STILLWATER, Okla. – Cal Poly's four-run ninth-inning rally fell a run shy as Oklahoma State held on for an 8-7 victory and a sweep of a three-game non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Trailing 8-3 in the top of the ninth, coach Larry Lee's Mustangs parlayed four walks into a run and freshman first baseman Tim Wise belted a three-run double to the gap in right-center field, scoring three runs and pulling Cal Poly to within a run.
But left fielder David Armendariz, another freshman who has the only Cal Poly home run and triple of the season, struck out to end the game and leave the Mustangs one run short for the fourth time this season.
With the exception of an RBI triple by Armendariz in the fourth inning and Wise's three-run double in the ninth, Cal Poly had difficulty getting key hits with runners in scoring position all day. The Mustangs stranded nine runners on the basepaths Sunday, all in scoring position.
Trailing 3-0 after one inning, Cal Poly rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with two runs in the fourth and one more in the sixth. The triple by Armendariz and a sacrifice fly by Elliot Stewart made it 3-2 in the fourth and Wise, who doubled, scored on a passed ball in the sixth to knot the score.
But Oklahoma State scored four times in the bottom of the sixth and added another in the eighth for its 8-3 advantage.
The Cowboys used six pitchers in the game – Gabe Weidenaar twice – with Josh Nielson (1-0) getting the win and Weidenaar the save. The loss went to Mustang right-hander Joey Wagman (0-1), who surrendered a three-run double on an 0-2 pitch to Devin Shines which snapped the 3-3 tie in the sixth inning.
The loss spoiled a 4-for-4 day at the plate by Mustang shortstop Mike Miller. He doubled twice and singled twice, going 5-for-9 in the series for the second straight weekend.
Wise went 3-for-4 Sunday with a pair of doubles while Armendariz contributed two hits.
Dane Phillips, Jared Womack and Hunter Bailey each had two hits for Oklahoma State.
Senior right-hander Steven Fischback pitched five innings for Cal Poly. After surrendering three runs on four hits in the first inning, Fischback settled down and retired nine straight hitters and 12 of 13 before giving way to Wagman in the sixth inning.
In the first two weekends of the 2011 season, Cal Poly has faced four opponents who have combined for 118 NCAA regional appearances, including 54 College World Series berths.
The Mustangs conclude a season-opening seven-game road trip Tuesday with a single game against 2008 NCAA national champion Fresno State at 6:05 p.m. at Pete Beiden Field.
Cal Poly opens the home portion of its schedule next weekend, hosting Valparaiso for a three-game series in Baggett Stadium. Games Friday and Saturday nights start at 6 p.m., with the series finale Sunday to start at 1 p.m.