SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — True freshmen Blake Wagenseller and Tate Samuelson combined for five RBI as the 2018 Cal Poly baseball team routed the ex-Mustangs 14-2 in the annual Alumni Game on a sunny Saturday afternoon before over 500 fans inside Baggett Stadium.
Wagenseller, the designated hitter and left fielder for the Mustangs, belted a two-run home run in the first inning and added a bases-loaded walk in the seventh while Samuelson hit a pair of sacrifice flies in the first two innings for Cal Poly, which banged out 18 hits against an Alumni pitching staff with six current or former professionals.
Senior outfielder Josh George collected four of the hits, including a double, and scored three times while junior shortstop Kyle Marinconz (pictured below at left) singled three times and knocked in a pair of runs. Freshman third baseman Nick DiCarlo, freshman center fielder Cole Cabrera, sophomore second baseman Scott Ogrin and sophomore first baseman Jack Kuzma each contributed doubles.
The Mustangs scored early and often, jumping to a 9-1 advantage in the first four innings and never looking back. The outcome was much different than the last two years when the Mustangs were forced to come from behind for victories.
Last year Cal Poly scored seven times in the sixth inning to erase a 4-0 deficit and won 7-5. Two seasons ago, the Mustangs snapped a 10-10 tie with four runs in the seventh inning on their way to a 14-10 triumph.
The Alumni scored single runs in the second (Brett Barbier RBI double) and ninth (Elliot Stewart solo home run) innings and earned 12 hits overall. Connor O'Hare singled twice to lead the Alumni.
Starter Darren Nelson (pictured above), another true freshman, struck out seven over four innings for the win, scattering seven hits with no walks. Taylor Dollard, Dylan Villalobos, Andrew Alvarez, William Adair and Matt Arens, all true freshmen, each tossed one inning in relief.
The stable of pitchers for the Alumni included current pros Slater Lee, Joey Wagman, Casey Bloomquist and Jeff Johnson and former pros Kyle Anderson and Danny Zandona.
Four current or former Major Leaguers attended the game. Logan Schafer and Brent Morel both singled in the second inning and Bud Norris and Mitch Haniger watched from the Alumni dugout, though Norris did some coaching at third base. A nine-year Major Leaguer who pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last season, Norris signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Cal Poly officially opens its 2018 season next Friday against Gonzaga in the first of four games to be played in the College Baseball Classic hosted by the city of Surprise, Ariz., at the spring training complex of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. The Mustangs also will play New Mexico on Feb. 17, Oregon State on Feb. 18 and Gonzaga again on Feb. 19, all games to be played inside 10,500-seat Surprise Stadium.
2018 Cal Poly Alumni Game
Score by innings: R H E
Alumni 010 000 001 — 2 12 2
Cal Poly 430 210 31x — 14 18 0
Batteries: Slater Lee, Joey Wagman (2), Casey Bloomquist (3), Jeff Johnson (4), Kyle Anderson (5), Danny Zandona (6), Cameron Cotton (7) and Chris Hoo; Darren Nelson, Taylor Dollard (5), Dylan Villalobos (6), Andrew Alvarez (7), William Adair (8), Matt Arens (9) and Nick Meyer, Myles Emmerson (4).
Home runs: Alumni — Elliot Stewart (ninth inning, solo); Cal Poly — Blake Wagenseller (first inning, one on).
Doubles: Alumni — Brett Barbier; Cal Poly — Cole Cabrera, Josh George, Bradlee Beesley, Scott Ogrin, Nick DiCarlo.