NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Behind a magnificant pitching performance by freshman Jerry Keel, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (8-7) defeated the Indiana Hoosiers (4-10) 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at Matador Field. Keel allowed just two hits in seven innings and Marty Bowen hit his first home run of the season in the Northridge victory.
Northridge threatened to score a run in the first inning as Nathan Ring singled to lead off for the third straight game. He was caught stealing, however, before Adam Barry hit a double down the left field line with two outs. Miles Williams singled to right but Barry was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Keel got into some trouble on the mound in the top of the second as he walked a pair of Hoosiers and hit another with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. He was able to buckle down, as a ground ball was hit to Brett Balkan, who threw home to force out the runner. Keel followed with a strikeout and a flyout to get out of the inning with no damage done.
Riding the momentum, Bowen opened up the home half of the second with a towering home run over the left field fence to give the Matadors a 1-0 lead. It was the only run of the game until Northridge added another in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out in the sixth, Williams doubled to left center and Bowen was intentionally walked. First baseman Tommy Simis came through for Northridge by hitting a single through the left side of the infield for an RBI.
Indiana finally broke through for two runs in the top of the eighth after Keel was relieved of his duties on the mound. A ground out to shortstop Kyle Attl scored a run from third and another Hoosier crossed the plate on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2.
The Matadors answered to take the lead with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Williams reached base on a fielding error by the shortstop and Bowen reached first as his sacrifice bunt was mishandled by the pitcher. Simis singled with no outs to load the bases for Northridge.
Williams scored his second run of the game on a double play in the infield and Bowen scored as Attl hit an infield RBI single. Matthew Moreno, getting his first at bat of the season, followed with a double down the left field line to score Attl from first.
Indiana plated a run in the ninth inning on a two-out RBI single by Justin Cureton off of Louis Cohen but it was not enough to mount a rally. Cole Hallum entered the game and struck out Chris Sujka to finish off his second save of the season.
Keel struck out five batters and walked just two in his seven innings of two-hit work. Cohen (2-0) recorded a strikeout in 1.2 innings to get the win. Relief pitcher Ryan Halstead (0-2) took the loss for Indiana despite not allowing a hit.
Williams finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Bowen went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and a sacrifice. Simis (2-for-4) and Balkan (2-for-3) were the other Matadors with multiple hits in the game.
The Matadors return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 13 when they host the Rhode Island Rams at Matador Field. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.