SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Held to just four hits, Cal Poly's six-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday night as Santa Clara scored four times in the first four innings on the way to a 5-0 victory inside Stephen Schott Stadium.
Shut out for the third time this season by eight Santa Clara pitchers, Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs fell to 19-18 overall. Santa Clara won both of its games against Cal Poly this year and improved to 9-29. The Broncos have won four straight against the Mustangs.
First baseman Jake McNichols drove in three runs for Santa Clara with a two-run home run and a sacrifice fly. Right fielder Andre Nnebe, second baseman Jason Dicochea and center fielder Cam Allie each had two of the Broncos' eight hits.
Cal Poly's four hits were singles by shortstop Connor Gurnik, designated hitter Conagher Sands, catcher Myles Emmerson and first baseman Jack Kuzma. Sands stretched his hitting streak to 12 games with his sixth-inning single while Emmerson has a 10-game streak with a single in the second frame. Elijah Greene's nine-game streak came to an end.
Santa Clara scored an unearned run in the first inning and added two in the third on MacNichols' home run, one in the fourth and another unearned run in the eighth.
Cal Poly, which had played errorless defense in five of its last six games, committed three errors Tuesday night.
The Mustangs stranded nine runners on base, retired in order just twice. Santa Clara turned double plays in the second and fourth innings to thwart Cal Poly rallies.
The loss went to Andrew Alvarez (1-1) as the Mustang starter allowed two runs (one earned) and three hits in two innings. Craig Colen (pictured above) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly is 9-16 against non-conference foes, 2-3 in midweek contests and remains 10-2 for first place in the Big West.
Ending a seven-game road trip with a 6-1 mark, Cal Poly continues a five-game stretch of non-conference games this weekend, hosting USC (17-20-1) for a three-game series Friday through Sunday inside Baggett Stadium.