LONG BEACH, Calif. –
After falling behind early, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (12-14, 1-2 Big West) chipped away at the deficit but eventually fell 7-5 at the Long Beach State Dirtbags (11-16, 2-1 Big West) on Saturday afternoon at Blair Field. The Matadors got three hits from Kyle Attl and two RBIs by Joshua Goossen-Brown but the team's four runs over the final three innings were not enough to win the series.
Long Beach State scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 3-0 lead. The Dirtbags went up by as many as five runs after adding two more in the bottom of the third.
Northridge scored a run in the top of the fourth after Chester Pak hit a one-out double down the left field line. After Kyle Ferramola walked, Nicolas Osuna hit a double to nearly the same spot as Pak to score the run from second.
The Dirtbags scored twice in the sixth inning to take a 7-1 lead. Richard Prigatano scored on a wild pitch and Josh Guerra came around on a single to left field by Colton Vaughn.
The Matadors began to rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs and forcing LBSU to make a pitching change. With one out, Anthony Lombardo drew a walk and scored from first on a double to left center by Attl. After Nathan Ring was hit by a pitch, Goossen-Brown laced a double down the left field line to score two runs.
Northridge had the chance for more runs in the inning but a double play ended the threat and kept the score 7-4 in favor of Long Beach State.
In the top of the ninth, CSUN added its fifth run of the game after the first two batters of the inning were put out on successive fly outs. Pak drew a walk and moved to second on a defensive indifference call before Ferramola reached on a throwing error that scored the run.
In the end, the rally would not be enough as CSUN dropped the opening series of the Big West Conference season. In addition to Attl's three hits, Pak went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Osuna added an RBI.
Four Dirtbags recorded multiple-hit games, led by Prigatano who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
John Salas (1-3) allowed three runs on the day to take the loss for the Matadors. David Hill (1-2) went 6.1 innings and struck out five to earn the win for Long Beach State.
The Matadors return to action with a non-conference game on Monday, April 1 against CSU Bakersfield at Matador Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and all fans in attendance will receive free admission.