April 2, 2013

Matadors Suffer 9-7 Loss in 10 Innings to LMU

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

In a game that featured 34 different players participating, including 15 pitchers, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-15) fell in heartbreaking fashion 9-7 in 10 innings to the visiting Loyola Marymount University Lions (14-14) on Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field. The Lions scored the game's final four runs, including the tying run with two outs in the ninth, to eke out a victory.

"You never expect to be down to your last body. That's not an ideal situation and it's not one you foresee typically," said CSUN head coach Matt Curtis. "It just limits the number of changes that we're going to make and we know that going in. It takes options away as work through the game."

Loyola Marymount scored a run in the top of the third inning against Northridge starting pitcher Brandon Warner to take an early 1-0 lead. The Lions pieced together four consecutive singles with one out capped off by an RBI for Colton Plaia before Warner induced an inning-ending double play.

The Matadors responded in the bottom of the fifth offensively, plating three runs to take a 3-1 lead. Nicolas Osuna was hit by a pitch to open the inning before Anthony Lombardo picked up one of his career-high two hits on the day and Ryan Raslowsky put down a sacrifice bunt.

Kyle Attl was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Joshua Goossen-Brown brought around all three runners with his first career triple.

After LMU scratched a run across in the top of the sixth on an RBI ground out for Tanner Donnels, CSUN added a pair in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 5-2. Northridge once again loaded the bases and received production from Raslowsky in the form of an RBI single and Attl with a run-scoring ground out.

The Lions wasted no time in drawing level at five runs apiece after scoring three in the top of the seventh. Plaia hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and a second run scored on an errant throw on the play. A third run came across to score on a single for Cullen Mahoney.

The Matadors would not concede the lead in the inning and scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to go ahead 7-5. After Goossen-Brown doubled to lead off, Chester Pak singled with one out and stole second. The throw by Plaia down to second sailed into the outfield, allowing Goossen-Brown to score and Pak to move up to third. Alexis Mercado followed with a ground out to score Pak on the second out of the inning.

Loyola Marymount chipped away once more in the eighth and ninth to send the game to extra frames. Matt Lowenstein singled home a run in the eighth and Brice Savage scored the tying run on a fielding error with two outs in the top of the ninth.

The Lions continued to ride the wave of momentum to extra innings, scoring twice in the 10th and keeping the Matadors off of the scoreboard to finish the game.

"We competed down to the last out and a lot of teams would cave in in that 10th inning," said Curtis when asked about positive takeaways from the game. "We didn't. We got the tying run to the plate."

Goossen-Brown led the Matadors offensively by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored. He finished the day just a home run shy of completing the cycle. Raslowsky, Osuna and Lombardo also turned in multiple-hit performances as each recorded two.

Relief pitcher Bret Dahlson (2-4) pitched the final 3.0 innings for LMU and struck out four to earn the win. Goossen-Brown was hit with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned).

The Matadors will return to Big West Conference play this weekend by hosting UC Riverside for three games beginning Friday, April 5. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Matador Field.

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