SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Dartmouth scored four runs in the sixth to open up an 8-2 lead at Cal Poly on Wednesday afternoon, only to have the host Mustangs answer with six runs in the bottom half and the winning run in the seventh, sending the Big Green to a 9-8 defeat. David Armendariz singled home Jimmy Allen to lift Cal Poly (13-7) to the win. Senior Joe Sclafani and freshman Nick Lombardi each banged out three hits in the third straight defeat for Dartmouth (2-7).
The Mustangs struck first with two runs in the first against junior left-hander Kyle Hunter, who walked two of the first three hitters and surrendered a single in between to load the bases with nobody out. Third baseman Nick Lombardi speared a hard smash with a backhand stab and was able to get a force at third, but the first run crossed the plate. After first baseman Dustin Selzer gunned down a runner trying to score on a ground ball, Armendariz reached on an infield single that trickled far enough away to allow Nick Torres to score from second.
Dartmouth responded with a pair of runs in the second after Cal Poly hurler Bryan Granger retired the first two hitters. Freshman Matt Robinson beat out an infield hit and scored when Lombardi ripped a double down the left-field line. Another freshman, catcher Matt MacDowell, tied the game with a single to left-center.
In the third, the Big Green knocked Granger from the game by loading the bases with two down. Michael Dingilian trotted in from the bullpen and promptly uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Sclafani to score from third. Lombardi then dropped a single into center field, plating junior Ennis Coble. But Robinson was gunned down at the plate trying to score as well.
Robinson started the sixth by pulling a double into the right-field corner and took third on Lombardi’s third hit of the day. Dingilian got the next two Big Green hitters out without a run scoring, but Dartmouth was able to create some more two-out magic. Lombardi first stole second, and both runners scored on an infield hit from freshman Matt Parisi. Sclafani delivered an RBI double, then scored when Coble greeted reliever Michael Holback with a single to right-center. Dartmouth threatened to score more when Selzer walked, but senior David Turnbull’s liner to short was snared for the third out.
Hunter, meanwhile, cruised through the second through fifth innings, allowing just three base runners and picking off one of them. But Cal Poly wasted little time in getting back into the game after the Big Green’s big inning as Torres was hit by a pitch and the next four batters singled to make it an 8-4 game with the bases loaded and no one out. Hunter got the first out on strikes before Mike Miller stroked a two-run double, bringing the Mustangs within two.
Freshman Thomas Olson was summoned from the bullpen and retired the first batter he faced on a routine pop to second. But the three-hole hitter, Mitch Haniger, worked the count full before tying the game with a two-run double.
In the bottom of the seventh, Allen led off with a double and scored the go-ahead run on Armendariz’ single between third and short.
Cal Poly reliever Reed Reilly (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings to earn the victory, and Chase Johnson fanned two of the three batters in the ninth to pick up his fourth save.
Taking the loss was Olson (0-2) in relief of Hunter, who surrendered the first eight Mustang runs in 5.1 innings on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
Both Sclafani and Lombardi went 3-for-4 with a double to lead the 11-hit Dartmouth attack, while Lombardi and Parisi each drove in two runs.
Armendariz was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs for Cal Poly, with Miller, Haniger and Allen all collecting two safeties as the Mustangs had 12 hits as a team.
Dartmouth begins a three-game series at UC Irvine (11-8) on Thursday evening at 9:30 p.m. (EDT), and Cal Poly hosts San Diego State for a four-game set, beginning with a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. (PDT).
|Cal Poly Rallies to Defeat Baseball, 9-8|