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Cal Poly Erupts for 16 Runs on 16 Hits; Salvages One Win in LMU Series

Cal Poly Erupts for 16 Runs on 16 Hits; Salvages One Win in LMU Series


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — First baseman Elijah Skipps jumpstarted the offense with a two-run home run and a triple while left fielder Josh George and catcher Nick Meyer both drove in four runs as Cal Poly salvaged a victory in its series against Loyola Marymount with a 16-1 triumph on a windy Sunday afternoon before 1,496 fans inside Baggett Stadium.

Sophomore right-hander Michael Clark (1-0), who relieved injured starter Bobby Ay in the fourth inning, earned his first collegiate win, allowing one run and three hits over 3 2/3 innings, as Cal Poly improved to 4-11 for the season.

Loyola Marymount, which won the first two games of the series, 4-0 Friday night and 6-5 in 10 innings Saturday night, is even at 8-8.

Skipps capped a three-run fourth-inning rally with a two-run home run to straightaway center field, his first as a Mustang, then added a leadoff triple to spark a five-run sixth-inning uprising as Cal Poly produced a season-high 16-hit offensive attack.

Kyle Marinconz, starting for the first time this season at shortstop after 14 consecutive starts at second base, tied a school Division I record with three of Cal Poly's seven doubles, knocking in one run.

Designated hitter Bradlee Beesley doubled twice and George contributed a triple and two singles as the Mustangs compiled a season-high 10 extra-base hits. Center fielder Alex McKenna singled twice and drove in a pair of runs. Eleven former Mustangs also doubled three times in a game.

"We finally saw a complete game, playing all facets of the game well," said 15th-year Mustang head coach Larry Lee. "We have been playing hard, but haven't played with a lot of heart.

"That's what we have to do each and every practice and each and every game if we want to be successful," Lee added.

After three scoreless innings, Cal Poly scored three times in both the fourth and fifth frames and broke the game wide open with back-to-back five-run rallies in the sixth and seventh.

Ay pitched a solid 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one single, before he was removed from the game with one out in the fourth with an injury to his right elbow. Clark (pictured at right) maintained the scoreless streak until the seventh when Loyola Marymount scored its only run of the game on a bunt single. Clark struck out three.

Sophomore right-hander Austin Dondanville retired all six Lion batters he faced, striking out four of them.

The loss went to Loyola Marymount starter Cory Abbott (2-1) as he gave up six runs and six hits over five innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

Cal Poly outhit Loyola Marymount 16-4. Three of the Lions' hits were singles by leadoff hitter and second baseman Phil Caulfield.

In posting its first 2-2 week of the season, Cal Poly hit .311 against Loyola Marymount, led by McKenna (5-for-11, three RBI, four runs scored), George (5-for-12, six RBI, four runs scored) and third baseman Michael Sanderson (5-for-13, two RBI).

The Mustang pitching staff compiled a 1.93 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 28 innings.

"For the majority of the early season, we pitched pretty well but played very poorly defensively," said Lee. "We're starting to shore that up.

"Offensively, the players have been putting a lot of pressure on thmselves," Lee added. "We're hoping that today alleviated some of that and that the players will go out and do a better job of competing."

The home-opening series drew 4,471 fans for the three games.

Cal Poly plays four more home games next week, beginning Monday night against Gonzaga (6-8), which lost two of three games at Cal State Fullerton over the weekend. All three games were decided by one run. Junior southpaw Kyle Smith will start on the mound for the Mustangs.