May 31, 2013


Cal Poly Makes Name for Itself

By Abbey Mastracco

Special to


LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t exactly the introduction Cal Poly expected, but it was the statement the Mustangs had hoped to make.


Prior to the first game of the Los Angeles Regional Friday night, the Jackie Robinson public address announcer confused Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with its Southern California counterpart, introducing the team as the “Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.”


Nevermind the confusion, the Cal Poly Mustangs, the No. 2 seed in L.A. this week, made their name known when they defeated No. 3 San Diego 9-2.


“Pretty standard, Cal Poly not getting the recognition that we deserve,” starting pitcher Joey Wagman said. “Hopefully this performance will turn some heads and change some minds.”


It was a stellar performance by Wagman (13-3) that helped the Mustangs (40-17) to a milestone program win, as Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, not Pomona – earned its first-ever Division I Regional win.


“Just to get the first win under your belt, there’s times when you come out in the first game and you’re very nervous and you are tight and it takes you a couple innings to get everything going,” Cal Poly coach Larry Lee said. “We were calm, and we were ready right from the first pitch.”

Wagman’s win was also a milestone, as he became the first Mustang to win 13 games, passing Garrett Olson. The right-hander went eight innings, giving up just a single earned run and striking out three.


“It’s pretty surreal,” Wagman said. “You don’t really imagine yourself breaking a record like that, especially when it’s held by someone as good as Garrett Olson.”


PJ Conlon (9-1) took the loss for San Diego (35-24). In a somewhat uncharacteristic performance, Conlon was anything but sharp in just his first loss of the season.


“I kind of struggled with my command, and that’s basically what I need in order to be successful,” Conlon said.


Conlon was charged with seven (six earned) of the Mustangs runs and removed in the sixth inning when the Mustangs blew the game open.

With his command wavering from the start of the inning, Conlon gave up singles to two of the first three batters of the inning and then issued two straight walks, giving Poly a 4-2 lead.


Michael Wagner was no more effective. With his stuff flat, he proceeded to hit the first batter he faced, again scoring another run. San Diego finally was able to get an out when Kris Bryant made a catch in foul territory, but Brian Mundell then ripped a single to left to score two and Wagner faced two more batters and allowed two more runs to cross before finally retiring a batter for the third out.


“He’s the guy that we wanted to go to put a Band-Aid on that gash that was coming out,” USD coach Rich Hill said. “It’s not really about Michael Wagner, it’s about Cal Poly and what their hitters did. They got some pitches to hit and they drove the ball.”


Cal Poly was led by Mundell and Jimmy Allen. Mundell went 2 for 4 with four RBI and two runs, one of which was a towering home run in the first inning. Allen had a big game, going 4 for 5 and driving in two.


Bryant, the Toreros’ big hitter and the national homerun leader with 31, went quietly going 0 for 3. In the seventh, he nearly had a solo home run, but it was caught at the wall.


“I strike out sometimes,” Bryant said. “I don’t feel like I have to go out there every time and get a hit, because I don’t.”


Action will resume Saturday afternoon at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium at 2 p.m.