FULLERTON, Calif. – Jake Pavletich's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning pushed across the tiebreaking run as Cal State Fullerton clinched its three-game Big West Conference baseball series against Cal Poly with a 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
The go-ahead run scored moments after Cal Poly squandered a scoring opportunity in the top of the eighth, putting runners at second and third with one out before Blake Workman recorded a pair of strikeouts.
Cal State Fullerton, a 5-1 winner Friday night, improved to 14-15 for the season and 3-2 in Big West games, while Cal Poly fell to 13-16 and 1-4.
The Mustangs, who scored a run in the first inning when Alex McKenna tripled to open the game and came home as Bradlee Beesley was caught trying to steal second base, erased a 4-1 deficit with three runs on five consecutive hits in the fifth.
Tate Samuelson sparked the rally with a leadoff home run, his third of the year. Josh George singled and scored on Scott Ogrin's double down the left-field line. Nick DiCarlo singled and McKenna's single up the middle tied the game at 4-4.
Cal Poly wasted a leadoff single by Ogrin in the seventh. In the eighth, Myles Emmerson doubled with one out, Nick Meyer walked and both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball before Workman secured two strikeouts to end the threat.
After the Titans snapped the tie in the bottom of the eighth, Ogrin led off the ninth with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick DiCarlo. Brett Conine, who retired Cal Poly in order in the ninth inning of a non-save situation Friday night, struck out the final two Mustang batters Saturday to end the game.
Despite a season-high 12 strikeouts, Cal Poly outhit Cal State Fullerton 10-8, led by Ogrin (pictured above) with a double and two singles for his first three-hit game of the season. Samuelson and McKenna each contributed a pair of hits.
Ruben Cardenas hit a two-run home run and a single for Cal State Fullerton. Sahid Valenzuela added two singles.
Workman (4-4) earned the win in relief of starter Tommy Wilson, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Conine secured the final two outs for his sixth save.
The loss went to Cam Schneider (3-2), who allowed the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning.
Cal Poly will send freshman right-hander Darren Nelson (3-2, 2.95 ERA) to the mound in Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale, facing Cal State Fullerton junior right-hander Andrew Quezada (0-3, 4.11 ERA).