Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ellis earns starting job with Cal Poly

Jordan Ellis
Expectations for sophomore Jordan Ellis of the Cal Poly Mustangs were muted coming into this season, to say the least. After only getting 15 at-bats in his freshman season with the Mustangs, Ellis spent part of last summer playing for the lowly Kitsap BlueJackets, compiling a .270 batting average with no homers and seven RBI. Given his modest numbers, it wasn't a big surprise when Ellis was slotted near the bottom of the outfield depth chart for Cal Poly early this winter. However, things haven’t exactly gone as planned for the Mustangs outfielders this season.

The left-handed hitting Ellis spent most of the early going on the bench, collecting only six at-bats in the Mustangs' first 16 games. His season quickly turned around on March 12th, however, thanks to a big performance against San Jose State in which Ellis went two-for-four with three RBI. His third RBI of the night tied the score in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Mustangs would go on to win that game 6-5 in extra innings. From that point on, Ellis was off to the races. He has now started 11 consecutive games in the outfield – seven in left field and the last four in centre field – and he has become a fixture in the number two spot in the batting order.

Ellis now has a .339 batting average with no homers and 11 RBI in 59 at-bats, and it's safe to say that he’s on the verge of breakout season. The only downside to Ellis’ increased workload is that his playing time has come at the expense of fellow HarbourCat John Schuknecht, although the highly-touted freshman will get his day in the sun before too long.

Cal Poly came into this season as an unranked team, but a 25-9 record has them currently ranked 23rd in the country. They’ll take on the fourth-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans in one of the marquee match-ups of this coming weekend in NCAA baseball. With a total of five HarbourCats in uniform for the series, you can be sure that our boys will have a say in how this Big West Conference shootout plays out.


Here is a CSF - Cal Poly series preview from Baseball America:
No. 4 Cal State Fullerton travels to No. 23 Cal Poly in the biggest series of the year in the Big West. The Titans, of course, are the class of the Big West as usual, and they have reeled off three separate winning streaks of 10 games this year. At 8-1 in the league, Fullerton has a two-game lead over the Mustangs, who took a bad loss last Sunday against 8-24 Hawaii. The Titans and Mustangs are two of the three best offensive teams in the Big West, but they are also the two best pitching teams in the league, so runs won’t be easy to come by. The first two pitching matchups of the weekend are outstanding, as Thomas Eshelman (fresh off his first walk of his collegiate career) takes on Joey Wagman on Friday, and Justin Garza matches up with Matt Imhof on Saturday.

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