NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
After tying the game in the bottom of the first inning, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (18-22, 5-7 Big West) had trouble keeping the Long Beach State Dirtbags (21-20, 11-4 Big West) off of the board in a 12-3 loss on Sunday afternoon at Matador Field. Four different Matadors had two hits in the game as the team recorded 10, but the Dirtbags used a five-run fifth inning to break the game open.
Long Beach State scored a run in the top of the first to get out to an early lead for the second straight day. Johnny Bekakis doubled on the first pitch of the game and came around to score on an error with two outs.
The Matadors were able to tie the game in the bottom of the first, however, to take the momentum away for the time being. Ryan Raslowsky drew a four-pitch walk to get thigs started and advanced to third after Miles Williams hit a ball that went off the pitcher's leg for a single.
Raslowsky then scored on a wild pitch to even the score at 1-1.
The Dirtbags took the lead back in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run for Josh Guerra and added five more runs in the fifth innings to take a 7-1 advantage. Long Beach state recorded five hits with two outs in the inning to take control of the game.
Northridge could not match the output in the bottom of the fifth and the Dirtbags tacked on three more in the sixth inning on a pair of RBI singles.
The Matadors started to chip away at the deficit in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs after Marty Bowen walked and Nathan Ring hit an infield single. Kyle Attl singled to load the bases and Tommy Simis hit an infield single to score Bowen.
Later in the inning, Cal Vogelsang hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Ring from third.
Long Beach State scored twice more in the top of the ninth to give the game its final line.
Vincent Roberts (0-7) pitched 4.2 innings and struck out two batters in the losing effort. Ryan Strufing (5-2) went 6.0 innings with two strike outs for the win while Jon Maciel pitched the last three innings of the game to collect a save.
Vogelsang, Williams, Keller and Ring each went 2-for-3 for the Matadors while Simis and Vogelsang tallied the lone RBIs. Bowen earned his first career stolen base in the game and freshman Julian Ramon picked up his first career hit, a two-out double down the left field line in the bottom of the ninth.
The Matadors return to action on Friday, May 4 on the road against the UC Riverside Highlanders. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.