Jarred Zill and Michael Clark combined on a four-hitter and 12 strikeouts as Cal Poly opened Big West Conference play with a 2-1 victory over CSUN on Friday night inside Baggett Stadium.
In winning his second straight start, Zill (2-4) struck out six over 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits. Clark earned his fourth save with 3 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings on the mound, also striking out six.
Cal Poly, which has won eight of its last 12 games after a 2-9 start, improved to 10-13 for the year by scoring single runs in the third and fourth innings to overcome an early 1-0 deficit. CSUN fell to 12-14.
CSUN opened the scoring with a run in the third inning. Andrew Lucas tripled down the right-field line and came home on a single to center field by Jose Ruiz.
Cal Poly quickly answered in the bottom of the third as Dylan Doherty led off with a double to left-center field, advanced to third on a foul fly ball down the first-base line and came home on Bradlee Beesley’s single up the middle.
The Mustangs took the lead in the fourth. Nick DiCarlo led off with a single to right field, advanced to second on Noah Taylor’s walk, moved to third on Connor Gurnik’s bunt single in front of the plate and scored on a single up the middle by Myles Emmerson.
Cal Poly squandered numerous other opportunities to score. The Mustangs outhit CSUN 9-3 in the first five innings but led only 2-1 as they left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth frames and stranded 11 runners on base in the first six innings.
The loss went to CSUN southpaw Wesley Moore (3-2) as he allowed all nine Mustang hits and the two runs in five innings with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Cal Poly’s offense was sparked by Beesley, DiCarlo and Doherty, each with a pair of hits. Batting .083 entering the Saint Mary’s series, Doherty is 4-for-8 in his last five games to lift his average 105 points.
CSUN’s four hits were by four different players.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. with Cal Poly junior right-hander Bobby Ay (2-0, 3.07 ERA) to face CSUN senior southpaw Isaiah Nunez (4-2, 3.62 ERA).
The series finale Sunday starts at 1 o’clock.
–Provided by Cal Poly