Cal Poly cruises in conference opener
March 28, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Cal Poly plated seven runs in the first inning, and ace pitcher Matt Imhof threw his first collegiate shutout in an 8-0 home win over UC Davis Friday night in the Big West Conference opener.
Imhof (6-1), sitting at 87-91 mph, struck out 13 Aggie batters and did not allow a walk in a 123-pitch complete game outing. The junior lefty and rising Major League Baseball draft prospect surrendered just four hits and lowered his ERA to 1.05.
Six Mustang hits, including two doubles, sparked the seven-run outburst in the first inning against Davis pitcher Harry Stanwyck. Cal Poly added a run in the fourth when center fielder Jordan Ellis scored from second base on sacrifice fly to deep center field by designated hitter Brian Mundell.
The victory bumped Cal Poly’s overall record to 21-4. The Mustangs entered Big West play ranked 5th in the country in the Baseball America (BA) poll, the highest ranking in school history.
Perennial conference favorite Cal State Fullerton (14-8) is ranked 9th nationally, and UC Santa Barbara (17-4), which dropped its conference opener to Hawaii Friday, sits at 15th in the BA poll. The Gauchos will visit San Luis Obispo next weekend for a pivotal series early in conference play.
Rain is expected in the forecast Saturday evening, so Cal Poly plans to play an afternoon game against Davis tomorrow. Freshman righty Justin Calomeni will take the mound for the Mustangs, hoping to snap a string of recent poor outings by Cal Poly freshmen starters.
Head coach Larry Lee is still searching for a consistent Saturday starter to pitch in between the outings of Imhof and Casey Bloomquist, who is 5-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his sophomore campaign. Calomeni (5-1, 2.76 ERA) thrived as a Tuesday starter to open his collegiate career, but struggled in his first two weekend starts.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Baggett Stadium.