DAVIS, Calif. – UC Davis jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first four innings and held on to beat Cal Poly 6-3 in the middle game of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Friday afternoon in Dobbins Stadium.
With the win, UC Davis snapped Cal Poly's four-game winning streak, evened the series at a game apiece and clinched a winning season, improving to 29-26-1 overall and 8-15 in Big West games. Cal Poly, which needs a win Saturday to clinch its fifth straight winning season and the 10th in Larry Lee's 13 seasons as head coach, fell to 27-26 and 14-9.
The Mustangs are still tied for third place with UC Irvine as the Anteaters lost 9-4 at CSUN on Friday.
Senior right-hander Spencer Koopmans (6-4) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win, allowing three runs and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Southpaw Spencer Henderson secured five outs and Zach Stone pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
The loss went to Mustang freshman left-hander Kyle Smith (5-7) as he gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Justin Calomeni pitched four innings in relief for Cal Poly, allowing two runs with two outs in the eighth frame.
UC Davis, which had the leadoff man reach base six times in eight innings, scored a run in the third as Evan Heptig singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a groundout and scored on a single by Tino Lipson.
The Aggies added three more runs in the fourth on four singles, a walk and two Cal Poly errors.
Cal Poly cut the 4-0 deficit in half with two runs in the fifth. John Schuknecht and Mark Mathias both singled and, with two outs, Brian Mundell doubled down the left-field line to score both runners.
Schuknecht (pictured above) led off the seventh with his sixth home run, a shot just inside the left-field foul pole, trimming UC Davis' lead to 4-3.
John Williams singled up the middle with two outs to drive in two insurance runs for the Aggies in the eighth inning.
Both teams collected nine hits.
Mathias and Schuknecht both had three hits for Cal Poly and Mundell added two. UC Davis was led by Lipson, Williams, Heptig and Izaak Silva, each with a pair of hits.
UC Davis beat Cal Poly for only the eighth time in 38 meetings dating back to 1951.
Final game of the series will be played Saturday at 1 o'clock. Cal Poly will start senior souithpaw Taylor Chris (3-2, 4.66 ERA) while UC Davis will counter with senior right-hander Raul Jacobson (5-4, 4.06 ERA).