LOS ANGELES — Cal Poly shattered a 4-4 tie with three runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth Saturday afternoon, clinching the baseball series against USC with a 9-4 victory at Dedeaux Field.
Coupled with a 2-1 triumph Friday night, Coach Larry Lee's Mustangs evened their record at 3-3 while USC fell to 2-3. Lee surpassed Fresno State's Bob Bennett with his 548th career win in the series opener for the Big West Conference record.
Shortstop Brooks Lee, third baseman Tate Samuelson and designated hitter Matt Lopez all produced three hits and a pair of RBIs to spark Cal Poly's season-high 15-hit offensive attack. Right fielder Nick DiCarlo, who also knocked in two runs, and catcher Myles Emmerson each had two hits.
The Mustangs trailed 2-1, 3-2 and 4-2 in the early innings before catching the Trojans at 4-4 with single runs in the fifth and sixth frames. Lopez singled up the middle to make it 4-3 in the fifth and a sacrifice fly by Lee tied the game in the sixth.
Cal Poly loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth on singles by Emmerson, Lee and Samuelson. Second baseman Taison Corio drew a walk to break the 4-4 tie, a grounder by Lopez knocked in another run and DiCarlo's squeeze bunt gave Cal Poly a 7-4 lead.
The Mustangs added two insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Lee and Samuelson.
Freshman right-hander Derek True (1-1), the third of four Mustang pitchers used in the game, earned the victory with one scoreless inning.
Starter Travis Weston tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, before Bryce Warrecker, True and Kyle Scott combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, each giving up just one hit.
USC also used four pitchers. The loss went to Kyle Wisch (0-1) as he allowed all three runs in the eighth inning. Starter Chandler Champlain went 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and three walks while scattering seven hits.
USC's nine hits included a solo home run by Rhylan Thomas and a single and double each by Thresse Turner, Bart West and Nate Clow.
Final game of the series will be played Sunday at 1 o'clock with Cal Poly sophomore right-hander Bryan Woo to face USC sophomore southpaw Alex Cornwell.