May 11, 2014 12:59 AM by Cal Poly, Eric Burdick
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Freshman right-hander Justin Calomeni and two relievers combined on a two-hit shutout as No. 5 Cal Poly blanked No. 16 UC Irvine 1-0 in the middle game of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Saturday night before 2,742, the fifth-largest crowd in Baggett Stadium's 14-year history.
In what also was the quickest game in Cal Poly's 20-year Division I history, 1 hour and 48 minutes, the Mustangs evened their series against the Anteaters at a game apiece - UC Irvine won Friday's game 3-2 - and improved to 40-10 on the year and 15-5 in Big West games.
UC Irvine fell to 34-15 and 15-2.
Cal Poly earned its 10th shutout of the season as Calomeni allowed two hits in six scoreless innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Junior southpaw Taylor Chris pitched one perfect inning with one strikeout and junior righty Reed Reilly earned his ninth save by retiring all six UC Irvine batters he faced.
Senior third baseman Jimmy Allen knocked in the only run of the game in the sixth inning. Junior right fielder Nick Torres led off with a double down the left-field line, moved to third on a deep fly ball to left field by sophomore designated hitter Brian Mundell and came home another out later on Allen's RBI single through the left side of the Anteater infield.
Cal Poly had other chances to score, leaving runners at first and second in the opening inning, stranding Mundell at third in the fourth and leaving sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias at second base in the fifth.
Cal Poly outhit UC Irvine 8-2, led by Allen and Mundell with two hits apiece. Mathias singled in the third inning and has hit safely in 37 of his last 39 games with a six-game hitting streak. He already has put together 17- and 14-game hitting streaks this season.
UC Irvine's two hits were singles by left fielder Grant Palmer and right fielder Evan Cassolato.
The Anteaters have been held to just five hits in two games. On Saturday, UC Irvine was retired in order seven times and had just three base runners, only one reaching second base. The final 13 Anteater batters of the game were retired in order.
UC Irvine's only serious scoring threat came in the third inning when second baseman Mikey Duarte reached base on an error and Palmer followed with his single to the left side, but Calomeni struck out shortstop Chris Rabago on a 3-2 pitch to halt the rally.
Cal Poly is 26-3 at home this season and 35-0 when leading after six innings.
The Mustangs' previous quickest Division I game was 1:51 against Sacramento State in 1995. Earlier this season, Cal Poly defeated Cal State Fullerton in 1:54, previously the quickest game in Baggett Stadium history.
Cal Poly tied its Division I record for victories in a season with Saturday's win -- the Mustangs also won 40 games a year ago -- and is just one victory shy of the all-time school record of 41 set in both 1977 and 1992.
Final game of the series and Cal Poly's last home game of the 2014 regular season will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock with Mustang sophomore right-hander Casey Bloomquist (10-1, 1.40 ERA) to face UC Irvine senior right-hander Evan Brock (8-3, 2.85 ERA).
Four Mustang seniors - Allen, catcher Chris Hoo, infielder Michael Hoo and infielder/outfielder Tim Wise - will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
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