#30 Cal Poly Baseball 2015 Preview

Cal Poly Mustangs

Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #3 Big West
#30 Cal Poly Baseball 2015 Preview
Cal Poly Team Page


Cal Poly was one of the better stories in all of college baseball in 2014 as they ascended as high as number one in select polls after sweeping Cal State Fullerton last April. They also won the Big West Conference Championship and earned the opportunity to be an NCAA Regional host last June. The Mustangs return a nice balanced mix of players that should once again have them in the mix for the Big West Conference Championship in 2015.

2014: 47-12, 19-5
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Larry Lee

Field Players:
Infielder Mark Matthias will lead the way in 2015 for the Mustangs offensively. Matthias has received multiple preseason All-American honors after hitting .386 in 2014 and driving in 39 runs. Matthias also has very good speed, as he stole 12 bases in 16 attempts last season and walked more times than he struck out, showing outstanding plate discipline. Catcher Brian Mundell is also going to be very vital to Cal Poly’s success this season. He can hit for power, knocking out four homeruns in 2014, but also does a great job in managing the Mustangs pitching staff as well. Outfielder Zach Zehner will be an added bonus to the Cal Poly lineup as he was drafted in the 7th round by the Toronto Blue Jays but chose to come back to the Mustangs.

If you are going to make a deep run in the postseason you need a frontline number one shutdown pitcher. Cal Poly brings that to the table in the form of right-handed pitcher Casey Bloomquist. Bloomquist was 12-2 with a 1.56 earned run average and had two complete games and will anchor the number one starter spot in the rotation. Justin Calomeni will be as well in the weekend rotation and he will be looking to build upon an 8-2 record from last season.

Who to Watch:
Taylor Chris will need to step up and take over the closer role on a full time basis to replace Reid Reilly who was drafted by Boston in seventh round and signed with the Red Sox. Chris was excellent in 2014 as he was 4-1 with a 1.61 earned run average in 24 appearances. And Chris did record five saves for the Mustangs. The key for Chris will be to embrace being the full time closer and continue to attack hitters. He struck out 53 batters in 56.1 innings of work last season.

Final Projection:
The schedule is tremendous for Cal Poly as they have two road trips down to the state of Texas that will be great opportunities to make an early statement to the nation about how the Mustangs will be a tough out once again in 2015. The trip to Fort Worth from February 27th through March 1st to play TCU, who was in the 2014 College World Series, will be the stiffest out of conference test because of the outstanding pitching of the Horned Frogs. It is a series that with a pitcher like Bloomquist starting in game one that will give Cal Poly a great chance to win two of three. Another gauntlet of games from March 27th through April 4th will be very pivotal for the Mustangs. They play in Corvallis against Oregon State and then battle Pepperdine and Cal State Fullerton. If Cal Poly can have a winning record during that stretch, it should catapult them into the conversation to push for one of the 16 host sites if things go right. The final big road series against UC Irvine could very well determine the Big West Champion in 2015 as the Anteaters are always difficult to deal with in Irvine. Overall, look for the Mustangs to be safely in the NCAA Tournament as a very tough number two seed in any regional they play in.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Brian Mundell, C, 215
Hits: Mark Matthias, IF, 81
Home Runs: Brian Mundell, C, 4
RBIs: Brian Mundell, C, 41
Runs: Mark Matthias, IF, 48
Stolen Bases: Mark Matthias, IF, 12

Wins: Casey Bloomquist, P, 12
Innings Pitched: Casey Bloomquist, P, 98
Strikeouts: Casey Bloomquist, P, 74
Saves: Taylor Chris, P, 5


See All Baseball Top 44 Previews