SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Freshman shortstop Brooks Lee smashed his third home run of the season and drove in three runs while junior lefty Andrew Alvarez and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts as Cal Poly completed a three-game series sweep Sunday with a 6-0 victory over Utah Valley inside Baggett Stadium.
Lee belted a no-doubt two-run home run to right field in the first inning and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth frame while junior designated hitter Matt Lopez singled three times, knocking in one run, as the Mustangs of head coach Larry Lee, winners of five of their last six games after a 1-3 start, improved their record to 6-4 on the year.
Utah Valley fell to 2-5.
Cal Poly hit .361 in the series with 10 extra-base hits while the pitching staff compiled a 1.33 ERA and allowed just one run and 10 hits over the final 22 innings of the series. The Mustang defense committed just one error in 111 fielding chances.
"We are progressing as a team in all facets of the game," said Lee. "The pitchers are getting more touches while the hitters are getting more plate appearances and more time defensively.
"We're starting to feel more comfortable in a lot of different aspects," the 19-year mentor added. "We're doing a lot of different thing well, but we still need to work hard, especially upon our deficiencies."
On Sunday, Alvarez (2-0) matched his career high with eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings, scattering three hits and walking three. He lowered his ERA from 5.14 to 2.77 and threw 93 pitches.
Kyle Scott tossed two scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, striking out three, while Dylan Villalobos and Derek True combined for a scoreless, hitless ninth,
The loss went to Utah Valley starter Mason Gray (0-2) as he surrendered three runs and seven hits over three innings.
Lopez singled three times and drew a walk in his first four plate appearances, bringing a .500 average to the plate in the eighth inning. With runners at first and second, Lopez lined out to deep left-center field and the Washington State transfer had to settle for a .485 mark 10 games into the season.
Lopez is one of three Mustangs with batting averages above the .400 mark. Lee had just the one hit Sunday, his first-inning two-run home run, and sports a .417 mark while Myles Emmerson, who started in left field Sunday, went 2-for-3 to lift his average to .419.
Lee's homer gave the Mustangs an early 2-0 lead. Nick DiCarlo's sacrifice fly in the third inning and hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth resulted in a 4-0 Cal Poly advantage.
The Mustangs added their final two runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Lee and an RBI single by Lopez.
Utah Valley's four hits were collected by second baseman Mitch Morales and right fielder Alexander Marco with two each. Both produced a double and single.
For the series, Lee and Lopez both went 7-for-12 (.583) -- Lee driving in seven runs and Lopez five -- while Emmerson was 7-for-13, Taison Corio 4-for-9 and Cole Cabrera 4-for-11.
"In the second week (a 2-1 series win at USC), we played much better than in the previous weekend," said Lee. "Same this weekend. The early part of the season is a learning process for our players."
Cal Poly remains home next weekend, hosting UCLA for a three-game set and the Mustangs' last non-conference series prior to the start of Big West Conference play in two weeks at CSUN.
- Eric Burdick, Cal Poly Assistant Athletics Director for Athletics Communications