Pair of two-run blasts sinks baseball team in 6-4 defeat at Cal Poly

State Hornet Staff

After Sacramento State’s baseball team scored four runs in the fourth inning, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo charged back to win behind a pair of two-run homers from first baseman Brian Mundell to split the series 2-2.

The Hornets are happy with the series outcome against the very talented Mustangs, and continue to stay competitive against tough nonconference opponents.

“I thought we played pretty well,” said coach Reggie Christiansen. “We pitched and played defense well all weekend. We made good progress.”

With their last game before conference play coming Tuesday, the Hornets already have more wins than last year’s team at this point in the schedule.

“Overall I feel like we are further along this year than we were last year,” said shortstop Scotty Burcham. “We had a tougher schedule and came through with a better record in nonconference.”

Ty Nichols allowed a season-high three earned runs on five hits and three walks in four innings pitched. His trouble on the mound started early, giving up a two-run home run to Mundell and an RBI double to Jordan Ellis.

Sac State rallied in the fourth inning, beginning with hits from first baseman Vinny Esposito and designated hitter Devin Lehman, followed by an RBI single from catcher Gunner Pollman.

Kyle Moses was then hit by a pitch, which led to a pitching change as Cal Poly brought in reliever Justin Calomeni, who gave up an RBI single to Brandon Hunley. PJ Floyd and Burcham followed with RBI groundouts, tallying four total runs in the inning and giving Sac State a 4-3 lead.

The Hornets would not score again following their fourth-inning outburst, with their bats remaining quiet for the rest of the game.

Sac State’s Jake Stassi came in for relief in the fifth, and had the same trouble as Nichols trying to get Mundell out, allowing another two-run shot to put the Mustangs ahead 5-4.

Grant Kukuk had a solid first inning of relief following Stassi, striking out the side on only 11 pitches. He would run into trouble in his second inning, giving up a run on a wild pitch extending the Mustangs’ lead.

The game ended with a score of 6-4, largely due to Cal Poly’s first baseman and his two home runs for a total of four RBIs. Designated hitter Mark Mathias also added to the strong offensive day with three hits and two runs scored.

With conference play on the horizon, the Hornets will look to get off to a fast start on their pursuit to a repeat Western Athletic Conference Championship.

“Nonconference play has got us more than ready,” said pitcher Sam Long. “We are all excited to get going and win another championship.”

Sac State will not overlook the University of Nevada, who will travel to town Tuesday. The Hornets’ last game before the conference schedule will be played at Raley Field, with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.