May 10, 2014 1:47 AM by Bill Halter
The Cal Poly baseball dropped another game behind UC Irvine after losing 3-2 to the Anteaters at Baggett Stadium on Friday night. The 5th ranked Mustangs are now 2.5 games back in the Big West standings. 16th ranked UC Irvine is 15-1 in the Big West while Cal Poly is now 14-5.
2,582 fans showed up for the first place versus second place showdown in San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly junior Matt Imhof (8-4) struck out 13 batters in 8 innings but suffered the loss because of an unearned run allowed in the 5th inning. Imhof gave up three runs (two earned), three hits and four walks before being relieved by Reid Reilly who pitched a perfect 9th with 2 strikeouts.
UC Irvine senior right-hander Andrew Morales (9-0) struck out 9, walked 1 and scattered 5 hits over 8 innings. Morales gave up 2 runs to raise his ERA to 1.02. Morales is 19-0 in 2 seasons at UC Irvine and 40-1 in college, including a 21-1 mark in 2 years at Rio Hondo Community College.
Junior right-hander Sam Moore picked up his nation-leading 23rd save. After giving up a lead-off single to junior right fielder Nick Torres in the 9th, Moore struck out the next three batters to end the game.
UC Irvine scored a run in the second inning but Cal Poly answered with 2 in the third for a 2-1 lead. Senior catcher Chris Hoo led-off with a walk and sophomore shortstop Peter Van Gansen singled up the middle. A single to center field by sophomore second baseman Mark Mathias tied the game at 2-2 and Van Gansen scored on a safety squeeze bunt by junior center fielder Jordan Ellis.
UC Irvine regained the lead in the 5th with 2 runs. Left fielder Grant Palmer singled to center field to drive home the tying run. Imhof set up the winning run as his pick-off attempt to second base went into center field allowing the runner to reach third base. He scored on a sacrifice fly down the right-field line by shortstop Chris Rabago.
Cal Poly (39-10) will host UC Irvine (34-14) again on Saturday night as Mustang freshman right-hander Justin Calomeni (7-2, 3.92 ERA) will face Anteaters junior southpaw Elliot Surrey (6-2, 2.09 ERA).
Final game of the series and Cal Poly's last home game of the 2014 regular season will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock with four seniors to be honored in a pregame ceremony.
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