Posted: May 27, 2012 5:07 PM by Bill Halter
Updated: May 27, 2012 7:04 PM
It was a perfect final day of the regular season for the Cal Poly baseball team. The Mustangs won at UC-Riverside, 6-0 and CS-Fullerton beat Long Beach State, 5-1. The win is the Mustangs seventh in a row and 14th in their last 17 games. Cal Poly finishes the regular season 36-20, 16-8 in the Big West. The conference record earns them second place outright, one game behind first place CS-Fullerton. The Titans earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament that goes along with winning the conference title. Had Long Beach State beaten CS-Fullerton, it would have meant a three way for first between Cal Poly, CS-Fullerton and Long Beach State. The 49ers would have won the tiebreaker and earned the automatic berth, which would have hurt the Mustangs chances at the national playoffs. CS-Fullerton would have made the 64-team tournament field whether it won the conference or not. Long Beach State will likely miss the field now meaning less competition for Cal Poly for an at-large berth.
Cal Poly got a great start from true freshman Bryan Granger (1-1) who pitched six shutout innings for his first collegiate win. It was Granger's eighth start of the season. True freshman Matt Imhof pitched three scoreless innings for his first save. Granger and Imhof combined to allow six hits and three walks.
Offensively the Mustangs had 16-hits for a third straight game. After hitting three doubles on Saturday, sophomore left fielder David Armendariz was 4-5 with four runs batted in. The teams fifth batter knocked out his fourth homerun of the season and raised his average to .312. He joins Alex Michaels (.400), Mike Miller (.354), Mitch Haniger (.346), Jimmy Allen (.345) and Tim Wise (.308) as .300 batters on the team. With 48 hits in the series, Cal Poly raises its team batting average to .297.
Cal Poly scored one run in the second inning, two in the third and then one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
The Mustangs will now wait and see if they get selected to play in an NCAA regional. The win against 22-32 UC-Riverside didn't help Cal Poly much in the RPI rankings. After Sunday's win, Cal Poly's RPI improved from 65 to 64 according to warrennolan.com, the only RPI system that updates with the completion of each game. 64 teams are selected for NCAA Regionals. The RPI is a computer formula that ranks teams based on their record and strength of schedule. The Mustangs will hope the selection committee take a look at their hot finish. Cal Poly outscored its opponents 67-27 during its season ending seven game winning streak. The NCAA Selection Show is on Monday at 9:00 a.m. It will be aired live on ESPNU.
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