The Cuesta College baseball team turned things around just in time to make the Southern California playoffs.
But just being in the playoffs wasn’t enough for the Cougars, who beat Southwestern 5-4 in 11 innings Tuesday to advance to a series at San Diego City College.
“We’ve really found another gear with this team,” Cuesta coach Bob Miller said. “We’re really playing with a lot of intensity.”
After surrendering the game-tying run with two outs in the ninth, Cuesta regrouped in the 11th. Austin Cunningham doubled with one out and advanced to third on a wild pitch before just beating the tag at home on a ground ball from Scott Fleury.
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“It was a wild game,” Miller said. “They were down to their last strike and got the big hit.”
Michael Camporeale was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI, and Cunningham finished with two hits.
The Cougars (20-17) will play the first of a best-of-three series Friday at San Diego City College.
Cal Poly 7, Fresno State 3
The Mustangs got four runs in the first inning and never trailed in winning their third straight.
Kyle Anderson turned in one of Cal Poly’s best starting performances this season, allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out six and walking one.
Bobby Crocker finished 3 for 3 with an RBI to lead a 10-hit Cal Poly attack, while Adam Melker finished 2 for 4 with a solo home run.
Jeff Johnson pitched 11⁄3 innings of scoreless relief, and Jordan Hadlock added two hits for the Mustangs (13-27), who are coming off their first weekend series win of the season.
Fresno State (27-20) got three hits from Garrett Weber.
Cal Poly’s Jordan Bridge was named the Big West Freshman of the Year and was named to the conference’s first team.
Bridge finished with a 9-13 dual match record against the toughest nonconference schedule of any Big West team.
The doubles tandem of Bridge and Alex Sonesson was also named to the conference first team after going 9-12.
Matt Fawcett was named to the second team after garnering an 8-14 dual record and was named to the doubles second team with Robert Foy. The duo went 14-8 and 10-1 from the No. 2 spot.
Brittany Blalock became the first Cal Poly player to earn four all-conference first team singles selections.
Blalock was joined on the conference first team by doubles partner Suzie Matzenauer. The duo also earned first team recognition on the doubles side after going undefeated in conference playing and finishing 17-3 overall.
The doubles team of Steffi Wong and Alexa Lee was named to the conference’s second team after posting a 17-5 mark.
Freshman Pace Johnson finished in a second-place tie at the Big West Championships at the Mission Viejo Country Club.
Johnson shot a final-round 76 on the 7,052-yard, par-72 course to share runner-up honors with T.J. Bordeaux of Pacific.
The pair each finished with a 2-over total of 218, finishing nine strokes behind UC Irvine’s John Chin who shot a 7-under 209.
Chin also won the event in 2008.
Johnson was the lone Cal Poly golfer to finish in the top 30. The Mustangs finished eighth in the team standings after finishing with a 61-over total of 925.
UC Irvine won the team title with a 9-over 873.