May 23, 2013 1:50 AM by Andrew Masuda
The Cal Poly baseball team is determined to leave no doubt it deserves a spot in the NCAA Regional Playoffs. The 22nd ranked Mustangs close out the regular season with a three game series that opens Thursday at Pacific.
The Mustangs are 37-16, 21 games above .500 for the first time since turning Division I nineteen years ago. They are tied for second in the Big West with Cal State Northridge at 15-9. Pacific is 6-18 and ninth in conference. On top of its win-loss record, Cal Poly also has a RPI of 23.
Cal Poly was left out of the Regionals last season despite a 36-20 record. This year's squad is focused on finishing strong and on a 7 game winning streak to ensure the NCAA Selection Committee grants Cal Poly its second-ever Regional berth.
"From what everything looks like with our RPI and everything like that, as long as we don't get swept this I feel like there's no doubt in my mind that we're going to make a Regional," said senior second baseman Denver Chavez. The Santa Barbara native ranks second in the Big West with a .365 batting average and leads the conference with 80 hits and is tied for first with 17 stolen bases.
The Mustangs are riding a four game winning streak into Pacific. They swept the Tigers in Baggett Stadium last season. "We don't go into series and go we're going to take 2 out of 3. It's always kind of like we're trying to sweep a team. We're trying to dominate them. So our mindset doesn't change regardless of the situation. We're just going to try to go out and win every game one at a time," added sophomore left-handed pitcher Matt Imhof. The lefty is slated to start game two on Friday. He enters with a 6-3 record and a 2.49 ERA. He ranks second in the Big West, behind only Cal Poly's Joey Wagman, with 86 strikeouts.
Thursday's series opener is at 6 pm. Friday's game starts at 6pm with Saturday's series finale set for 2 pm.
The Regional sites will be announced on Sunday. The NCAA Selection Show is Monday morning. Cal Poly last played in a Regional in 2009 at Arizona State.
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