Bobby Ay earned his seventh victory, Michael Clark notched his eighth save and Nick DiCarlo doubled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning as Cal Poly clinched its three-game Big West Conference baseball series against Hawaii with a 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
Coach Larry Lee’s Mustangs maintained their one-game lead over UC Santa Barbara — a 4-2 winner over CSUN — in the Big West standings. Cal Poly is 12-2 in conference games (22-21 overall) while the Gauchos are 11-3 (35-7 for the season).
Hawaii fell to 19-24 overall and 7-10 in Big West games.
Since Hawaii joined the Big West seven years ago, Cal Poly has won every series in baseball, including sweeps in 2014 and 2015. The Mustangs are 16-4 against the Rainbow Warriors since and including the 2013 campaign.
Ay (7-0) scattered eight hits over 6 1/3 innings for the win, giving up two runs and two walks with seven strikeouts and throwing 106 pitches. Clark, who struck out two and allowed two hits and one walk in 2 2/3 scoreless innings, has two saves in the series, seven for the year and 19 for his Cal Poly career, No. 2 all-time.
The loss went to Hawaii starter Aaron Davenport (2-4), who surrendered three runs (two earned) and seven hits over six innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Colin Ashworth tossed two scoreless frames in relief.
Tate Samuelson led off Cal Poly’s second inning with a double to left-center field, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a two-out Hawaii throwing error.
The Rainbow Warriors grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third on Ethan Lopez’s two-run double down the left-field line.
Cal Poly answered with a run in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 2-2. Connor Gurnik was hit by a pitch with one out, advanced to second on Elijah Greene’s single to right-center field and came home on Bradlee Beesley’s RBI single to left field.
The Mustangs scored the go-ahead run with two outs in the fifth. Samuelson drew a walk, took second on Conagher Sand’s bad-hop single off the chest of Hawaii third baseman Dallas Duarte and gave Cal Poly a 3-2 lead on DiCarlo’s bloop double to left field.
Sands extended his hitting streak to 18 games, the team’s longest in six years (Nick Torres had an 18-game streak in 2013), with his fifth-inning single. He is eight shy of the school’s Division I record of 26 set by Ryan Lee in 2009.
Sands, now hitting .360, was one of seven Mustangs with one hit Saturday. Samuelson, DiCarlo and Cole Cabrera produced doubles. Myles Emmerson added a single and is hitting .422 in 14 Big West games.
Tyler Best belted a double and two singles to lead Hawaii’s 10-hit offensive attack. Maaki Yamazaki and Tyler Murray each added two hits.
Sunday’s series finale starts at 1 o’clock with Cal Poly sophomore southpaw Andrew Alvarez (1-1, 3.90 ERA) to face Hawaii junior right-hander Logan Pouelsen (2-2, 5.08 ERA).
The Mustangs have won eight consecutive Big West games with sweeps over UC Davis and Long Beach State since losing two of three games to Cal State Fullerton a month ago.
–Provided by Cal Poly