Last weekend against Nevada, Cal Poly rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the final five innings, catching the Wolf Pack at 8-8 before falling in extra innings.
On Sunday at USC, the Mustangs nearly pulled off the same feat, closing a 6-0 deficit to one run. The Trojans held on, however, for a 7-6 victory, salvaging one win in the three-game series at Dedeaux Field.
Cal Poly, which won Friday's opener 2-1 and Saturday's contest 9-4, comes home with a 3-4 record and will get ready for another three-game set next weekend against Utah Valley inside Baggett Stadium. USC is 3-3.
In winning a series against USC for the first time in Cal Poly's 27-year Division I history, the Mustangs outhit the Trojans 33-24 and outscored them as well, 17-12, erasing the memory of a 1-3 start against Nevada that saw Cal Poly hit just .259 and was outscored 25-19.
On Sunday, USC scored twice in the first inning and added four more in the second in building an early 6-0 lead. Cal Poly answered with a solo home run by Tate Samuelson in the fourth, an RBI single by Brooks Lee in the fifth and two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Myles Emmerson and a Trojan error.
That closed the gap to 6-4 before Nate Clow homered in the bottom of the seventh.
Cal Poly wasn't finished, scoring a run in the eighth on Joe Yorke's RBI single to right field and adding another in the ninth on Lee's one-out home run to right, his first as a Mustang.
That cut the Trojans' lead to 7-6 and Taison Corio singled to right field to put the tying run on base with two outs. Clow, the designated hitter for USC, was summoned to the mound to secure the final out and did so with one pitch, a grounder to second base, ending the game.
USC outhit Cal Poly 12-8, paced by its leadoff hitter, center fielder Rhylan Thomas with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, all singles. Third baseman Ben Ramirez added a triple and single, driving in four runs, while right fielder Jamal O'Guinn singled twice with one RBI.
Lee produced two hits and a pair of RBIs for Cal Poly and catcher Collin Villegas singled twice.
The win went to USC starter Alex Cornwell (1-0) as he allowed two runs and three hits over six innings with four strikeouts. Clow threw one pitch for his first save.
Sophomore right-hander Bryan Woo fell to 0-2 as he gave up six runs and seven hits over 1 2/3 innings. Relievers Chase Walter, Dylan Villalobos and Andrew Alvarez combined to allow just one run and five hits over the final 6 1/3 innings of the game.
For the series, Samuelson, Lee, Matt Lopez and Emmerson each had five hits and Yorke added four for Cal Poly. Samuelson and Lopez are co-leaders for the Mustangs with .429 batting averages. Emmerson is hitting .367 and Lee .333.
Utah Valley (2-2) split a four-game series at Saint Mary's on the opening weekend of the season and had its series at CSU Bakersfield this weekend canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Wolverines' program.