SAN DIEGO, Calif. -
Senior catcher Steven Keller hit his first two home runs of the season and collected four RBIs as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-3) battled for a 4-3 win over the San Diego Toreros (6-3) in a neutral-site game at Tony Gwynn Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The contest was the first of four the Matadors will play at the Aztec Invitational presented by Sheraton Mission Valley at San Diego State University.
After the two teams combined for four total hits through the first three innings, the Matadors were able to capitalize on a leadoff walk for Tommy Simis in the top of the fourth. Marty Bowen used a sacrifice bunt to move Simis into scoring position and Todd Eskelin walked before Keller came up to bat with two outs. With two on and two out, Keller lifted a pitch over the left center field wall to put Northridge ahead 3-0.
San Diego began to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Toreros were able to load the bases after a leadoff single and a walk. A single for Louie Lechich led to a sacrifice fly for Dillon Haupt to put the game at 3-1 after four innings.
The Toreros added a second run in the bottom of the fifth following a double by Andrew Daniel to open the inning. A fly ball moved Daniel to third and Dillon Checkal grounded out to second base to score the run.
San Diego tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as a single to right field scored Austin Bailey after he doubled with two outs.
Keller hit his second home run of the day to start the seventh inning for Northridge. On a 1-1 pitch, Keller launched the ball over the left field fence to help the Matadors reclaim the lead at 4-3.
Louis Cohen came into the game to pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning and retired nine straight batters to earn his second save of the season. Justen Gorski (1-0), making his second appearance this season, pitched two innings in relief of starter Jordan Johnson to record his first victory of 2012.
The Matadors continue play at the Aztec Invitational on Friday, Mar. 2 against the San Francisco Dons, who lost to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in thier first game of the weekend. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.