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ESPN +Cal Poly splits a doubleheader with Bakersfield

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – With overcast conditions persisting through most of Friday, the Cal Poly Mustangs kicked off the doubleheader with a fantastic 7-2 win over Cal State Bakersfield, highlighted by Ryan Stafford’ss single-game career high 5 RBIs.

Despite a solid game two performance on the mound from Steven Brooks, Cal Poly was unable to match the Roadrunners’ small ball play style and dropped a 5-0 result in the doubleheader split.

During Friday’s 7-2 opening win, the Mustangs overcame an early hole and multiple hitless innings with a strong scoring run in the middle of the game to seal the victory.

Cal State Bakersfield opened up the game with a batter hit by a pitch, a double down the right field line, and a walk before the number five batter grounded out for an RBI to go up 1-0.

Jakob Wright and CSUB’s starter traded no-hit innings from the bottom of one to the top of five. Cal Poly found its first hit in the fifth as Aaron Casillas, the former Roadrunner, tallied a single up the middle. Jake Steels then grounded a fieldable ball, but the speedster beat out a tight call at first to put runners on the corners.

Building on the breakthrough from Casillas and Steels, Ryan Stafford swung the momentum in Cal Poly’s direction with a hard-hit line drive into the right field corner, easily scoring Casillas before Steels used his speed to wheel all the way across home plate from first.

A third straight hit, this one from Ryan Fenn, scored Stafford. Yorke continued adding to his program record career RBI total by knocking a double firmly into left field, rounding Fenn in the process for a 4-1 lead. This increased Yorke’s hit streak to nine games.

In the top of the 6th, Jakob Wright began to catch fire in response to the offensive support, striking out four Roadrunners in a row while holding a streak of five no-hit frames. Cal State Bakersfield had to wait until the 7th to finally get its second hit of the game.

In the 6th, an Evan Cloyd walk and a pair of singles from Cam Hoiland and Steels loaded the bases. Stafford drove in two while keeping runners on the corners and increasing the Cal Poly lead to 6-1.

A string of solid hits from the Roadrunners had bases loaded both before and after they drove in a run to decrease their deficit to four during the seventh inning.

Stafford hit his fifth RBI of the game, setting his new single-game career high while putting CSUB behind by five again in the bottom of the eighth. That lead was protected by Ryan Baum who pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings for the save as Wright earned the 7-2 win.

During the 5-0 second leg loss, Bakersfield utilized sacrifice bunts in the latter half of the game to help pump up an early lead and split the doubleheader.

Cal State Bakersfield mimicked its start from the opening game, with the same exact player hitting an RBI to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Ryan Stafford answered in the bottom of the frame by extending his hit streak to a new personal season-high 13 games.

The Mustangs scattered hits throughout the game, even putting runners in scoring position a few times, but could not convert them into scores as CSUB’s defense made athletic stops on multiple occasions.

Steven Brooks, one of the most efficient pitchers in the entire country with a K/BB ratio in the top-10, settled down after committing a handful of HBP in the first half of the contest. Despite being assessed the loss, Brooks ended up pitching seven complete innings, notching another quality start by allowing just two runs on four hits.

Bakersfield broke through again with an RBI-single up the middle in the 7th, extending to a 2-0 lead. The Roadrunners doubled their lead with a pair of sacrifice bunts in the top of the 8th. After that, CSUB grabbed an insurance run by scoring for the third straight inning with an RBI-single in the 9th.

The deciding series finale, weather permitting, is currently set for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at Baggett Stadium.

(Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics)

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