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Cal Poly Upsets No. 8 USC 5-4 in Opener of Non-Conference Series

Cal Poly Upsets No. 8 USC 5-4 in Opener of Non-Conference Series

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior right-hander Casey Bloomquist earned his first win, senior right-hander Danny Zandona tossed a three-inning save and junior designated hitter Mark Mathias snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-run single as Cal Poly upset No. 8 Southern California 5-4 in the opener of a three-game non-conference baseball series Friday night before 1,846 in Baggett Stadium.

In outhitting the Trojans 11-7 and taking advantage of three USC errors, Cal Poly improved to 7-11 for the season. Southern California fell to 17-5.

Bloomquist (1-2) allowed four runs (two earned) and six hits in six-plus innings before giving way to Zandona with nobody out and USC runners at first and second. Bloomquist struck out three and walked two.

Zandona allowed the two inherited Trojan runners to score, closing the gap to 5-4, but shut the door on USC the rest of the way, retiring the final seven Trojan batters of the game, four via strikeout, for his third save.

USC starter Tyler Gilbert (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

Cal Poly scored all of its runs in the sixth inning after USC had built a 2-0 cushion. The Mustangs sent 10 batters to the plate, A sacrifice fly by senior center fielder Jordan Ellis tallied the first run and the remaining four came home after the Trojans committed a two-out error.

Junior third baseman John Schuknecht scored on the infield error, tying the game at 2-2, and Mathias (pictured above) drilled a 2-2 pitch to the gap in left-center field for a two-run single. Junior shortstop Peter Van Gansen capped the uprising with a run-scoring single to left field.

USC scored twice in the seventh on center fielder Timmy Robinson's triple to right-center field, but the Trojans couldn't get the tying run home.

Cal Poly's 11 hits included three singles by Mathias, two singles by junior first baseman Brian Mundell and a triple by sophomore catcher Brett Barbier. Schuknecht ended a 3-for-45 slump with three singles.

USC third baseman Blake Lacey contributed a single and double.

Cal Poly had other scoring opportunities, stranding 11 runners on the basepaths. The Mustangs had runners at first and second with one out in the first inning, first and third with two outs in the fourth, third with one out in the fifth, second with two outs in the seventh and left the bases loaded in the eighth as senior left fielder Zack Zehner flied out to deep center field.

Second game of the series will be played Saturday night at 6 with freshman southpaw Kyle Smith (1-3, 4.03) on the mound for Cal Poly against USC junior left-hander Kyle Twomey (3-1, 2.67 ERA).

The series finale is set for Sunday at 1 o'clock.