PORTLAND, Ore. -
The finale of an adjusted series between the Cal State Northridge Matadors (9-11) and the University of Portland Pilots (13-3) saw the home team pull out a 2-1 walkoff victory on Sunday afternoon at Hilken Stadium on the campus of Concordia University. A single by Michael Lucarelli with two outs scored Chet Thompson in the bottom of the ninth for the Pilots.
Pitching dominated the early stages of the game as freshman Jerry Keel continued his success on the mound. The left hander pitched 5.0 scoreless innings and struck out two batters, retiring the final eight hitters he faced before leaving the game after a weather delay in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Matadors scored first with a run in the top of the sixth as Kyle Attl opened the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brett Balkan. Ryan Raslowsky walked and Cal Vogelsang followed with an RBI double to deep right center field to plate Attl.
After the half inning was completed, the weather took a turn for the worse as light drizzle turned into steady rain and snow, prompting a delay. The delay lasted less than an hour as the snow let up and the grounds crew tended to the mound. Despite the inclement conditions, no errors were committed by either side in the game.
Coming out of the delay, the Pilots were able to build momentum to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth. A leadoff double for pinch hitter Cody Lenahan led to a run as Turner Gill grounded out to Attl to score Lenahan with one out.
The Matadors were able to get a runner into scoring position in each of the final three innings but could not bring around the run.
Thompson was hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth inning and stole second base before scoring on the game-winning hit by Lucarelli.
Louis Cohen (2-1) pitched 1.2 innings and took the loss for the Matadors while J.R. Bunda (1-0) was credited with his first victory of the year. Vogelsang led the Northridge offense with two hits and one RBI.
The Matadors continue their road trip with a single game at Loyola Marymount University on Tuesday, Mar. 20. First pitch from Page Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.