Cal Poly sweeps Cal State Fullerton
April 19, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
It seemed too easy. The clock had not even struck 3 p.m. Saturday and Cal Poly had already completed a sweep of Cal State Fullerton.
On Thursday, Fullerton arrived in San Luis Obispo sluggishly following the suspension of its coach. The Mustangs cruised to a 8-0 win.
On Friday, Fullerton had the starting pitching advantage. Cal Poly coach Larry Lee countered by riding his bullpen for nine scoreless innings until the offense broke through in the 13th.
On Saturday, Cal Poly’s primary relievers presumably had little left in the tank. Starter Casey Bloomquist allowed them to rest by going the distance, tossing a three-hit shutout.
Cal Poly won 3-0 Saturday in a game that took just one hour and 54 minutes. It was the team’s shortest game of the year.
In the bottom of the first, Cal Poly second baseman Mark Mathias led off the game for the Mustangs with a home run over the left center field wall. The home run was Mathias’s first as a Mustang, and it temporarily raised his season batting average to a high of .414.
Fullerton starter Grahmm Wiest retired the next three Mustangs in order. Still, before the start of the second inning, the Titan radio announcer indicated that he had seen enough to know Cal Poly had cinched the game.
Eight innings later, Fullerton’s play-by-play man proved correct. The Titans once loaded the bases against Bloomquist but never managed to score. The sophomore Mustang righty struck out eight Titans hitters in a 112-pitch complete game outing. Bloomquist improved to 9-0 and lowered his sparkling ERA to 1.36.
The Mustang offense only cranked out six hits after totaling 33 in the first two games of the series. Cal Poly’s second and third runs both came on a fifth inning triple by shortstop Peter Vangansen, who scored on the play after the Fullerton relay throw left the field..
Fullerton made two errors Sunday and eight total in the series. The Titan’s defense was as bad as advertised.
As was the Fullerton offense. The Titans mustered three runs total in the series. Cal Poly shutout Fullerton on Thursday and Saturday. The Mustang staff also shut out Fullerton over the final nine innings Friday, thus holding the Titans scoreless for the final 18 innings of the series.
A few weeks ago, Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook, who is currently on administrative leave, gave a post-game interview in which he said both the Titans offense and defense earned “F” grades midway through the season.
Vanderhook appeared correct in his assessment of his players. Nonetheless, it is he who is under investigation for wrongdoing.
A source close to the Cal State Fullerton program told CalCoastNews that some players’ parents are upset with Vanderhook.
The university has merely said that it received allegations that it must investigate.
Fullerton, the four-time defending Big West champion, dropped to 3-6 in the conference with the loss.
Cal Poly, the new conference heavyweight, sits atop the Big West standings with an 11-1 mark. Overall, Cal Poly improved to 34-5 and will surely hold its top-three national ranking.
The Mustangs are halfway through their conference schedule and have already won series against Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara, the two teams expected to compete with Cal Poly for conference supremacy.
“It’s just good,” Lee said after the game. “We’ve got through a rough stretch.”
Lee rarely shows much excitement on the field, but he even flashed a few smiles while taking photos after the game.
With about a month to go in the Mustang’s season, the lone struggle remains getting quality starting pitching on Saturdays. For the third time this season, freshman right handers Slater Lee and Justin Calomeni will trade places in the rotation. Slater Lee will start Tuesday against San Jose State and Calomeni will pitch Saturday at Long Beach State.
Cal Poly’s lone remaining home series will take place May 9-11 when the Mustangs host UC Irvine. The Anteaters are off to an 8-1 start in Big West play and are currently in second place behind Cal Poly.