Cal Poly

Stories of the year, No. 3: Cal Poly baseball makes NCAA Tournament

The Cal Poly baseball team cleared a major hurdle toward establishing itself among the nation’s top programs, advancing to the NCAA Division I postseason for the first time in school history.

The Mustangs opened the year by taking two of three from then-No. 3 Rice at Baggett Stadium. They finished 37-21, including a 14-10 Big West Conference record.

Cal Poly fell to Oral Roberts and Kent State at the Tempe (Ariz. ) Regional to conclude its season.

The Mustangs had been left out of the postseason after similar seasons in years past, including in 2005 when they finished 36-20 and had a second-place finish in the Big West.

Infielder Adam Buschini, who boasted a school Division I-record .422 batting average, was drafted in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Buschini finished No. 6 on Cal Poly’s all-time RBI list for a single season with 61, and No. 10 with both his 18 doubles and 11 home runs. He earned the team’s Ozzie Smith Most Valuable Player award.

Freshman second baseman Matt Jensen provided a spark for Cal Poly’s offense, as well, as he sported a .375 batting average with nine home runs and 53 RBI en route to being named to the freshman All-American team despite a season that ended early because of a broken collarbone.

Senior outfielder Ryan Lee had a school-record 26-game hitting streak and a team-high 27 stolen bases. He was one of seven Cal Poly players to be taken in the draft.

The Mustangs were ranked as high as No. 12 early in the season, the highest ranking in the program’s Division I history.