SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- After its first 2-2 week of the 2017 season, the Cal Poly baseball team continues a 12-game home stand with four more home games this week, beginning Monday night with the Gonzaga Bulldogs for a single game inside Baggett Stadium.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1280 with Chris Sylvester on the mic. Links for live stats as well as audio and video streams are available above as well as on the baseball schedule page at www.GoPoly.com.
Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs opened last week with a 9-7 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday night, then bounced back from a pair of losses to Loyola Marymount with a 16-1 triumph in Sunday's series finale. The Mustangs hit .311 in the LMU series, led by center fielder Alex McKenna, left fielder Josh George and third baseman Michael Sanderson, each with five hits. George drove in six runs.
Though Cal Poly is 4-11 for the season, the Mustangs showed what they are capable of in Sunday's win over the Lions, erupting for 16 hits, 10 for extra bases. Elijah Skipps belted a two-run home run and a leadoff triple, Kyle Marinconz tied a school Division I record with three doubles and George and Nick Meyer both drove in four runs in the lopsided victory.
Gonzaga brings a 6-8 record into tonight's game, losing two of three games at Cal State Fullerton over the weekend. All three games of the series were decided by a single run.
Gonzaga won two games against Duke and lost twice against Indiana in a season-opening tournament at Surprise, Arizona. The Bulldogs then dropped two of three at UCLA and split a four-game series at Cal before heading to Cal State Fullerton last weekend.
After tonight's game, Gonzaga plays at UC Riverside on Tuesday before returning home to host Pacific for its first home games of the season, opening West Coast Conference play against the Tigers.
Cal Poly's top hitter through 11 games is McKenna, who went 5-for-11 in the Loyola Marymount series to lift his season average to .345. George is hitting at a .310 clip and leads the squad with 12 RBI while Sanderson owns a .291 average.
Junior southpaw Kyle Smith will start on the mound for Cal Poly tonight, opposed by Gonzaga freshman right-hander Casey Legumina.
Gonzaga is led offensively by third baseman Jeff Bohling (.350), second baseman Justin Jacobs (.345, nine RBI) and left fielder Sam Brown (.310). The Bulldogs own a 4.06 staff ERA, a .246 team batting average and has committed 12 errors in 14 games for a .977 fielding percentage.
Gonzaga is coming off a 36-21 campaign in 2016, finishing tied for first place in the West Coast Conference with an 18-9 record. The Bulldogs qualified for the NCAA Fort Worth Regional hosted by TCU and finished with a 1-2 record. They have claimed three West Coast Conference championships, including the regular-season title a year ago, and have made two appearances in the NCAA regionals.
Nineteen letter winners off last year's squad return, including six position starters and eight pitchers. Top returnees include Jacobs, who hit .333 with nine doubles and 23 RBI in 2016, center fielder Tyler Frost (.309, seven home runs, 49 RBI) and Bohling (.298, 23 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, 10 steals, 50 RBI).
The pitching staff is led by junior right-hander Eli Morgan (10-3, 3.73 ERA?in 2016).
Cal Poly and Gonzaga have met just once before and that game ended in an 8-8 tie called after eight innings due to a time limit rule utilized in the Johnny Quik Classic at Fresno State.
Cal Poly earned its 14th winning season since 2000 a year ago and reached the 30-win mark for the 11th time this century. The Mustangs were 23-8 at home last season and have won 136 of their last 180 home games for a winning percentage of 76 percent.
Cal Poly, which earned NCAA regional berths in 2009, 2013 and 2014, has finished fourth or higher in the Big West 12 times in its last 14 seasons, including back-to-back fourth-place finishes after capturing its first Big West championship in 2014.
Cal Poly hosts Wichita State (8-6) for a three-game series Friday through Sunday. First pitches are 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and 1 o'clock Sunday.
The Shockers won their first seven games of the season before being swept by Louisiana Tech and LSU the last two weekends.