In 2013 and 2014, the Cal Poly Mustangs put up back-to-back 40-plus win seasons, getting to regionals in both years. With the likes of UC-Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton, and Long Beach State clicking on all cylinders at the top of the conference, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe, but if Cal Poly is going to get back to that level of success in 2017, it very well might be on the back of workhorse starting pitcher Erich Uelman.
To say it’s been a tale of two seasons for Uelman would be a huge understatement. As a freshman back in 2015, he got into 16 games, with 15 of them coming out of the bullpen. In 20.1 innings, he allowed 26 hits and had a 7.08 ERA.
In 2016, conversely, he was trusted with a role in the weekend rotation, and he flourished. He started 14 games, with a single relief appearance to go along with it. He went 5-3 with a 3.68 ERA. In 93 innings of work, he struck out 70 and walked 22. He showed potential again over the summer with Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League, where he struck out 24 and walked just six in 24 innings of work.
Uelman will be far from alone in the rotation, though, as the other two members of the starting rotation- Jarred Zill (4-3, 2.79) and Kyle Smith (6-6, 3.64)- return as well.
Certainly, with Uelman leading the way, that bodes well for Cal Poly’s potential run back to regionals.