Cal Poly blanks Irvine to even series
May 10, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
Cal Poly pitching has struggled on Saturdays throughout the 2014 season. But on Saturday night with just one run of support, Mustang pitchers shut out first-place UC Irvine, and Cal Poly beat the Anteaters 1-0.
The Mustang victory evened the Big West Conference series which may decide the conference champion. Irvine is now 15-2 in the conference, and Cal Poly is 15-5.
Freshman right hander Justin Calomeni delivered his best collegiate performance Saturday, pitching six scoreless innings and walking no one. Calomeni struck out six and allowed just two hits, one of which came on a chopper bobbled by third baseman Jimmy Allen.
Allen drove in the only run of the game on a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth. Mustang right fielder Nick Torres scored the run after leading off the inning with a double.
At the conclusion of the sixth inning, Calomeni had only thrown 75 picthes, but Head Coach Larry Lee lifted him. Reliable reliever Taylor Chris pitched the seventh and closer Reed Reilly pitched the eighth and ninth innings, earning the save.
Neither Chris, nor Reilly allowed an Anteater to reach base. Chris threw a total of 11 pitches, and Reilly threw 13, leaving both relievers available for Sunday’s rubber match.
Calomeni, who has struggled in recent weeks in the role of the Saturday starter, earned his eighth win of the year. He is 8-2 with a 3.56 ERA entering the final regular season start of his freshman campaign.
Irvine lefty Elliot Surrey pitched eight innings, allowing eight hits and just the one run. Surrey, a junior lefty nicknamed Yo-Yo Ma by Irvine super fan Keith Franklin, lowered his ERA to 1.99 in the loss.
Surrey does not throw hard, but he commands multiple offspeed pitches, particularly a curveball, just as master yo-yo players spin trick throws. Surrey’s nickname is unrelated to cello performance, Franklin said.
Saturday’s game lasted just 1 hour and 48 minutes, making it the shortest game in Cal Poly’s Division 1 history. Though they attended a night game, fans left Baggett Stadium before darkness had fallen.
Cal Poly and Irvine will play the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. Sunday is Senior Day, as it is Cal Poly’s final home game of the regular season.
Sophomore righty Casey Bloomquist (10-1, 1.40) will pitch for Cal Poly against Irvine senior right hander Evan Brock (8-3, 2.85).