UC Davis first baseman Eric Johnson hit a go-ahead RBI single with two out in the eighth inning, and the Cal Poly baseball team went down in order in the top of the ninth to give the Aggies a 5-4 victory and their first series victory over the Mustangs since 2004.
Cal Poly (26-18, 10-8 Big West Conference) rallied back from a 4-0 second-inning deficit to tie the score by the fifth.
Mitch Haniger hit his 11th home run to drive in his 51st RBI — both conference-leading totals — and Tim Wise added his second homer of the season, but the Mustangs fell from third place to fourth behind UC Irvine, a team Cal Poly swept in three games in early April.
The defeat likely ends any chance the Mustangs had of catching Big West front-runners Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, which were tied atop the standings with 11 wins before Sunday.
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Wise had three of Cal Poly’s nine hits, adding a single and double, while freshman designated hitter Alex Michaels was 2 for 3 with a double.
Cal Poly had won four games coming into the series, helping make Larry Lee the winningest head coach in program history. In his tenth season, Lee (300-251-2) surpassed Berdy Harr (297-249-6), who coached from 1973-83, in a series sweep over Pacific last week.
The Mustangs return home for a three-game nonconference series against Cal State Bakersfield beginning Friday.
UC Santa Barbara 8, Cal Poly 0, six innings
The Gauchos (27-28, 12-6 Big West) finished off a three-game sweep of the rival Mustangs (12-34), who have now lost seven straight.
Jenessa Jeppesen hit a three-run home run to open scoring in the second, and UC Santa Barbara chipped away at Cal Poly’s defenses the rest of the way to secure the run-rule victory.
Senior left fielder Nora Sobczack was a bright spot for the Mustangs. Sobczack doubled in the third inning and batted .636 (7 for 11) during the series.