Cal Poly survives elimination to set up 6 p.m. rematch with Pepperdine

June 1, 2014
Zach Zehner responded from Saturday's fielding miscue by homering in his first at bat Sunday

Zach Zehner responded from Saturday’s fielding miscue by homering in his first at bat Sunday

Ca Poly led 5-1 after four innings in an elimination game Sunday afternoon at Bagget Stadium, but barely held on to win 6-5 after Sacramento State rallied and placed the tying run on first base in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Also facing elimination, Sacramento State scored two runs in both the fifth and eighth innings. The Hornets’ two-run eighth came off Cal Poly closer Reed Reilly, who eked out a seven-out save.

The Mustangs now face Pepperdine at 6 p.m. Sunday in another elimination game for Cal Poly. Pepperdine, though, needs just one more win in order to advance from the San Luis Obispo Regional.

If Cal Poly beats Pepperdine Sunday evening, the Mustangs and Waves will square off again at 6 p.m. Monday in a winner-take-all game.

Junior right hander Danny Zandona will start for Cal Poly Sunday evening against Pepperdine sophomore righty Jackson McClelland. Zandona beat McCleland in a Tuesday game last month, but Pepperdine enters Sunday’s matchup with a rested bullpen while Cal Poly’s is not.

Mustang freshman starter Justin Calomeni pitched well through three innings Sunday, but gave up two runs in the fourth without recording an out.

Junior righty Bryan Granger relieved Calomeni and retired the first five batters he faced and recorded six outs while doing so. Granger pitched two and two thirds scoreless innings before turning over the game to Reilly with two outs in the seventh.

After surrendering two runs in the eighth, Reilly retired the first two hitters in the ninth. But, the Mustang closer then gave up a single and took 10 pitches to record the final out.

“We’re happy just to be playing in this Sunday night game,” Mustang Head Coach Larry Lee said after the game.

Reilly, who has pitched three and two thirds innings this weekend, is still available to pitch Sunday evening, Lee said.

Cal Poly’s other reliable reliever lefty Taylor Chris has yet to pitch in the regional.

“We still have enough in our bullpen for tonight,” Lee said. “If we get to tomorrow, I think we’re going to be good.”

Two Mustangs who made costly fielding miscues in the team’s Saturday night loss to Pepperdine rebounded Sunday afternoon with quality days at the plate. Junior outfielder Zach Zehner homered in his first at bat Sunday, and sophomore first baseman John Schuknecht had two hits and two RBIs.

Pepperdine beat Cal Poly 2-1 Saturday evening. The Waves rallied for two in the seventh after Zehner collided with center fielder Jordan Ellis on a fly ball and Schuknecht dropped a ball flared behind first base.