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Cal Poly clinches Blue-Green rivalry series against UC Santa Bar - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Cal Poly clinches Blue-Green rivalry series against UC Santa Barbara with 7-4 victory

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Scott Ogrin and Kevin Morgan combined for five runs and seven RBI while Spencer Howard pitched eight innings for his seventh win as Cal Poly clinched its Blue-Green Rivalry baseball series at UC Santa Barbara with a come-from-behind 7-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Winning a Big West series for the sixth time in seven tries, Coach Larry Lee’s Mustangs improved to 25-27 overall and 13-7 in conference games. The Gauchos fell to 22-29 and 7-13.

Ogrin doubled twice and knocked in three runs while Morgan drove on four runs with a two-run home run, a run-scoring single and an RBI double.

Kyle Marinconz singled three times to bump his average up to a season-high .275 and Nick Meyer singled twice as Cal Poly, which scored 11 runs on 15 hits Friday, tallied seven runs on 13 hits Saturday.

Howard (7-1) struck out nine in eight innings for his fifth straight win. The redshirt sophomore scattered five hits and two of the four runs he allowed were unearned, his ERA remaining at 2.24.

Howard, who walked three, threw a season-high 120 pitches, one week after a 118-pitch complete game against CSUN.

Michael Clark tossed a one-hit ninth for his 10th save, striking out one.

Cal Poly clinched at least third place with Saturday’s win as the Mustangs, with four conference games remaining on the schedule, are clear of the six teams behind them by at least five games.

Cal Poly remains one game behind second-place Cal State Fullerton, a 16-7 winner at CSUN, and four behind Long Beach State, an 8-4 victor against Hawai’i.

Only one scenario remains for Cal Poly’s hopes of a first-place finish in the Big West and an NCAA regional playoff berth. If Cal State Fullerton loses at CSUN on Sunday and Long Beach State loses its final four games, including three at Cal State Fullerton next weekend, the Mustangs would finish in a three-way tie for first place with the Titans and Dirtbags.

UC Santa Barbara held 2-0 and 4-2 leads.  Cal Poly caught the Gauchos at 2-2 with Morgan’s two-run home run in the fourth inning and at 4-4 with Morgan’s RBI double and Ogrin’s run-scoring single in the sixth.

The Mustangs grabbed the lead for good with three runs in the seventh. Marinconz opened with a single and, one out later, Meyer singled. With two outs, Ogrin scored both runners with a double to the gap in left-center field. Morgan followed with a run-scoring double down the left-field line.

With a three-run cushion, Howard struck out three in the seventh and retired the side in order in the eighth before giving way to Clark in the ninth. Clark gave up a leadoff bad-hop single before inducing Kenny Corey to hit into a double play. Clark then struck out Dempsey Grover to end the game.

For the second straight game, UCSB was held to six hits. First baseman Austin Bush led the way with a double in the first which led to the first two runs of the game and a two-run home run in the fifth inning, his 17th of the year and raising his season RBI total to 52. Bush has hit seven home runs in his last seven games.

The loss went to Kevin Chandler (0-2), the second of three Gaucho pitchers used in the game. Chandler allowed the three runs in the seventh frame. Starter Kyle Nelson gave up four runs (two earned) and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts.

Sunday’s series finale begins at noon with Cal Poly seeking its first series sweep of the year.

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