With a two-run double in the eighth and a two-run single in the ninth, catcher Korey Lee highlighted Cal’s comeback from a 3-0 deficit and the Bears completed a sweep of their three-game weekend series against Cal Poly with a 5-3 triumph Sunday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
Cal Poly (1-6) scored its three runs in the sixth inning on Cole Cabrera’s single up the middle, a groundout and a Cal throwing error.
Cal (4-3) tied the game in the eighth on Darren Baker’s grounder and, after an intentional walk issued to Andrew Vaughn, Lee’s two-RBI double inside third base and down the left-field line.
Lee again came to the plate in the ninth after Vaughn was intentionally walked for the third time and delivered a two-run single to left-center field, snapping the 3-3 deadlock.
Arman Sabouri (1-1), Cal’s starter Friday night, pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win. Freshman Chase Watkins (0-1) suffered the loss.
The setback spoiled a brilliant performance on the mound by Mustang starter Darren Nelson. The sophomore right-hander retired the first 13 Cal batters of the game before John Lagattuta singled with one out in the fifth.
Nelson tossed six scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, striking out three Bears, before giving way to the bullpen.
Cal Poly, which was tied with Cal 2-2 after two innings Friday, led the Bears 4-2 after five frames Saturday and also had the lead on the Bears, 3-0, after seven innings of play Sunday, only to come up empty in the win column.
The Mustangs scored in just three of the 27 innings in the series — two in the second Friday, four in the first Saturday and three in the sixth Sunday. Cal Poly also lost all three games despite outhitting the Bears 26-24.
Designated hitter John Mackay singled three times to lead the Mustangs offensively Sunday. Cabrera, who turned in defensive gems Friday and Sunday with a diving catch near the line and another catch up against the wall, respectively, added two singles Sunday.
Center fielder Bradlee Beesley doubled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to seven games. The junior sports a .517 batting average.
Lee produced two hits and four RBI for Cal.
Cal Poly had two runners on base in the second, third and fourth innings but was turned away each time by Cal starter Grant Holman, who pitched five scoreless innings, scattering five hits.
The Mustangs left two more runners on base in both the eighth and ninth frames, stranding a dozen on the basepaths for the game.
Cal Poly hosts CSU Bakersfield for a single game Tuesday night at 6. The Mustangs defeated the Roadrunners 7-1 last Tuesday night.
Story written and provided by Cal Poly Athletics.