SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Each of Cal Poly's nine starting position players produced at least one hit in an 18-hit offensive attack and senior right-hander Slater Lee earned his fourth win as the Mustangs evened their Big West baseball series against Cal State Fullerton with a 13-6 triumph Saturday night before 2,850 inside Baggett Stadium.
Center fielder Alex McKenna and third baseman Bradlee Beesley both had three hits and combined for five RBI as Cal Poly won for the ninth time in its last 13 games, improving to 17-20 for the season and 7-4 for third place in conference games.
Cal State Fullerton slipped to 24-13 and 6-2, a game-and-a-half behind Long Beach State.
McKenna has compiled multiple hits in nine of his last 12 games and 10 three-hit games this season as his average rose to .357 with a 3-for-6 day Saturday, driving in three runs.
Beesley also went 3-for-6, knocked in a pair of runs and hiked his average to .333, a 173-point jump since and including the middle game of the San Diego State series March 4. Beesley is 7-for-11 in the first two games of the Cal State Fullerton series and is hitting .375 (42-for-112) over his last 28 games.
Shortstop Kyle Marinconz, first baseman Michael Sanderson, catcher Nick Meyer, left fielder Josh George and right fielder Colby Barrick (pictured at right) all had two hits Saturday, Barrick driving in a pair of runs. Designated hitter Kevin Morgan added a two-run single and second baseman Scott Ogrin had two RBI with a triple and hit by a pitch.
Lee (4-2) (pictured above) restored some semblance of order in the later innings of the 3-hour, 26-minute game, allowing just one run and three hits over five innings in relief for the win. He struck out seven for the third time in his Mustang career, one shy of his career high, and walked two.
The loss went to Cal State Fullerton junior southpaw John Gavin (5-1) as he surrendered seven runs and eight hits over three innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cal Poly overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits with a six-run third-inning rally and added two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth, scoring at least one run in five consecutive innings against the Titans.
Cal Poly's 13 runs and 18 hits were the most given up by Cal State Fullerton so far this season.
After McKenna's single tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning, the Mustangs sent 10 batters to the plate in the third. Key hits were Morgan's two-run single and McKenna's two-RBI triple. Gavin hit two Mustangs with the bases loaded to account for the other two runs in the inning.
Ogrin's RBI triple and Barrick's run-scoring single made it 9-3 in the fourth, Beesley's RBI single in the fifth gave Cal Poly a 10-6 advantage and the Mustangs completed the scoring for the game with three in the sixth as Beesley and Meyer singled to knock in a run each and Sanderson drew a bases-loaded walk.
Cal State Fullerton's 11 hits included two each by Scott Hurst, Taylor Bryant, Dillon Persinger and Chris Hudgins. Bryant and Ruben Cardenas each had two RBI — Cardenas via a sacrifice fly and groundout.
The crowd of 2,850 is a season high and the seventh largest to see a game in the 17-year history of Baggett Stadium.
Rubber game of the series will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock with Cal State Fullerton to start sophomore right-hander Gavin Velasquez (3-0, 2.90 ERA). Cal Poly's starter is undecided.