SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Bradlee Beesley pounded out four hits for the second time in his young Cal Poly career and Erich Uelmen allowed two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, but No. 8 Cal State Fullerton erased a 4-1 deficit with a trio of two-run rallies and beat the Mustangs 7-4 in the opening game of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Friday night before 1,798 inside Baggett Stadium.
Connor Seabold (5-4) earned the win despite giving up 11 hits for Cal State Fullerton, which improved to 24-12 for the season and 6-1 in the Big West. Despite outhitting the Titans 12-10, Cal Poly fell to 16-20 and 6-4.
Seabold struck out six and walked one, allowing all four runs Cal Poly scored in the third inning.
The visiting Titans answered with two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Dillon Persinger and Ruben Cardenas, then took the lead with two more in the seventh. Sahid Valenzuela singled down the left-field line to tie the game at 4-4 and, after Michael Clark relieved Uelmen, Persinger drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run.
Cal State Fullerton added two insurance runs in the ninth on Taylor Bryant's two-run single to left-center field.
Though Uelmen was charged with five runs, only two were earned as Cal Poly committed three errors in the first four innings. Uelmen (2-6) struck out six and walked three, scattering seven hits.
Beesley (pictured above) doubled in the first inning and singled three times, duplicating the four-hit game he had in the finale of the San Diego State series in early March. Beesley was hitting .160 prior to that contest. Since then, he has gone 39-for-106 (.368) to lift his average to .325.
Barrick, making his first start in four games due to illness, added three hits, all singles, and is hitting .383 for the year.
Cal State Fullerton's 10 hits included three by Valenzuela and two by Scott Hurst.
Cal Poly squandered a couple scoring opportunities in the early innings. The Mustangs had runners at first and second with one out in the first inning and first and third with one out in the second frame, but failed to score either time.
After the four-run outburst in the third inning, Cal Poly managed just three base runners the rest of the way, all on one-out or two-out singles.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 6 in Baggett Stadium, with Cal Poly sophomore right-hander Spencer Howard (2-1, 1.79 ERA) to face Cal State Fullerton junior southpaw John Gavin (5-0, 2.22 ERA).
Final game of the series will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock.
Photo above of Bradlee Beesley courtesy of Matt Aguirre