Mustang seniors ignite sweep of Northridge on Senior Day
May 20, 2013
Cal Poly second baseman Denver Chavez waited a long time during his senior year to enter a home run trot. On Senior Day, Chavez jogged around the bases after Northridge starter John Salas threw his second pitch of the game.
Four innings after Chavez led off the game with a homerun, catcher Elliot Stewart, the only other Mustang senior in the lineup on Senior Day, led off the fifth with a blast over the left-center field wall. Chavez and Stewart combined to drive in Cal Poly’s first five runs, leading the Mustangs to a 7-2 victory and a series sweep of Northridge.
The win pulled Cal Poly (35-17, 15-9) into a second place tie with the Matadors (31-23, 15-9) in the Big West Conference with only three games left to play. Cal Poly also maintained its 23rd national ranking in the computer generated Ratings Percentage Index, which indicates that the Mustangs enter the final series of the year in strong contention for a postseason birth in the 64-team NCAA tournament.
Cal Poly’s typical Tuesday starter Casey Bloomquist took the mound for the first time in the weekend rotation and pitched seven and a third innings to pick up his second victory of the week. Bloomquist allowed two runs and struck out six batters without issuing a walk in his longest start of the year.
The Mustangs received plenty of production from the bottom of its batting order, as Stewart had two hits and drove in three runs from the seventh spot, first baseman John Schuknecht had two hits and a run batted in from the eighth spot and shortstop Peter Van Gansen had a hit and drove in a run while batting ninth.
Chavez improved his batting average to a team best .365, going two for five with two runs batted in and one run scored. Stewart’s home run was his eight of the season and third of the week.
Both of the seniors’ home runs came off Salas, who took the loss, surrendering four runs in five innings.
Mustang closer Reed Reilly entered the game in the eighth and recorded the final five outs of the game.
Cal Poly will play its final three games of the regular season in Stockton, where the Mustangs will face the University of Pacific in a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series. Two victories in Stockton will most likely assure Cal Poly an NCAA tournament birth.