For the second consecutive outing, Cal Poly pitcher Matt Leonard turned in one of the best outings by a Mustang pitcher this season.
And for the second straight time, Leonard has nothing to show for it after the Mustangs blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss in the Big West Conference baseball opener at UC Riverside.
Leonard departed with a 2-1 lead after eight strong innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Mustangs (7-17, 0-1 Big West) scored both of their runs in the first inning. Ross Brayton’s sacrifice bunt scored Luke Yoder before Matt Jensen scored on a Riverside error.
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The Highlanders (13-8, 1-0) cut the lead in half in the fourth, and the score remained that way until the bottom of the ninth.Mark DeVincenzi struck out the first hitter he faced but walked the next batter and another struck out swinging but advanced to first base on a passed ball.
DeVincenzi walked the bases loaded before giving up a two-run single to Eddie Young.
Leonard got a no-decision for the second consecutive start. He allowed no earned runs in seven innings to then-No. 3 UCLA on March 26, leaving with a 3-2 lead.
Yoder and David Van Ostrand had two hits apiece for Cal Poly.
Cuesta 12, Allan Hancock 2
The Cougars rallied from an early two-run early deficit, scoring eight runs in the third inning to put the game away.
Cuesta (15-16-1, 9-3 Western State Conference) saw the first eight batters reach base in the third on five singles, two walks and a hit batsman.
“This was a big game to get to stay in the hunt in conference,” Cuesta head coach Mike Steuerwald said. “We did a good job of coming up with hits when we needed.”
Rachel Thompson allowed two runs on three hits in a complete game victory to even her record at 15-15. She helped her own cause with three hits, including a solo home run.
Alex Ramirez, Laura Haines, McKenna Coelho and Sam Hughes added two hits apiece for the Cougars.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
The Cuesta swim team has pulled out of the Pasadena Swim and Dive Invitational after it was rescheduled for next weekend.
The Cougars already had a conference swim meet scheduled for those dates so they pulled out of the nonleague meet.