Resurgent player, Hawaii errors propel Cal Poly to win

Apr. 21—An opportunistic offense, a momentum-squashing defensive play and a rejuvenated outfielder fueled the Cal Poly baseball team's 9-5 victory over Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium.

An opportunistic offense, a momentum-squashing defensive play and a rejuvenated outfielder fueled the Cal Poly baseball team's 9-5 victory over Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium.

"There's a lot to unpack from this game, " UH coach Rich Hill said.

The Mustangs took advantage of two UH errors in a five-run fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead, then added two runs in the eighth and another two in the ninth.

A crowd of 2, 892 saw the Mustangs even the series entering today's rubber game. The Mustangs, who started the weekend in a first-place tie with UC Irvine, improved to 22-15 overall and 12-5 in league play. The'Bows fell to 21-15 and 5-9.

"I thought they outhit us, " Hill said of the 13-8 disparity, "and their starter (Steven Brooks ) was really good. We look forward to Game 3."

The Mustangs closed to 2-1 on Zach Daudet's home run to left field to open the fifth inning. It was the second homer of the year for Daudet, who entered the series with one hit in 17 games. But Daudet, who converted from the infield, earned the left fielder's job because of his range in a mid-week game. On Friday, Daudet hit a two-run single. On Saturday, he crushed a pitch through the crosswinds in left.

"It started against left-handed pitching, and nobody was taking the corner-outfield spots, " Lee said of Daudet. "He's an infielder by trade, but I put him out there this week because he's athletic. He probably plays left field better than anybody we have. I didn't know that. You just see how the other players weren't producing. It's worked out well."

Following Daudet's homer, Jake Steeds walked and, one out later, advanced to second when UH shortstop Jordan Donahue mishandled a grounder. On the next at-bat, Joe Yorke hit a grounder that also had the possibility of a double play. But second baseman Stone Miyao, moving to his right, could not handle the grounder cleanly for an error to load the bases.

Alejandro Garza singled to left-center to bring home Steeds and Ryan Fenn for 3-2 lead. Aaron Casillas then singled to reload the bases. Dylan Kordic's sacrifice fly to center plated Yorke. Evan Cloyd's single brought home Garza with the Mustangs' fifth run of the inning.

The'Bows rallied for three runs in the eighth to close to 7-5, but could not cut the deficit further. In that inning, Jake Tsukada hit a run-scoring double on a chopper over Yorke at first. Austin Machado followed with a two-run single. After Kyson Donahue walked to fill the bases, Tanner Sagouspe was summoned to replace Ryan Baum.

In a two-pitch appearance on Friday, Sagouspe yielded the game-winning sacrifice fly. On Saturday, he induced Matthew Miura to pull a grounder down the third-base line. But Garza made a diving stop, stepped on third base and threw to first to complete the double play.

"He's not afraid, " Cal Poly coach said of his freshman third baseman. "He enjoys the moment. He's a competitor. He's a middle infielder by trade, but just fit in better for us because of who we have up the middle. He's been great. He's a very, very productive hitter. He's going to continue to get better."

Sagouspe struck out Jared Quandt to end the eighth-inning threat, then pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the two-inning save, his sixth of the season.

Brooks allowed two runs in seven innings to improve to 4-5.

The Mustangs scored five runs against Randy Abshier, but only one was earned, in 42 /3 innings. "I thought Randy was great all the way through, " Hill said. "He bent but did not break all the way through. He had a lot of poise on the mound. I thought he was awesome, even through the physical errors."