Nick Marinconz produced his first career three-hit game, which included his second home run as a Mustang, but Cal Poly dropped a 6-3 decision to UC Riverside in the final game of a four-game Big West Conference baseball series Sunday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
The verdict left the two teams with a split in the series. Cal Poly fell to 19-17 overall and 9-11 in Big West contests, seventh in the 11-team league. UC Riverside improved to 12-19 and 10-14.
Marinconz singled with two outs in the second inning, homered to left field leading off the fifth frame and drove in another run with an eighth-inning single to right field.
His 3-for-4 day at the plate lifted Marinconz's batting average 60 points to .195.
Only three other Mustangs had hits Sunday as Cal Poly stranded 10 runners on the basepaths.
UC Riverside jumped to a 4-0 lead with three runs in the first inning and one more in the third. Cal Poly closed the gap to 4-1 and 5-3 but could get no closer to the Highlanders, who outhit the Mustangs in each of the four games in the series.
Joe Yorke fields grounder and flips to Bryce Warrecker for the out.
Nick DiCarlo and Sam Biller each had two of Cal Poly's eight hits.
Ely Stuart was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate for UC Riverside, including one double. Travis Bohall added three singles while Nathan Webb singled twice.
Eric Marrujo (2-4) earned the win on the mound, allowing one run and five hits with two walks and one strikeout.
The loss was charged to Mustang starter Kaden Sheedy (0-1). Only two of the four runs he allowed were earned as Cal Poly committed an error and passed ball during UC Riverside's three-run first-inning rally.
Bryce Warrecker, the second of four pitchers used by Mustang head coach Larry Lee, struck out five over 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Cal Poly hit .265 in the series, its best in five weeks, led by Reagan Doss, who was 7-for-13 with six RBIs in the first three games before going 0-for-3 Sunday. Tate Samuelson was 4-for-12 in the series while Marinconz went 5-for-16 with four RBIs.
Cal Poly plays its next two Big West series on the road, visiting UC Santa Barbara next weekend and CSU Bakersfield on May 7-9.
Andrew Alvarez established new career highs for wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and pitches thrown while Reagan Doss produced three hits and three RBIs as Cal Poly rallied to defeat UC Riverside 8-2 in the opener of a Big West doubleheader Saturday afternoon inside Baggett Stadium.
Alvarez struck out 12 over eight innings, throwing 128 pitches and improving to 5-2 on the year, helping Cal Poly to its second win of the series.
UC Riverside overcame an early 4-0 deficit to win the nightcap, 9-6.