NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Three different Matadors hit a solo home run as Cal State Northridge (17-20) clinched the season series against the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (18-19) with a 5-2 win on Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field. The three home runs in a game set a new season high for Northridge.
The Roadrunners scored a run in the top of the first to take an early lead after a walk and a pair of singles with two outs. CSU Bakersfield was able to hold onto that momentum throughout the first part of the game as Northridge stranded five runners on base in the first two innings.
After Ryan Raslowsky and Cal Vogelsang singled to open the first for the Matadors, Northridge had the bases loaded with no outs and could not cash in. The Matadors again loaded the bases in the second inning with one out before leaving three runners on and failing to score.
The breakthrough for Northridge came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Marty Bowen hit a home run to left field on the first pitch against Scott Brattvet. Two batters later, Kyle Attl hit a solo home run as well down the left field line to give CSUN a 2-1 lead.
The Roadrunners were able to tie the game, however, by scoring a run in the top of the sixth. On the first pitch of the inning, Cael Brockmeyer hit a home run of his own to left. Jerry Keel then came into the game in relief and struck out a pair of batters to end the inning.
Northridge answered in the home half of the sixth by posting three runs on the scoreboard. Steven Keller homered to left on the first pitch of the inning to give the Matadors the lead before Bowen singled and Nathan Ring doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Attl then singled up the middle to score a run and Ring scored from third later in the inning on a double play ball in the infield to put the final margin at 5-2.
CSU Bakersfield had the opportunity to create some offense in the top of the eighth as the Roadrunners had runners at second and third with two outs. Louis Cohen was able to get a strike out to end the inning and preserve the lead.
Keel (4-1) pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one hit while striking out two for the win. Relief pitcher Hayden Carter (1-2) took the loss for the Roadrunners after allowing three runs in 2.2 innings. Cohen pitched the final two innings and allowed one hit to pick up his fourth save of the year.
Harley Holt made his first start for the Matadors and pitched 3.0 innings with one strike out and four hits allowed.
Bowen led all Matadors at the plate by going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, including his home run. Attl had a 2-for-3 day with two RBIs and a run in addition to a sacrifice bunt.
With the win, the Matadors won for the second time this season against CSU Bakersfield. The two teams will play the series finale on Tuesday, May 22 in Bakersfield.
Cal State Northridge returns to Big West Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against the Long Beach State 49ers, a team in first place at the midway point of the year. First pitch on Friday, Apr. 27 is scheduled for 3 p.m.