SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Redshirt freshman Drew Thorpe tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering five hits, and redshirt freshman Brooks Lee produced three hits as Cal Poly opened its four-game Big West Conference baseball series against Cal State Fullerton with a 5-1 victory Friday night inside Baggett Stadium.
Thorpe (5-5), now 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in eight starts at home, struck out eight and walked three, throwing 111 pitches, for the Mustangs, who snapped a six-game losing streak and had lost nine of their last 10 games.
Cal Poly is 21-24 for the season and 11-18 in the Big West while Cal State Fullerton fell to 19-25 and 12-13. The Titans have won 30 conference titles in 45 Division I seasons and have never had a losing season in their Division I history.
Cal Poly scored five times in the first three innings and never looked back. Cal State Fullerton averted a shutout in the ninth inning on a pinch-hit single to left-center field by Austin Schell.
Tate Samuelson's single up the middle scored the first Mustang run in the opening frame. Cole Cabrera singled to third base in the second and, when the throw skipped past first base, Sam Biller was able to score from second base.
The three-run third-inning Mustang uprising was highlighted by Taison Corio's single to right field and Joe Yorke's two-run single to left field.
That proved to be more than enough for Thorpe and reliever Kyle Scott.
Thorpe gave up a double and single to open the game but an infield pop-up and a Mustang double play ended the threat. The Titans had two runners on base with one out in the fourth but were turned away and Cal Poly turned a double play in the fifth after a leadoff walk.
In the Titan seventh, two singles and a walk failed to produce a run as a Cal State Fullerton runner was gunned down at third by Cal Poly catcher Myles Emmerson trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt.
Scott secured the final five outs in relief of Thorpe.
The loss was charged to Titan junior right-hander Tanner Bibee (6-5) as he allowed all five Mustang runs, four earned, and 10 hits over four innings with one walk and a pair of strikeouts.
Lee's three hits -- two singles and a double -- boosted his batting average to .330. Biller added a double and single while Emmerson and Samuelson both contributed a pair of singles as Cal Poly compiled 13 hits, the most since a 15-hit offensive attack at CSUN on March 22, a stretch of 28 games.
Left fielder Caden Connor singled and doubled for Cal State Fullerton and right fielder Deylan Pigford added a double.
The two teams play a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday with southpaws Andrew Alvarez (5-3, 4.57 ERA) and Travis Weston (4-6, 3.50 ERA) on the mound for Cal Poly.
The series finale on Sunday also starts at 1 o'clock.
Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics