The Cal Poly baseball team won two out of three games in a Big West Conference series against CSUN over the weekend, winning the first two games before falling 12-3 on Sunday.
It was a return to Baggett Stadium for Cal Poly (23-27, 11-7 Big West) after playing seven of its last eight games on the road.
The Mustangs emerged victorious from the first game 6-5 in dramatic fashion after catcher Nick Meyer hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to score Alex McKenna from second base.
Cal Poly won the second game of the series 5-2 before Sunday’s defeat.
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Cal State Fullerton snapped its tie with Cal Poly for second place in the Big West standings with a victory over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday and holds a one-game lead over the Mustangs.
Here are three things we learned about Cal Poly against CSUN:
McKenna, Howard continue dominance
The second game of the series was highlighted by a dominant performance from Templeton High School graduate Spencer Howard (6-1), who threw a complete game, striking out 10. The sophomore scattered seven hits and walked just one, lowering his ERA to 2.24 — second in the Big West.
The win was Howard’s fourth consecutive and surpassed his previous longest outing of 7 1/3 innings.
Sophomore center fielder Alex McKenna continued his torrid hitting from the leadoff spot, finishing the series 4 for 11. McKenna is second in the Big West in average (.362) and is hitting .402 in Big West play.
The errors return
After a fielding nightmare through the first 24 games of the season — which saw the Mustangs commit 42 errors — Cal Poly had committed only 22 errors in 23 games since the start of Big West play.
The errors came back in the last two games of the series, with two apiece in both games.
Errors in both Saturday’s win and Sunday’s loss led to a combined four Matador runs.
Coming down to the wire
Cal Poly must continue its winning ways for the last two series of the season against UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine, both teams in the bottom half of the conference.
A shot at second place is still a reality, as Cal State Fullerton will wrap up the season against first-place Long Beach State. The Mustangs kick off their road series against UCSB at 3 p.m. Friday.