Cal Poly clinches series as Davis walks, balks its way to loss
March 30, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Saturday starting pitching struggles continued for fifth-ranked Cal Poly in the second game of its conference-opening series with UC Davis.
Freshman righty Justin Calomeni lasted four innings Saturday at Baggett Stadium, allowing seven hits and three runs. But, the Mustang offense eked out five runs, and lefty reliever Taylor Chris pitched five scoreless innings to secure a 5-3 win.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Cal Poly scored three runs with two outs. The first two of the runs came on balks by UC Davis starter Max Cordy with Mustang catcher Chris Hoo at the plate and runners on third. Hoo (3-4, 2 RBI) then drove in the third run of the inning on a single to center. Three walks preceded the two balks and the RBI single.
In the top of the fifth, Calomeni allowed a walk and a single to start the inning, and Head Coach Larry Lee pulled the freshman right-hander. Chris then came in, pitched out of the jam and threw the remaining four innings of the game. The junior lefty made only 51 pitches in five scoreless innings of work. He picked up his second win of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.61.
Calomeni, making his third weekend start, took over the Saturday role after fellow freshman Slater Lee began to falter. Lee began his collegiate career by beating Kansas State and shutting out defending national champion UCLA, but his ERA has since skyrocketed to 7.18. Calomeni (5-1) began his freshman season with four Tuesday victories. Since joining the weekend rotation, his ERA has risen from 1.61 to 3.19.
Lee has not indicated plans to use anyone other than the freshman righties in the Saturday starting role. Other than ace Matt Imhof and Sunday starter Casey Bloomquist, only righty reliever Danny Zandona has started a game for Cal Poly this season. Zandona (1-0, 3.66) won his lone start, pitching six innings and allowing one run against an over matched Northern Illinois team.
Offensively, Hoo led the Mustangs Saturday with a double and a pair of RBI singles. The Mustang 9-hitter now has 20 RBIs for the year.
Left fielder Tim Wise added two hits, the second of which was an RBI triple that nearly turned into an inside the park homerun. Wise tried to come all the way around the bases in the sixth after launching a high fly ball off the left field wall. The Davis relay throw barely nabbed him at the plate.
With the victory Saturday, Cal Poly (22-4) clinched the series against Davis. Bloomquist (5-0, 1.82) will take the mound Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Mustangs go for a sweep of the Aggies.