Left fielder David Armendariz had a blistering finish to the season, getting a hit in each of the club’s final seven games, and took the Big West Player of the Week award back-to-back to finish the year. He was 14 for 23 in that stretch including 14 RBI. He also hit a solo home run in Cal Poly’s 6-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sunday.
Senior Kyle Anderson, who pitched Cal Poly to victory on Saturday night, won his 10th game of the year, becoming the first Mustang to reach double-digit wins since 2007 and only the fourth pitcher to earn at least 10 victories in the last decade.
In addition to losing Anderson next season, the team will say goodbye to shortstop Mike Miller, who led the team in batting average (.354) while starting all 56 of Cal Poly’s games, and might lose junior center fielder Mitch Haniger to the MLB Draft. Haniger crushed 13 homers in 2012, the most in the Big West, while hitting .346.
Cal Poly started the season with a three-game series sweep of Oklahoma State and continued in hot non-conference play by taking two of three games from Washington and three of four from San Diego State. If there was one series that may have been the difference in getting a post-season bid, it was a series loss to UC Davis in early May. The Mustangs lost two games to the Aggies by one run, including a 5-4 loss in 11-innings.
One highlight of the season came in extra-innings as well. On a foggy Tuesday night at Baggett Stadium, the Mustangs went into extras with Pepperdine tied at one run a piece. After two batters went down in the bottom of the 10th, third baseman Jimmy Allen came to the plate and smashed a drive over the fence and Cal Poly came away with a 2-1.
The team returns a group of young starters including Allen, Armendariz, first baseman Nick Torres, catcher Chris Hoo and the flame-throwing Chase Johnson for the 2013 season.