SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior southpaw Jeff McKenzie scattered nine hits and threw 142 pitches in his fourth complete game of the season as CSU Bakersfield defeated Cal Poly 6-4 in the final game of a three-game non-conference baseball series Sunday afternoon in Baggett Stadium.
McKenzie (5-4) struck out five and walked four as the Roadrunners salvaged a victory in the series, improving to 20-25 on the year and snapping a five-game losing streak. Cal Poly, which won Friday 6-1 and Saturday 11-4, slipped to 29-20 for the season.
CSU Bakersfield scored twice in the first inning and, after Cal Poly tallied three runs in the second frame, answered with three runs of its own in the third to take the lead for good at 5-3. Both teams scored a run in the seventh as Cal Poly could not get any closer than two runs the rest of the way.
CSU Bakersfield's 12-hit offensive attack included a double and two singles by left fielder Kevin Younger. Catcher Cael Brockmeyer, second baseman Oscar Sanay and first baseman Dylan Christensen each added two hits for the Roadrunners.
Senior shortstop Mike Miller produced another three-hit game for Cal Poly, the seventh time in his last 13 contests that he has collected three or more hits. Miller also has a pair of two-hit games during that run and has gone 28-for-59 (.475) in the last four weeks.
Miller (pictured above) was 8-for-13 in the weekend series with one double, one RBI and two runs scored.
Sophomore catcher Chris Hoo added two singles and is 16-for-46 (.348) in his last 15 games to lift his average 52 points to .236.
Junior second baseman Denver Chavez added a solo home run, his first of the season, in the seventh inning to cut CSU Bakersfield's lead to 6-4.
Sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen led off the eighth inning with a single but was erased on a double-play ball and Miller singled with two outs in the ninth but was stranded at first base as sophomore designated hitter Tim Wise fouled out with Big West home run and RBI leader Mitch Haniger standing in the on-deck circle, ending the game.
Sophomore left fielder Matt Russell, given a second chance after a dropped foul pop-up, doubled to drive in two runs in the second inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chavez to give Cal Poly its short-lived 3-2 lead.
CSU Bakersfield regained the upper hand with three runs in the top of the third, chasing Mustang starter Kyle Brueggemann (4-4). Oscar Sanay singled in one run, J.P. Maestas doubled in another and Christensen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the third run.
Andrew Letourneau's safety squeeze bunt in the seventh gave the Roadrunners an insurance run at 6-3.
Brueggemann allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in absorbing the loss. He walked one and struck out three. Freshman southpaw Matt Imhof and frosh right-hander Reed Reilly combined to pitch six scoreless innings in relief for the Mustangs.
CSU Bakersfield stranded 14 runners on the basepaths while the Mustangs left seven on base.
Cal Poly visits CSU Bakersfield for a final meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Hardt Field.