Cal Poly Pomona tops Sonoma St.
Rodarte scores on wild pitch, leads Broncos to walk-off victory
LA JOLLA, Calif. - After escaping a bases loaded no-out jam in the top of the ninth inning, Cal Poly Pomona rallied for a walk-off 5-4 victory against Sonoma State in the bottom of the same inning when Allen Rodarte scored on a wild pitch.
Rodarte, pressed into starting duty recently because of an injury to Mike Santora, reached base in all four of his plate appearances Saturday night. The junior second baseman lined a single into right field to start the Broncos ninth-inning rally.
"We really came together at the end," Rodarte said. "We worked too hard for us to let it end tonight."
Jordan Whitman followed with a single and then a balk from SSU reliever Ian Ocon moved the runners to second and third. Ocon's wild pitch bounced to the backstop, allowing Rodarte to cross home while his teammates waited to pounce on him in celebration.
Erick Ruvalcaba earned the win for the Broncos, working out of that bases loaded no-out situation in the top of the ninth with two groundouts and a fly out to keep the score at 4-4. The sophomore right-hander recorded a save against UC San Diego earlier in the day and followed that with a victory just a few hours later.
Cal Poly Pomona captured its first lead of the game against SSU, as Travis Taijeron launched a first-inning shot over the centerfield fence. It marked home run No. 16 of the season, tying the single-season record that he set in 2010, and homer No. 32 of his career. That stands one shy of matching the Broncos' all-time record of 33.
CPP added three more scores in the third, thanks in part to key singles from Jenzen Torres and Taijeron. Just as the Broncos dominated the opening three innings against Seawolves' starter Joey Van Cleave, the Seawolves got going in the middle innings.
SSU rallied for four runs between the fifth and sixth innings, tying the game at 4-4. After CPP right-handed starter Casey Yokubaitis finished with five strong frames, scattering six hits and allowing just two earned runs, senior reliever Michael Parker carried the Broncos into the final stages with three scoreless innings.
Although Parker worked into a ninth-inning jam, Ruvalcaba saved the day. Despite hitting SSU rightfielder Cameron Cook to load the bases, Ruvalcaba induced a groundout to shortstop Ryan Goodman, who fired home to get Ryan Morales for the first out.
The reliever then got a groundout from O'Koyea Dickson to third baseman Humberto Tovalin. Going home once again, Tovalin's toss in the dirt was dug out by Torres to barely beat Steven Filippi racing in. To finally squash the SSU rally, Ruvalcaba got Alex Todd to fly out to leftfielder Stephen Gonzalez.