diamond.
The Mustangs went 1-2 during their opening weekend series at Cal, and will turn to the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Ay to set the tone against the Cardinal. Stanford (1-2) was scheduled to play Monday in San Luis Obispo, but that game was rescheduled because of the poor field conditions caused by excess rain.
Ay pitched in seven games as a true freshman last spring, posting a 1-1 record with a 5.91 ERA and 12 strikeouts against eight walks in 21 1/3 innings. Head coach Larry Lee identified Ay as one of several pitchers who excelled during the offseason and could push to be the Mustangs’ mid-week starter moving forward.
History won’t be on his side Thursday night.
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The two-time national champion Cardinal lead the all-time series against Cal Poly, 46-6. Yet, when the two teams last met back in 2011, the Mustangs earned a 3-1 victory in Stanford.
Junior outfielder Josh George is coming off a strong opening weekend in which three of his four hits were doubles. He also drove in two and walked twice. Sophomore catcher Nick Meyer hit a team-high .444 with a double and a home run against the Golden Bears.
After facing Stanford on Thursday, Cal Poly is scheduled to begin a three-game series against Pacific at 6 p.m. Friday at Klein Family Field. The two teams will play again at 2 p.m. Saturday and close the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Mustangs head to Fresno
The Cal Poly softball team goes back on the road this weekend to play five games at the Fresno State-hosted Bulldog Classic.
The Mustangs (6-3) are scheduled to play Fresno State at 7 p.m. Thursday and will take on Idaho State at 2:30 p.m. Friday. A doubleheader against Minnesota and Idaho State will follow Saturday, before closing the weekend with an 11:30 a.m. Sunday matchup against the Bulldogs.
Senior standout Sierra Hyland has been dominant early this season, collecting Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week and Big West Conference Player of the Week honors during consecutive weeks. She owns a 4-2 record in the circle with a 1.56 ERA in 36 innings.
Hyland, who pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game on back-to-back days, has struck out 53 and walked five. She’s also batting .370 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and a team-high 11 RBI.
Junior shortstop Chelsea Convissar leads the Mustangs in batting average (.458), runs (seven) and hits (11) through the first nine games of the season.
Cal Poly is scheduled to play its home opener against Middle Tennessee State at 3 p.m. March 3 as part of the ShareSLO Mustang Classic.