SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior right-hander Mason Radeke pitched seven scoreless innings and junior catcher Elliot Stewart knocked in a pair of runs with a single and double as Cal Poly opened a three-game Big West Conference baseball series with a 7-3 victory over Cal State Northridge on Friday night before 1,058 in Baggett Stadium.
Radeke (5-1) struck out seven and walked two, scattering three hits and lowering his earned-run average to 2.48, as head coach Larry Lee's Mustangs improved to 13-16 for the season and 4-3 in Big West games.
Cal State Northridge, which committed three errors leading to a trio of unearned runs, fell to 17-17 and 0-4.
Stewart singled to drive in a run in the fourth inning and doubled to knock in another in the fifth as Cal Poly erupted for three runs in each frame to break open a 1-0 contest.
In addition to Stewart, designated hitter DJ Gentile and first baseman J.J. Thompson also collected a pair of hits as Cal Poly outhit the visiting Matadors 11-7. It was the Mustangs' third double-digit hits game in their last 16 contests.
For Thompson, it was his 10th two-hit game in his last 18 starts and he has raised his batting average 175 points to .333 during the run. The senior also extended his hitting streak to seven games with his RBI double in the fifth inning.
Radeke (pictured above), who has struck out 67 batters in 58 innings and is 3-0 in three Big West starts this season, gave way to freshman southpaw Taylor Chris in the eighth inning. Chris gave up three runs and four hits with a pair of strikeouts before senior southpaw Frankie Reed was summoned from the bullpen to secure the final four outs.
Reed retired all four batters he faced, three on strikeouts, for his first save.
The loss went to Cal State Northridge right-hander Ryan Juarez (2-5), who allowed seven runs (four earned) and 10 hits in six innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Center fielder Drew Muren and first baseman Josh Goossen-Brown each had two of the Matadors' seven hits. Muren, left-fielder Adam Barry and Goossen-Brown all drove in runs with hits in the eighth inning.
Cal Poly scored a run in the third inning on Gentile's single up the middle.
Stewart's RBI single, a throwing error by the Matadors and center fielder Bobby Crocker's sacrifice fly netted the Mustangs three runs in the fourth.
Another three-run rally in the fifth was highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles by Thompson and Stewart and left fielder Jimmy Allen's RBI single down the right-field line.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium with Cal Poly to send senior right-hander Steven Fischback (2-2, 4.97 ERA) to the mound against Goossen-Brown (4-0, 2.18 ERA), a sophomore right-hander.
Final game of the series is set for Sunday at 1 o'clock.