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Cal Poly Rallies From Early Deficit to Beat CSU Bakersfield, 8-4

Cal Poly Rallies From Early Deficit to Beat CSU Bakersfield, 8-4


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Senior right fielder John Schuknecht continued his hot hitting with two singles and a triple while redshirt freshman right-hander Spencer Howard tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the win as Cal Poly rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat CSU Bakersfield 8-4 in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday night in Baggett Stadium.

Schuknecht knocked in a pair of runs for the third straight game and Howard earned his second win in as many outings for Cal Poly, which, playing its first home game since March 6, won its third straight game and improved to 16-7 for the season.

CSU Bakersfield suffered its ninth straight loss, falling to 5-19. The Roadrunners have lost 17 of their last 18 games after a 4-2 start.

Schuknecht (pictured above), 3-for-5 to lift his batting average to .330, has gone 8-for-17 with six RBI in Cal Poly's last four games. He tripled down the left-field line to drive in two Mustang runs in the seventh inning, breaking the game open. He scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-2.

CSU Bakersfield scored twice in the eighth and had the potential game-tying run in the on-deck circle when junior right-hander Justin Calomeni was summoned from the bullpen. He proceeded to strike out five of the six batters he faced for his third save.

Howard (2-0) struck out four, walked two and allowed two hits in relief of Mustang starter Cam Schneider. He pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Cal Poly's 7-2 win over Wichita State last Friday and now has a 0.55 ERA for the season.

Cal Poly collected 13 hits, including two each by second baseman Kyle Marinconz, left fielder Josh George and designated hitter Cooper Moore, but the Mustangs committed three errors, leading to a pair of unearned Roadrunner runs.

Left fielder Christian Deaton, right fielder Sergio Robles and shortstop Ryan Grotjohn each had two of the Roadrunners' eight hits. Grotjohn knocked in a pair of runs with a single in the fourth inning and a groundout in the eighth.

After CSU Bakersfield scored twice in the fourth, Cal Poly answered with a run in the fourth on Michael Sanderson's single down the left-field line and took the lead with two runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Marinconz and a single down the right-field line by Brett Barbier.

The Mustangs stretched their lead with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh. In the sixth, Nick Meyer singled up the middle for an RBI and Dylan Doherty grounded out for the second run. Schuknecht's two-run triple and a wild pitch accounted for the three runs in the seventh.

The loss went to CSU Bakersfield starter Max Carter (0-4) as he allowed three runs and five hits over  2/3 innings with one walk and four strikeouts. The Roadrunners used five pitchers in the game.

Roadrunner third baseman Cody White walked four times, tying a school record.

The two Central California teams play their rematch May 17 in Bakersfield.

Cal Poly hosts San Jose State (8-15) for a three-game series Friday through Sunday in Baggett Stadium.