DAVIS, Calif. – Mitch Haniger's two-run seventh-inning home run tied the game at 6-6 and Cal Poly erupted for five runs in the eighth inning en route to a 12-7 victory over UC Davis in a Big West Conference baseball game Saturday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
With the win, the Mustangs evened the three-game series at a game apiece with the finale set for Sunday at 1 o'clock. Cal Poly is 27-18 for the season and 10-7 in conference games, tied for third place with UC Irvine, while UC Davis fell to 17-25 and 5-9.
The victory was the 300th for Larry Lee as head coach of the Mustangs. Lee (300-251-2) surpassed Berdy Harr (297-249-6 from 1973-83) as Cal Poly's winningest head baseball coach during the Pacific series a week earlier.
Sophomore right-hander Chase Johnson (3-4) earned the victory with 4 2/3 solid innings of relief work, allowing one run and three hits with no walks and no strikeouts. Starter Kyle Anderson, bidding for his eighth win of the season, surrendered six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
The loss went to Ben Burke (1-3), the second of three Aggie pitchers, as he allowed all five runs on five hits in the eighth inning. Aggie starter Tom Briner gave up six runs and nine hits in seven innings.
Cal Poly scored four runs in the third inning on the first of two five-hit rallies. Haniger (pictured above) produced an RBI single, David Armendariz walked with the bases loaded, Alex Michaels singled for an RBI and Chris Hoo's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
UC Davis answered with a run in the bottom of the third on a leadoff home run by Brett Morgan and took the lead with a five-run fifth-inning rally. Key hit was a three-run home run by Nick Lynch.
Haniger tied the game at 6-6 with his two-run blast to left field in the seventh inning, his 10th homer of the season.
Cal Poly shattered the deadlock with five runs on five more hits in the eighth. Michaels was hit by a pitch to start the uprising and that was followed by a sacrifice fly by Jordan Brower, RBI singles by Mike Miller and Haniger and run-scoring doubles by Tim Wise and Jimmy Allen.
Haniger now has 50 RBI on the year.
Nick Torres added a solo home run in the ninth inning, his fourth of the year.
Miller, Wise and Haniger each had three of Cal Poly's 15 hits – Haniger knocking in four runs and Miller and Wise adding one RBI each. Allen and Michaels both had two hits and an RBI.
Cal Poly's top four hitters in the batting order combined for 11 hits and seven RBI.
Tino Lipson collected three hits for UC Davis while Lynch, Scott Kalush and Paul Politi each added a pair.
True freshman right-hander Bryan Granger (0-1, 2.89 ERA) will start for Cal Poly in Sunday's series finale. UC Davis will counter with a freshman right-hander as well, Spencer Koopmans (0-1, 6.98 ERA).