LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Spencer Howard earned his fourth win, Michael Clark shut the door on UCLA for his seventh save and Scott Ogrin and Elijah Skipps both homered as Cal Poly evened its non-conference baseball series against the Bruins with a 6-3 victory Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Skipps (pictured above) smashed a solo home run to the top of the batting cage beyond the right-field fence in the second inning and Ogrin added a two-run shot to left-center field for the Mustangs, who improved to 19-22 for the season. Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee is 7-10 against UCLA in his 15 seasons at Cal Poly.
UCLA, tied for third place in the Pac-12 Conference, fell to 20-19 overall.
Howard (4-1) allowed three runs (one earned) and six hits over 5 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts. Clark (pictured at right) secured the final 10 outs, nine of them ground balls, without giving up a run or a hit.
Cal Poly led all the way, scoring one run in the first, three in the second and one more in both the fourth and ninth innings.
First baseman Michael Sanderson doubled to knock in the run in the first. The home runs by Skipps, his second of the year, and Ogrin, his third, in the second frame gave the Mustangs a 4-0 lead.
After UCLA tallied a run in the third, Cal Poly answered with an unearned run in the fourth as a grounder to first base by Kyle Marinconz with runners at first and second was misplayed for an error.
UCLA scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull to within 5-3. After a two-out error in the Mustang infield, Bruins right fielder Michael Toglia homered down the right-field line.
Cal Poly tallied an insurance run in the ninth as Marinconz and Sanderson both singled and Skipps grounded out to first base to drive in the run, Marinconz sliding under the tag at home plate.
Sanderson, third baseman Bradlee Beesley and center fielder Alex McKenna (pictured at left) all produced three-hit games to spark Cal Poly's 13-hit offensive attack. Marinconz added two hits and both Ogrin and Skipps drove in a pair of runs.
McKenna was named HERO Sports Division I Player of the Week for his 9-for-20 performance in four games last week.
UCLA's six hits included two singles by center fielder Daniel Amaral.
The loss went to UCLA starter Moises Ceja (2-4) as he allowed five runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
For the fifth time in as many weeks, Cal Poly faces a rubber game in the finale of a weekend series. Sunday's contest starts at 1 o'clock with Mustang Bobby Ay (1-3, 4.35 ERA) to face UCLA's Jon Olsen (2-1, 3.47 ERA) in a matchup of sophomore right-handers.
Photos courtesy of Jack Duffy