NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
In a game that featured a pitchers' duel throughout the afternoon, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-12) fell to the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (15-6) 5-3 on Tuesday at Matador Field. Twelve of the combined 16 hits were recorded from the sixth inning on in what turned into an offensive battle in the later portion of the game.
"Unfortunately, our track record up to this point this year is to put one quality inning together," said CSUN head coach Matt Curtis. "If you do that, you're not going to put up runs consistently."
Northridge starting pitcher John Salas, making his second consecutive start for CSUN after the Matadors had last weekend off, used just 50 pitches to get through the first five innings of the game. His 5.2 innings pitched and five strikeouts set new season highs for the left hander.
The Roadrunners made a vital offensive adjustment and were able to string hits together against Salas in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Dylan Christensen reached on a bunt single before Kevin Younger singled to left and Tyler Shryock walked to load the bases.
Salas then got the second out of the inning on a sacrifice fly that put the Roadrunners ahead 1-0. Mylz Jones followed with an RBI double and Oscar Sanay singled home a run to push the lead to 3-0.
CSU Bakersfield extended its lead to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Christensen singled up the middle to score a run and scored when Shryock grounded into a double play.
The Northridge bats came alive in the bottom of the eighth, collecting four of the team's six hits on the day. Sophomore catcher Alexis Mercado opened the inning with a double to left center.
"Comparing from last year, being a sophomore gives me confidence being up there," said Mercado. "I am seeing the ball better out of the pitcher's hands and I have been able to get the pitch I want and drive it."
Freshman William Colantono followed with a RBI double to left center, his first extra-base hit and second run batted in for his CSUN career. Kyle Ferramola then walked in a pinch hit appearance to give Northridge a pair of runners with no outs.
Miles Williams brought the Matadors within two runs at 5-3 when he lined a single through the left side, scoring Attl from second.
CSU Bakersfield recovered to get the final two outs of the eighth and kept the Matadors off the board in the ninth to close out the game.
Salas (0-3) took the loss for CSUN after allowing three runs on six hits. Relief pitcher Hayden Carter (1-0) picked up the win for CSU Bakersfield despite allowing three runs in 3.1 innings and Christensen pitched the final 1.2 innings to get his fourth save.
All six hits for Northridge were recorded by a different player in the game. Colantono was the only Matador to both drive in a run and score another.
The Matadors will return to action on Friday, March 22, with the first game in a four-game series against Utah Valley University. First pitch between CSUN and the Wolverines is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Matador Field.