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Cal Poly belts 6 home runs in win at Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. – With an astounding six home runs against the Mountain West’s number one team, the Mustangs (26-16, 15-6 BW) reset their third best mark in D1 program history in a 13-8 win over Fresno State (27-17, 14-7 MW) to seal a series tie in the home-and-home midweek game.

After going the first 13 games of the season without a long bomb, the Mustangs have tallied 16 home runs in their last nine games including the explosion against Fresno State tonight. Stafford and Daudet each hit a pair of home runs, making it the third time in Cal Poly’s D1 era that two Mustangs hit multiple homers in the same game.

Ryan Stafford also extended his hit streak to 22 games, which is the fifth-longest in the program’s D1 history. With plenty of help from steady bats and quality pitching, the Mustangs have now won 22 of their last 33 games after a tough 2-7 start in February and March.

The Mustangs wasted no time as it only took Jake Steels four pitches to lead off with his 4th home run of the season, sending a ball far over the left-center wall and quickly quieting the road crowd in a revenge game for Cal Poly.

Zach Daudet, who has been outstanding through the month of April, fired the game’s second home run and his third in two weeks over the left-center wall to emulate Steels in the second inning, delivering a 2-0 lead to Cal poly.

Continuing in the second inning, Owen Firestone connected on his first hit of the season after filling in for Ryan Stafford at catcher. Stafford, taking over in left field but staying in the second spot of the lineup, crushed Cal Poly’s third home run of the day – his team-leading fifth of the year – to put another pair of runs on the board.

During the bottom of the second, Fresno State finally found an answer to Cal Poly’s early scoring. The Bulldogs strung together two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch to flip the game on its head and score five runs for a 5-4 lead.

In response, Daudet doubled up on his season home run count by blasting another over the left-center wall for a triplet of RBIs and a renewed 7-5 lead. After struggling to find hits all season, Daudet has exponentially inflated his production over the last few weeks, now tied for second on the team with four home runs.

The Mustangs and Bulldogs traded blows in the middle innings with Stafford adding to his RBI total with a double in the fourth before Dylan Kordic notched a single to put Cal Poly up 9-7. In the sixth, Zach Daudet delivered a 2-RBI single that took his total on the day to a career-high six while also topping Joe Yorke’s and Stafford’s season-high mark for 2024.

Stafford took his RBI total to 4 after also smacking his second home run of the day in the seventh. Not long after, in the eighth inning, Braxton Thomas came up big again for the Mustangs with his second home run of the season and sixth of the day, the most Cal Poly has hit this season. In just four games since shedding his redshirt, the true freshman Thomas has collected two home runs and five RBIs.

With the Bulldogs hitting the game’s eighth total home run, Fresno State was able to pull one back to shorten the Cal Poly lead at 13-8. Despite 13 runners left on for the Bulldogs and a late attempted surge, the Mustangs held out for the well-deserved five-run win.

Cal Poly now holds its own fate in its hands with a road series at UC Irvine this weekend. Although the three teams at the top of the Big West – UCSB, UCI, and CSUN – all have games in-hand, the Mustangs must get through the Anteaters to still have a chance at the conference title. The first pitch of the series is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday.

(Article courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics)

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