The Cal Poly baseball team rallied in the ninth inning of both games of its doubleheader Saturday against Nebraska but fell short both times, dropping 6-5 and 6-4 decisions to the Cornhuskers in front 1,594 at Baggett Stadium.
Cal Poly scored twice in the ninth inning of the opener and three times in the final frame of the nightcap.
All four games in the series were decided by one or two runs. Nebraska claimed the series, three games to one, and improved to 12-10 for the season while Cal Poly fell to 8-15, wrapping up a 12-game home stand with a 6-6 mark.
In the opener, southpaw Jake Meyers scattered four hits over eight innings and Nebraska scored two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth for the win.
Cal Poly's six hits included two each by center fielder Alex McKenna and designated hitter Bradlee Beesley. Right fielder Scott Ogrin added a two-run home run in the fifth inning, his first as a Mustang.
Angelo Altavilla and Scott Schreiber both had two of Nebraska's nine hits.
Meyers (4-1) allowed three runs with two walks and five strikeouts and Luis Alvarado earned his third save despite giving up two runs in the ninth.
The loss went to Mustang right-hander Bobby Ay (0-4) as he surrendered three runs and five hits over five innings with one walk and a career-high five strikeouts.
In the nightcap, Nebraska broke open a 2-0 contest with three runs in the fifth inning and reliever Nate Fisher held Cal Poly at bay until the ninth when the Mustangs bunched together five hits for three runs.
Ogrin hit his second home run of the day, a two-run shot to left-center field, and Kevin Morgan stroked a pinch-hit RBI single to center field to make it 6-4. With Mustang runners at first and third with one out, Nebraska turned a 6-4-3 double play to close out the victory.
Nebraska compiled 10 hits, inluding two each by Mojo Hagge and Mike Waldron.
Fisher (1-0) tossed 4 2/3 innings in relief for the win, striking out four. Robbie Palkert threw three pitches for his first save, getting the game-ending double play grounder.
The loss went to Mustang sophomore right-hander Cam Schneider (1-2) as he allowed five runs and five hits over four innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
Cal Poly, which visits Nebraska in Lincoln for a four-game series next year, hit only .231 this weekend, led by Ogrin and Beesley with four hits each. The Mustangs compiled a 3.25 staff ERA but committed eight errors in four games.
Cal Poly plays four games on the road next week, visiting Fresno State on Tuesday night and opening Big West Conference play Friday night with the first of three games at UC Irvine.
Cal Poly cruises at home meet
The Cal Poly track and field team won 16 events Saturday at the 35th annual Cal Poly ShareSLO Invitational.
Sophomore Peyton Bilo won the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes, 25.53 seconds to lead the Mustang women. It was the fastest time in the Big West Conference through the first three weeks of the season.
The Cal Poly men finished 1-2-3 in the 1,500, with junior Mikey Giguere held off teammates Garrett Migliozzi and Alex Heuchert. His time of 3:52.72 is also the fastest time in the Big West this season.
The Mustangs also went 1-2-3 in the women’s 800, with senior Allie Sulaitis placing first in 2:13.37, ahead of sophomores Megan Melnyk (2:15.24) and Natalie Grohmann (2:16.80).
In the team scoring between Division I schools, the men defeated CSU Bakersfield 102-55 and Fresno State 112-42. The Mustang women won 114.5-36 over the Roadrunners and 94.5-69 against the Bulldogs.
Cal Poly will be back in action April 1 at the Bruin Legends Invitational at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.
Mustangs split in Malibu
The Cal Poly beach volleyball team split its two matches in Malibu on Saturday, defeating CSU Bakersfield 5-0 and losing to No. 2 Pepperdine 5-0.
The Mustangs’ No. 1 pairing of Emily Sonny and Hannah Hubbard beat Carol Grasso and Sara Little 21-18, 21-18.
The No. 4 tandem of Savannah Niemen and Anna Gorman picked up the first point for Cal Poly, defeating Sarah Garrow and Ally Barber 21-13, 21-9, and the No. 2 pair of Adlee Van Winden and Taylor Nelson beat Jocelyn Rodriguez and Madison Busler 21-13, 21-13.
Raeann Greisen and Heather Pembroke, playing in the No. 3 spot, clinched the match for Cal Poly after they beat Emily Lopes and Mattison DeGarmo 21-13, 21-18.
Dora Beilin and Holland Boege finished off the match on a strong note by defeating Fabiana Andrade and Hannah Manzanares 21-17, 28-26.
The Mustangs begin Big West Conference play April 1 at CSUN.