Cal Poly Falls to Pepperdine in 11 Innings, 7-4
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Brian Humphries' three-run triple in the 11th inning lifted Pepperdine to a 7-4 victory over Cal Poly in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday night in Baggett Stadium.
The Mustangs, who held a 3-1 lead against the Waves for the second time in two games, only to lose both contests, fell to 8-12 while Pepperdine improved to 13-11.
The loss was Cal Poly's first in extra innings since April 5, 2008, when the Mustangs lost a 10-inning 3-2 decision at Cal State Northridge. The Mustangs had won 10 straight overtime affairs.
With the game tied at 4-4, Cal Poly had chances to take the lead in the eighth, ninth and 10th frames, but couldn't produce the key hit.
J.J. Thompson led off the eighth inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but was stranded there as the next two batters struck out.
In the ninth, the Mustangs loaded the bases with one out, all on walks, but two more strikeouts ended the threat.
And in the 10th, Evan Busby drew a leadoff walk, took second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a fly ball to right and, after Bobby Crocker was walked intentionally, a fly ball to left field closed the inning.
Pepperdine finally broke the deadlock in the 11th. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs and Humphries belted his three-run triple over the head of Mustang right fielder Mitch Haniger and to the wall, clearing the bases.
Cal Poly had two more baserunners with one out in the bottom of the 11th, but Pepperdine closer Ricky Villarreal earned his sixth save with two strikeouts.
Cal Poly's last seven baserunners in the game came courtesy of walks, two of them intentionally.
Eric Karch (3-2) earned the win with two scoreless innings despite walking five. He struck out two.
The loss went to Mustang lefty Chase Johnson (0-2), who secured two outs in the 11th but left the game with the bases loaded. Another southpaw, Kyle Anderson, surrendered the triple to Humphries.
Cal Poly used six pitchers in the midweek game, including starter Joey Wagman, who allowed just two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings and left the game with a 3-2 lead and four strikeouts, and closer Jeff Johnson, who tossed three scoreless frames with no runs, one hit, no walks and one strikeout.
Cal Poly's seven hits included two singles by second baseman Denver Chavez and a single and double by Thompson.
Pepperdine collected 10 hits, including two each by third baseman Miles Silverstein and second baseman Joe Sever.
Cal Poly scored single runs in the first, third, fourth and seventh innings.
Designated hitter DJ Gentile's single up the middle knocked in the first run of the game, Haniger's groundout gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead in the third and Thompson doubled and came around to score on a groundout and wild pitch for a 3-1 Cal Poly advantage.
Pepperdine rallied with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames for a 4-3 lead and Cal Poly knotted the game at 4-4 in the seventh as Crocker doubled, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Gentile's sacrifice fly to center field.
With the pair of sack-filled strikeouts, Cal Poly is now 2-for-20 with the bases loaded this season. The Mustangs stranded 15 runners on the basepaths, a dozen in scoring position. Cal Poly is hitting just .235 with runners at second and/or third base.
Pepperdine overcame a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the late innings to beat Cal Poly 5-3 on March 22 in Malibu.
Cal Poly opens Big West Conference play Friday with the first of three games against UC Riverside at 6 p.m. in Baggett Stadium.