College Sports

Cal Poly baseball team opens series with a win over No. 8 USC

Cal Poly’s John Schuknecht rounds second base on his way to third in the fourth inning of the Mustangs’ 5-4 win over USC on Friday night at Baggett Stadium. Schuknecht went 3 for 5 and scored a run.
Cal Poly’s John Schuknecht rounds second base on his way to third in the fourth inning of the Mustangs’ 5-4 win over USC on Friday night at Baggett Stadium. Schuknecht went 3 for 5 and scored a run. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Mark Mathias was 3 for 5 with a go-ahead two-run single, Casey Bloomquist went six-plus innings for his first victory of the season, and the Cal Poly baseball team opened a three-game series with No. 8 USC by winning 5-4 on Friday at Baggett Stadium.

Mathias’ run-scoring hit was part of a five-run sixth inning for the Mustangs (7-11), who won over a ranked opponent for the first time this season and host the Trojans in the second game of the series at 6 tonight.

Bloomquist (1-2) allowed six hits into the seventh inning allowing four runs — two earned — with two walks and three strikeouts. Danny Zandona earned the three-inning save in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out four.

John Schuknecht was 3 for 5 at the plate for Cal Poly with a run, and Peter Van Gansen and Jordan Ellis both drove in a run.

The Trojans (17-5) pushed across runs in the first and sixth before the Mustangs struck.

Brian Mundell, who was 2 for 4, scored on an Ellis sacrifice fly, and an error allowed Schucknecht to tie the score.

Following a walk to Brett Barbier, Mathias roped a two-out single to left center to bring home Alec Smith and Tommy Pluschkell. Ellis made it 5-2 with another single to left that scored Barbier.

After a leadoff single and a fielding error put two on in the seventh for USC, Zandona replaced Bloomquist, who was still on the hook for the two baserunners. They both came home to score unearned runs on a triple to right by Timmy Robinson, but Zandona pitched perfect innings in the eighth and ninth to close the game.

Tyler Gilbert took the loss for the Trojans, striking out six in 5 2⁄3 innings with seven hits, one walk and four runs — one earned.

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