Cal Poly baseball drops series opener to Hawaii

The Cal Poly baseball team squandered a 2-0 lead in a 6-3 loss to Big West Conference leaders Hawaii in the opener of a three-game series in Les Murakami Stadium on Friday.

Hawaii scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning to tie the game 2-2. The game was tied at 3-3 in the eighth until the Rainbow Warriors scored three runs on two hits, two walks, a throwing error and a wild pitch.

Hawaii is 6-1 in the Big West and 17-15 overall while Cal Poly falls to 19-13 and 2-2.

A Brett Barbier RBI double and a Hawaii throwing error led to a 2-0 Cal Poly lead in the third inning. Hawaii took a one run lead in the fifth before Barbier tied it in the seventh with an RBI single.

Matt Valencia (2-0) picked up the win, the third of three Hawaii pitchers used in the game. Starter Brendan Hornung allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. Cal Poly’s Kyle Smith (4-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Only two of the runs allowed by Smith were earned.

Alex McKenna had three hits and Kyle Marinconz, Barbier and Nick Meyer each had two hits.

Right-hander Erich Uelmen (4-0) will start Saturday night at 9:35 p.m. for Cal Poly.