PULLMAN, Wash. -
Despite a career day at the plate by sophomore Ryan Raslowsky, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-5) were beaten by the Washington State Cougars (7-2) 8-2 on Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field. Raslowsky, batting ninth in the order, went three-for-four with a pair of RBI singles to match his best output for hits and runs batted in in a game.
Washington State took an early lead with single runs in the first and second innings and a pair of runs in the third. Jason Monda brought home a run with a sacrifice fly in the first and Trace Tam Sing drove in a run with a single in the second.
The Cougars extended the lead to 4-0 in the third inning with a solo home run by Yale Rosen and an RBI single for Brett Jacobs.
The Matadors began to chip away at the deficit in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Alexis Mercado opened the inning with a single and moved up to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Raslowsky drove him in with a single to right center.
Washington State reponded, however, with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to add insurance to the lead. With runners on first and second and no outs, an infield single was misplayed and allowed both runs to come across. The Cougars increased the margin to 7-1 when Jacobs hit an RBI double later in the frame.
Northridge plated its final run of the game in the top of the eighth inning. Tommy Simis walked to lead off for the Matadors and Mercado recorded his second hit of the day to move him into scoring position.
With two outs Raslowsky again delivered a single, this time scoring Simis from second.
The Cougars added a final run in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach. A leadoff walk came around to score on a single by Rosen with no outs.
Right-handed pitcher Harley Holt (1-1) allowed four runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings for the loss. Scott Hartnett (2-0) pitched the final two innings of the game for Washington State and struck out four to get the win after starter Scott Simon did not pitch the minimum amount of innings required.
Anthony Lombardo recorded his first career hit for CSUN in the game and pitchers DJ Milam (2.1 innings, K) and Oscar Sandoval (0.2 innings) made their Matador debuts in the game. Mercado has now picked up two hits in each of the last two games. Nathan Ring went 1-for-5 at the plate and also stole two bases.
The Matadors and Cougars continue their series on Saturday, March 2 with a 2 p.m. game at Bailey-Brayton Field. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday, March 3 at 12 p.m.