The Cal Poly baseball team hung on to beat Sacramento State 6-5 in an elimination game at the San Luis Obispo Regional on Sunday, eliminating the pesky Hornets and moving the Mustangs on to a night-game rematch with Pepperdine at 6.
Cal Poly (47-11) had a 6-3 lead with closer Reed Reilly on the mound going into the eighth, but Sacramento State struck for two runs and cranked on the pressure. Reilly, however, rebounded to toss a scoreless ninth and seal his 12th save of the season.
Danny Zandona (4-0, 2.66 ERA) will start the night game against the Waves, who beat the Mustangs 2-1 on Saturday night. Pepperdine can advance to a Super Regional with a victory. Cal Poly will need to win Sunday night and a winner-take-all game Monday in order to advance.
“We’re still playing, so it’s good times,” Mustangs head coach Larry Lee said. “We just want to play as long as we can, and we understand that we need to come out and continue to play even better, and if we can win this game, the momentum switches to our side.”
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John Schuknecht was 2 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI, Nick Torres was 2 for 5 with two RBI and Zach Zehner scored twice and hit a solo home run to power the Cal Poly offense.
Bryan Granger pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Justin Calomeni to earn the win. Reilly pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and no walks or strikeouts.
Reilly threw 39 pitches, but Lee said he will be available for the night game. Taylor Chris (4-0, 0.91 ERA) has yet to pitch this weekend and will likely be the first arm out of the bullpen.
Each game of the regional has been tightly contested.
“This is the fifth game at this regional,” Lee said, “and there’ve been four one-run ballgames and one two-run ballgame to show you how competitive it is, and any one of the four teams has a chance to get out of this regional. We’re happy just to be playing in this Sunday night game.”