Mustangs Outpace Commodores

Cal Poly surrenders five-run deficit before walking off Vanderbilt

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Cal Poly surrendered a five-run lead only to pounce for two runs in the ninth, including a walk-off sacrifice fly from Tate Samuelson, to upend second-ranked Vanderbilt 9-8 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament on Sunday at Salt River Fields.

Vanderbilt (1-2) committed four errors and surrendered eight walks. Offensively, the Commodores batted .200 (2-for-10) with runners in scoring position. Cal Poly totaled 12 hits with the top six in the order contributing eight of the club’s nine RBIs.

With two outs in the eighth, Harrison Ray deposited a 1-0 slider onto the left field berm for a game-tying, three-run home run. The senior’s fifth career long ball followed by fielder’s choice RBIs from Spencer Jones and Will Duff, respectively.

One inning later, Duff lined a sacrifice fly into center for an 8-7 advantage.

The Mustangs (2-1) greeted Vanderbilt closer Tyler Brown with consecutive base hits before Cole Cabrera lifted a sacrifice fly into left, tying the game at eight. A throwing error at shortstop compounded the problems and, following an intentional walk, Samuelson sent his first pitch into center field for the game-winner.

Vanderbilt trimmed its deficit to one in the sixth before the Mustangs answered in the home half, working four two-out walks while adding a pair of base hits for a five-run advantage. Six-hole hitter Scott Orgin provided the major damage, sending a 2-2 curveball into center to plate a pair.

Vanderbilt starter Jake Eder struggled with his command, allowing three walks and four hits alongside three runs (two earned). The southpaw, who gave up single runs between the second and fourth, lasted just 3.1 innings in his first career weekend start.

Three Commodore relievers made their collegiate debuts including freshman Chris Maldonado who stopped the bleeding with two scoreless innings. Brown (0-2) was saddled with his second loss in three days, permitting two runs (one earned) on two hits.

CJ Rodriguez led off the sixth with a single and moved to third on a Martin roping double in right. The hit was the sixth of the weekend by Rodriguez, and first by Martin. The tandem would score on RBI groundouts from Isaiah Thomas and Spencer Jones, respectively.

Cal Poly took a 1-0 lead in the second as leadoff batter Cole Cabrera connected on a line-drive RBI-single into center field. The two-out hit snapped a streak of 12.2 consecutive innings in which Vanderbilt starters had not allowed an earned run.

The Commodores open an 11-game homestand against South Alabama on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. from Hawkins Field.

The first 500 fans through the gate receive a commemorative two-time national champions pennant. Tickets are available by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by visiting