SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Drew Thorpe struck out nine over seven innings for his fourth win of the season and Collin Villegas drove in two runs with a single, double and triple as Cal Poly opened its four-game non-conference baseball series against Dixie State with a 12-3 victory Friday night inside Baggett Stadium.
Thorpe (4-0) allowed an uncharacteristic five walks, matching his career high set against both USC and CSUN a year ago, but scattered four hits in the 108-pitch performance. The only runs he allowed came courtesy of a two-run home run by Will Chambers, his first of the season, in the second inning.
The blast gave Dixie State a 2-0 lead, but Cal Poly answered with two in the bottom of the second, five in the third and four in the sixth to turn the game around.
In winning its third straight game and for the eighth time in nine contests, Cal Poly improved to 15-10 for the year, climbing five games above the .500 mark for the first time this season. Dixie State, playing Cal Poly for the first time and in its second year of transition to Division I, fell to 13-11.
Villegas lifted his average to .299 with a leadoff double sparking the two-run second inning rally, a single to right-center field in the five-run third-inning uprising and a two-run triple off the left-center field wall in the four-run sixth.
Villegas is 12-for-30 (.400) over his last nine games with six doubles, a triple and 12 RBIs, raising his average 83 points.
Nick Marinconz contributed three singles and one RBI as he is hitting .372 for the season, going 10-for-22 (.454) with two doubles and four RBIs in his last six games, while Joe Yorke added two singles and an RBI as Cal Poly outhit Dixie State 15-6.
Tate Samuelson added two singles and a run-scoring double for two RBIs while Brooks Lee belted his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right field, in the third inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Lee has 31 RBIs for the year. Matt Lopez chipped in with a single, a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring groundout.
Dixie State's six hits were by six different hitters.
Brett Porthan (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
Following Thorpe to the mound were a pair of Mustang relievers making their season debuts. Bryce Warrecker, sidelined by an injury, retired the Trailblazers in order in the eighth inning with just 10 pitches on a groundout and two fly balls to the outfield while Sebastian Kirchner, a transfer from Folsom Lake Community College, struck out two in a one-run ninth-inning performance.
Cal Poly and Dixie State will play a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. On the mound in the opener will be Mustang freshman right-hander Steven Brooks (0-1, 3.14 ERA) against Trailblazer sophomore right-hander Dillon Holliday (2-3, 5.64 ERA) while the nightcap 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game pits Cal Poly junior southpaw Travis Weston (2-1, 5.88 ERA) versus Dixie State freshman righty Blake Milne (1-1, 1.80 ERA).
Sunday's series finale starts at noon.
(Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics).