Cal Poly responds to rude introduction with first tournament win
June 1, 2013
The Cal Poly baseball team entered the Los Angeles Regional Friday as a relative unknown. The public address announcer at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson stadium knew neither the location, nor mascot of the squad’s school.
The announcer welcomed the Mustangs to the 2013 NCAA Tournament by calling them the “Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.” Following outcry from the Mustang cheering section, the announcer issued corrections in the forms of “Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Broncos” and “Cal Poly Pomona Mustangs.”
Starting pitcher Joey Wagman heard the announcer error while he was warming up with catcher Elliot Stewart and pitching coach Thomas Eager and said he was not surprised by the lack of respect.
“We weren’t mad,” Wagman said. “We just had the look on our faces like that’s pretty standard.”
After Cal Poly scored six runs in the sixth inning in route to a 9-2 regional opening victory over the University of San Diego, the Mustangs began receiving the respect that Wagman said they deserved.
“I think you need to give Cal Poly credit,” San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill said after the game. “They are tied for first as the best team that we played this year.”
The Mustang victory marked the Cal Poly baseball program’s first NCAA Tournament win at the Division 1 level. In its only previous regional appearance, Cal Poly went 0-2 in 2009.
Wagman pitched eight innings, allowing one earned run, to record his 13th win of the year, a new school record. In the fifth inning, with Cal Poly trailing San Diego 2-1 and the nation’s home run leader at the plate with two runners on base and no outs, Wagman struck out Kris Bryant, a projected top ten draft pick in this week’s Major League Baseball Draft.
After Wagman pitched out of a jam in the top of the fifth, the Mustang bats responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and six in the bottom of the sixth.
Freshman Designated Hitter Brian Mundell led the offense with four runs batted in. Mundell homered to dead center in his very first NCAA Tournament at bat, then contributed a deep sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and a bases loaded single in the sixth.
Mustang third baseman Jimmy Allen added four hits and two runs batted in.
Regional host UCLA followed Cal Poly’s victory by beating San Diego State 5-3. The Mustangs will play the Bruins Saturday at 6 p.m. in a pivotal game in the double elimination tournament.