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Cal Poly baseball opens 2018 season with drama, heroics | Cal Poly roundup

Junior catcher Nick Meyer (shown here last season) is known for his defense, but he showed off an improved bat in the first four games of the season, leading Cal Poly with six hits (.429 avg.) and an RBI in 14 at-bats.
Junior catcher Nick Meyer (shown here last season) is known for his defense, but he showed off an improved bat in the first four games of the season, leading Cal Poly with six hits (.429 avg.) and an RBI in 14 at-bats. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

It was a dramatic start to the 2018 season for the Cal Poly baseball team Friday at the College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Arizona.

The Mustangs scored five runs in the ninth inning against Gonzaga to force extra innings and won 8-7 when sophomore second baseman Scott Ogrin hit a solo home run in the top of the 10th.

Cal Poly followed that with another 10-inning game Saturday, but this time it ended with a 3-1 loss to New Mexico. After a 16-7 loss to No. 2-ranked Oregon State on Sunday, Gonzaga got its revenge, beating the Mustangs 5-4 on Monday.

Junior catcher Nick Meyer, who is known for his defense, showed off an improved bat over the four-game span, leading Cal Poly with six hits (.429 avg.) and an RBI in 14 at-bats. Junior shortstop Kyle Marinconz hit two home runs and had three RBI in the four games — but he didn’t do much else, going 3 for 14 over the weekend and committing three of the 10 Cal Poly fielding errors in four games. Last season, Cal Poly had 70 errors in 56 games, seventh out of nine teams in the Big West Conference.

Senior lefty Trent Shelton had the best Mustangs outing on the mound. He started and went six innings, gave up one earned run and struck out eight batters in the loss to New Mexico.

Cal Poly heads to San Diego this weekend to take on Arkansas (Friday), Grand Canyon (Saturday) and Michigan (Sunday) at the Tony Gwynn Legacy Classic. The Mustangs will then travel to play San Jose State on Tuesday before they host their first series of the season against Pacific on March. 2.

Women’s Basketball

The Cal Poly women’s basketball team enters the final two weeks of the regular season tied for third place in the Big West with UC Santa Barbara. Cal Poly (14-11, 8-5 Big West) plays its final two home games this week, starting with a contest against the Gauchos on Wednesday night followed by a Saturday afternoon game against Cal State Fullerton.

Dynn Leaupepe, the top scorer in the conference and 19th nationally at 20.8 points per game, enters the game ranked as the third-best scorer in school history.

Men’s Basketball

The men’s basketball team will play its final home game of the season Thursday against CSUN. Cal Poly (8-19, 3-10 Big West) enters the game tied with CSUN (6-21, 3-10) for seventh place in the conference and will need to finish strong in its final three games of the regular season over the next two weeks to ensure a Top-8 finish in the Big West standings and secure a spot in the conference tournament, which begins March 8.

Tennis in Top 50

The men’s tennis team is ranked No. 44 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Rankings after starting the season 6-3. Cal Poly beat San Francisco 6-1 on Sunday and travels to play Loyola Marymount on Friday and Nevada on Saturday.

Softball

The softball team went 4-6 as it played 10 games in 10 days to start the 2018 season. Mixed in were two losses to No. 5 UCLA and losses to No. 21 Utah and No. 23 California. Wins came against Maryland, Middle Tennessee and UAB.

Cal Poly will play a four-game series at the Stanford Nike Invitational with two games against Santa Clara and two games against Stanford starting Friday.

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