The Cal Poly baseball team brought its early-season record back to .500 Wednesday night, defeating Northern Illinois 12-5 at Baggett Stadium.
The Mustangs (6-6), who swept a two-game nonconference series, got out to a 3-0 first-inning lead before the Huskies tied it 3-3 in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the third, however, Cal Poly regained a commanding advantage by posting five runs before tacking on four insurance runs in the seventh for a 12-3 lead.
Senior right-hander D.J. Mauldin earned his first win of the season, striking out six batters and walking four in five innings. He yielded three runs and six hits in 95 pitches.
Joey Wagman came on to hurl two shutout relief innings before Mark DeVincenci and Frankie Reed each pitched an inning after that to preserve the win.
Cal Poly catcher Ross Brayton had two doubles and was a team-best 3 for 5 with two RBI on the night, elevating his season batting average to .412. Freshman rightfielder Mitch Haniger added a pair of doubles, scoring twice and driving in four runs.
Mustangs second baseman Matt Jensen, a freshman All-American last year, also had two hits, collecting one RBI and two walks. Mustangs center fielder Adam Melker extended his hitting streak to 11 contests.
The Mustangs will continue their nine-game homestand by beginning a three-game series against Houston (5-5) at 6 p.m. Friday.
Chuck Lukanen (1-3) suffered the loss, giving up eight runs and six hits in three innings. He had three walks and four strikeouts. Dave Reynolds, Troy White and Marvin Sanchez each had two hits for Northern Illinois (3-8), which is on a nine-game California road trip.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
Cal Poly junior Peter Kline became the Mustangs’ first modern-era qualifier for the Division I championships.
Kline, a Fresno native, qualified automatically in the 400 individual medley with a best of 3 minutes, 46.79 seconds — the 17th-best clocking in the field.
“We talked about this when he was a freshman,” Mustangs head coach Tom Milich said in a statement. “This is where he wanted to be. He realized back then that he has an opportunity to be Cal Poly’s first All-American as a Division I school.”
He also accepted invitations to swim in the 200 backstroke (with a 33rd-best time of 1:44.85) and the 200 individual medley (51st, 1:47.86). All three of his qualifying times are school records.
The national championships are March 25-27 at The Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at Ohio State.