SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Cal Poly used a six-run fourth inning to pick up a 6-4 win in the first game and sophomore Erich Uelmen threw a five-hit shutout for a 4-0 win in the second as the Mustangs took two games against Sacramento State on Saturday at John Smith Field.
Cal Poly improved to 13-5 this season with the two victories while the Hornets dropped to 9-8. The teams will complete the weekend series with a game at 11 a.m. Sunday at John Smith Field.
The Hornets outhit the Mustangs 11-8 and scored four runs in the series opener but a six-run fourth inning was the difference in Cal Poly's 6-4 win.
Sacramento State got out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Freshman designated hitter Matt Smith, returning to the lineup for the first time since March 6, had a leadoff single and scored on an RBI double from sophomore Andrew McWilliam. A sacrifice moved McWilliam to third and junior Brandon Hunley brought him in with an infield single.
Cal Poly would send 10 men to the plate in the fourth inning. The inning started double-double-double-single to score three runs, and with two away Alex McKenna blasted a 3-run home run to left to plate three more Mustangs.
In the bottom of the fourth McWilliam singled and junior Gunner Pollman walked before Hunley hit a ball off the wall in center field but with the runners holding it went as just a single with one run scoring. Cal Poly then got a double play groundout to end the inning.
Sacramento State chipped away with another run in the eighth inning on singles from Lewis and Smith and a double play ground ball. Sophomore Bronson Grubbs had a two-out double in the ninth inning to bring the tying run to the plate but a strikeout ended the game.
Sophomore Kyle Smith gave up 10 hits and two walks over seven innings but allowed just three earned runs, with Justin Bruhil pitching the last two innings for his second save. Junior Sam Long did not allow a hit through the first three innings before the big fourth saddled him with the loss.
Smith, McWilliam, Hunley, Grubbs, and senior Trent Goodrich each had two hits in the game for the Hornets while just one Cal Poly player had a multi-hit game.
Erich Uelmen allowed just five single and one walk in the complete-game shutout and three solo home runs sparked the Mustang offense in the 4-0 win.
Uelmen struck out six and threw 109 pitches for his second complete game of the year. Through the first eight innings the only hits he allowed were three infield singles. For the Hornets, junior starter Justin Dillon struck out two in two scoreless innings but had to leave the game due to injury and four relievers would follow.
Neither team had a hit or walk through the first three innings but the Mustangs got on the board with another multi-run top of the fourth. With one away first baseman Brett Barbier hit a solo home run to left and two batters later John Schuknecht hit a solo blast to left center.
Cal Poly had a third solo homer with one out in the fifth inning as McKenna went deep again. The Mustangs added an insurance run in the eighth inning as they led of with three straight singles but plated just one run on a sacrifice fly from Schuknecht.
The Hornets threatened in the sixth inning with two infield singles and a walk but had a runner thrown out attempting to steal and stranded two on base. Goodrich and Smith both singled to right field in the ninth inning but a double play ball and a fly out completed the Cal Poly shutout.
Reliever Tanner Olson was tagged with the loss as he allowed the two solo home runs in the fourth inning. Ryan Smith, Chad Perry, and Austin Ragsdale pitched the last 5.1 innings and kept the Hornets close.
The five Hornet singles in the game came from five different players. With hits in each game Smith kept his impressive career-opening hitting streak alive at 11 games. Grubbs and Goodrich each have hits in three straight games.