The Cal Poly baseball team has to feel pretty good heading into one of its biggest series of this season later this week.
The Mustangs extended their winning streak to three games and won for the fifth time in their last seven outings after cruising to a 7-1 victory over Fresno State in a non-conference matchup Tuesday night at Baggett Stadium.
A four-game losing streak during the first week of April might feel like a distant memory for Cal Poly, which has since secured Big West Conference series victories over Cal State Fullerton and Hawaii.
“We want to win the midweek games, but everything now is based on weekends,” head coach Larry Lee said. “We need to have an opportunity to win the Big West Conference, I think, to have a shot at a regional berth.”
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How it happened:
Cal Poly (22-13) staked freshman right-hander Cam Schneider to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The first three hitters in the Mustangs’ lineup singled, with Josh George and Brett Barbier coming around to score later in the frame.
Cal Poly extended its lead with a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by Cooper Moore’s RBI triple. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound freshman first baseman hit his first extra-base hit of the season off the wall in right field, which scored fellow freshman Nick Meyer from first base.
Designated hitter Kevin Morgan drove in Moore with a sharply hit single back up the middle to make the score 5-1. Cal Poly blew the game open in the fifth when Michael Sanderson and Meyer each drove in runs with sacrifice flies to bring the score to its final margin.
Who stood out:
Barbier continued to produce in the heart of Cal Poly’s lineup.
The fourth-year junior went 2 for 4 and hit his team-leading 10th double of the season and also scored twice. Barbier, who started in left field and later moved to catcher, has reached base safely in all 35 games this season.
“Our hitting is going to go up and down each week and we know that,” Barbier said. “But as long as each guy that’s in the lineup pieces together the right at-bat and makes the right play, we don’t need anyone making the extraordinary play.”
On the mound, Schneider scattered three hits, allowed one run and struck out four in three innings. He was pulled in favor of freshman lefty Thomas Triantos, who gave up five hits during four sharp innings of shutout relief.
Freshman Craig Colen pitched the final two innings to seal the victory.
Cal Poly is scheduled to begin a three-game series against No. 11 UC Santa Barbara at 6 p.m. Friday inside Baggett Stadium. The Mustangs and Gauchos will meet again at 6 p.m. Saturday and conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“They might be the best team in our conference,” Lee said. “They do a number of things well and they’ve been hot from Day 1.”