February 22, 2013

Matadors Rally for Extra-Inning Victory at USC

LOS ANGELES -

The Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-1) scored eight unanswered runs, including five in the top of the 11th inning, to rally and upset the University of Southern California Trojans (2-3) 9-4 on Friday night at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. Centerfielder Cal Vogelsang drove in four runs and Joshua Goossen-Brown had two RBIs and pitched 3.0 innings in relief to secure head coach Matt Curtis' 50th career win.

After the Trojans opened the scoring with a first inning run off of CSUN starter Jerry Keel, the Matadors were able to manufacture a run of their own in the top of the second.

After Goossen-Brown reached on a throwing error by shortstop James Roberts, Nathan Ring advanced him to second with a single up the middle. Alexis Mercado then laid down a sacrifice bunt and freshman William Colantono delivered with his first career hit and RBI to tie the game at 1-1.

Southern California scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead at 4-1. Adam Landecker and Greg Zebrack were awarded first base after being hit by pitches with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt, Dante Flores singled up the middle and both runs scored following an error.

Flores eventually came home to score on a play at the plate with two outs, reaching safety after a collision with Mercado jarred the ball loose.

Northridge responded once more, however, and knotted the game up at 4-4 in the top of the seventh. The Matadors then loaded the bases following a Colantono walk, an Attl single, a fielder's choice and a walk by Michael Livingston.

With two outs, Vogelsang drove in two with a single to center field and Miles Williams tied the game with a single up the middle one batter later.

The Matadors continued to lock down the Trojans with timely defense and pitching from that point, thanks in large part to the bullpen being able to work out of trouble.

Anthony Cortez and John Salas pitched a combined seventh inning that stranded a USC runner. Shay Maltese followed it up with an eighth inning that saw him allow two hits but recover to strand two runners on base.

Goossen-Brown got out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth after the potential winning run advanced to second with one out. He again left a runner on base in the 10th following a two-out hit.

The Matadors put the game out of reach by piling on five runs in the 11th inning, a frame that saw them send 10 batters to the plate.

Colantono led off with an infield single and Attl walked before a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Simis. Nicolas Osuna then loaded the bases with a walk after a nine pitch at bat, which brought up Vogelsang with one out.

The senior from Valencia, Calif., laced a double down the left field line that scored two runs to put CSUN up 6-4. After a fielder's choice for Williams, Goossen-Brown helped his own cause with a two-run double of his own.

The final run of the inning came across when Mercado hit a line drive to left field that was dropped, allowing Goossen-Brown to score.

Goossen-Brown (1-0) then struck out two batters in the bottom of the 11th to seal the victory. The junior finished his day with 3.0 innings and three strikeouts on the mound, as well as a 1-for-5 outing with two RBIs and two runs scored at the plate.

Ring went 3-for-5 with three singles for the Matadors to match a career high for hits that he set in 2010 against Sacramento State. Vogelsang went 2-for-6 with a run scored and four RBIs as the Matadors earned their first win over a Pac-12 opponent since 2009 (also USC).

The Matadors and Trojans will continue their three-game series on Saturday, Feb. 23 with a 1 p.m. game at Matador Field in Northridge, Calif. The series finale on Sunday, Feb. 24 will take place at 1 p.m. at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles.