LONG BEACH, Calif. – Cole Cabrera, Myles Emmerson and Jack Kuzma, the bottom three in Cal Poly's batting order, each produced two hits and an RBI as the Mustangs rallied from a 2-0 deficit with four runs in the seventh inning for a 4-2 triumph over Long Beach State on Thursday night at Blair Field.
Cabrera and Emmerson both singled and doubled while Kuzma (pictured above) singled twice for the Mustangs, who are even for the first time this season at 17-17, winning for the 15th time in their last 23 contests following a 2-9 start. Cal Poly is 8-2, alone in first place, in the Big West and has won four straight, equalling its longest winning streak of the year.
Long Beach State fell to 7-28 for the season and 2-5 in the conference.
The Dirtbags scored their runs in the first inning on an RBI single by Laine Huffman and a sacrifice fly by Victor Carlino.
Cal Poly struggled against Long Beach State starter Adam Seminaris (2-6) in the first six innings, held to four hits and no runs, before erupting for four runs in the seventh to turn the game around.
Conagher Sands, Cabrera and Emmerson all drove in runs with doubles and Kuzma's RBI single accounted for what proved to be the final run of the game.
Watkins pitched well in the no-decision, scattering seven hits over five innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Seminaris struck out seven and walked two over 6 1/3 innings in absorbing the loss.
For the second straight game, Cal Poly won despite trailing after six innings. The Mustangs, 2-16 in such games, rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat UC Davis 6-5 last Sunday in Davis.
Cal Poly played errorless defense for just the sixth time this season, but three in its last four contests.
UC Santa Barbara (27-5, 6-1 Big West) remains a half-game behind Cal Poly following its 9-8 win over UC Davis at home, scoring twice in the eighth inning to erase an 8-7 deficit.
Second game of Cal Poly's series at Long Beach State will be played Friday night at 6 with junior right-hander Bobby Ay (4-0, 2.87 ERA) to face Dirtbag junior righty Nick Avila (0-1, 4.45 ERA).
The series finale is set for Saturday at 2 o'clock.