After squandering an early 3-0 lead, Cal Poly scored nine unanswered runs en route to a 12-4 victory over Hawai’i in the opener of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Friday night inside Baggett Stadium.
Catcher Myles Emmerson produced his second career four-hit game, driving in four runs with four singles, while Taylor Dollard and Michael Clark combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for the Mustangs, whose 12 runs scored represent the second-highest total of the season.
With the win, Cal Poly evened its record once again at 21-21 and improved to 11-2 in Big West games, maintaining its one-game lead over UC Santa Barbara (10-3), a 16-7 winner at CSUN. Hawai’i fell to 19-23 and 7-9.
First baseman Tate Samuelson belted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth inning, and was one of three Mustangs with a pair of hits. Shortstop Connor Gurnik and designated hitter Conagher Sands were the others.
Sands extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a second-inning single up the middle and he added a run-scoring single, also up the middle in the seventh for his 18th RBI of the season, 17 of them over Cal Poly’s last 12 games.
Emmerson drove in a run with each of his singles in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings. His other career four-hit game was against Michigan in the Tony Gwynn Classic in February 2018.
Emmerson, who was just 3-for-39 (.077) four weeks into the season, is hitting .429 in 13 Big West games, lifting his overall mark to .262.
Hawai’i overcame Cal Poly’s 3-0 lead with four runs in the fifth inning. Scotty Scott’s sacrifice fly scored the first run, Jack Kennelly singled to drive home two more runs and he came home from second base on a wild pitch.
Dollard and Clark shut the door on the Rainbow Warriors the rest of the way.
Cal Poly tied the game in the fifth on a Hawai’i throwing error and regained the upper hand with three runs in the sixth. Emmerson’s third RBI single of the game broke the tie and a wild pitch and fielder’s choice netted the other two runs.
The Mustangs pulled away with two runs in the seventh on Sands’ RBI single and a balk and three more in the eighth on Samuelson’s blast to left and Emmerson’s fourth run-scoring single of the game.
In all, Cal Poly scored in every inning but the first.
Mustang starter Chase Watkins pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six, before running into trouble in the fifth. Dollard (3-0) secured six outs, four via strikeout, for the win and Clark earned his seventh save with 2 1/3 scoreless frames.
The loss went to Carter Loewen (0-1), the second of five Hawai’i pitchers, as he allowed the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Each of the five Rainbow Warrior pitchers allowed at least one run. Starter Cade Smith gave up four runs (three earned) and six hits over five innings with five strikeouts in the no-decision.
Hawai’i’s eight hits included two singles by Alex Baeza and doubles by Scott and Ethan Lopez.
Second game of the series will be played Saturday at 4 p.m. with Cal Poly junior right-hander Bobby Ay (6-0, 3.28 ERA) to face Hawai’i freshman righty Aaron Davenport (2-3, 4.15 ERA).
Sunday’s series finale begins at 1 o’clock.
–Provided by Cal Poly