Darren Nelson earned his second victory of the season, Michael Clark notched his third save of the series and sixth of the year and Noah Taylor knocked in two runs with his first career three-hit game as Cal Poly completed a sweep of its Big West Conference baseball series against CSUN with a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
Nelson (2-4) scattered four hits over six-plus innings, allowing one run and striking out two, and was followed by three relievers, including Clark, who secured the final four outs with one strikeout.
Taylor produced a pair of RBI singles while Tate Samuelson and Dylan Doherty also drove in runs with singles for the Mustangs, who swept the series with a one-run decision Friday and back-to-back two-run victories Saturday and Sunday.
In sweeping its conference-opening series for the first time since its Big West championship season in 2014, Cal Poly improved to 12-13 and 3-0 in Big West games. The Mustangs, who swept UC Davis in their 2014 conference-opening series, have won 10 of their last 14 games following a 2-9 start.
CSUN fell to 12-16 and 0-3.
Gurnik produced his second three-hit game as a Mustang — he also had a three-hit-game in the Cal series — and scored a run while Taylor singled to drive in runs in the third and seventh innings.
Cal Poly scored twice in the third on run-scoring singles by Samuelson and Taylor and made it 3-0 in the sixth on Doherty’s single to right field. Doherty is 6-for-15 in his last seven games to lift his average 117 points to .205.
CSUN pulled to within a run in the seventh with a pair of runs. Robert Bullard tripled to drive in the first run and Brandon Bohning’s groundout made it 3-2. The Matadors nearly tied the game as Kyle Barrett doubled with one out, but Andrew Alvarez notched the final two outs on infield grounders.
Alvarez also earned two more infield groundouts in the eighth before giving way to Clark. After getting the final out in the eighth, Clark gave up a walk and the Mustangs committed an error in the ninth. With runners at first and second with one out, Clark recorded a strikeout and fly ball to the warning track in right field to close out the game.
Samuelson had two of Cal Poly’s 11 hits Sunday. Barret and Jose Ruiz both produced a pair of hits for CSUN.
The loss went to Matador starter Blake Sodersten (0-2) as he allowed two runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings with no walks and one strikeout. CSUN used five relievers.
Cal Poly hit a season-high .302 in the series, led by Gurnik (6-for-11, one double), Doherty (4-for-10, one double, one RBI) and Taylor (4-for-10, three RBI). The Mustang pitching staff compiled a 1.33 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Cal Poly plays four more home games next week, hosting Santa Clara on Tuesday night at 6 before entertaining defending Big West champion Cal State Fullerton for a three-game conference series Friday through Sunday.
–Provided by Cal Poly