FULLERTON, Calif. -
Two runs in the top of the ninth inning were not enough to fuel a comeback as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (11-14, 0-1 Big West) fell 7-2 to the No. 13 Cal State Fullerton Titans (16-9, 1-0 Big West) on Friday night at Goodwin Field. Ryan Raslowsky had three hits and Nathan Ring collected a pinch-hit RBI double in the ninth for the Matadors.
Raslowsky opened the game with an infield single for Northridge and Cal Vogelsang followed with a single to center field but the Matadors were unable to score, stranding two runners on base after the first half inning.
Cal State Fullerton plated the first run in the bottom of the first as a runner scored from third on a double play ball in the infield with no outs. The Titans threatened for more, however, before Vogelsang threw out a runner at third trying to advance on a two-out single to end the inning.
The Titans added a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI walk by Ivory Thomas and broke open the game with three runs in the fourth on a two-run single by Carlos Lopez and a wild pitch that scored Michael Lorenzen to take a 5-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly in the sixth and an RBI bunt single in the bottom of the seventh put the Titans ahead by seven runs before the Matadors could chip away in the last inning.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Todd Eskelin singled up the middle. He advanced to second on the play as Lorenzen, in center field, attempted to throw the ball to first and missed high. Ring followed with his RBI double and advanced to third on a ground out. The Matadors scored one final run as a dropped third strike was thrown into right field, allowing Ring to score and the inning to continue.
Dylan Floro (4-2) pitched a complete game for the Titans and scattered seven hits on the evening while striking out nine. Vincent Roberts (0-5) struck out two batters in 4.0 innings and took the loss for Northridge.
Raslowsky lead the Matadors by going 3-for-4 at the plate while Eskelin went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Ring, Vogelsang and Barry were the other Northridge players with a hit in the game and Vogelsang and Barry each recorded a stolen base as well.
The series between Northridge and Fullerton will continue on Saturday, Mar. 31 at 6 p.m. Alex Muren (5-1) is the probable starter for the Matadors while Kenny Mathews (3-0) will take the mound for the Titans.