LOS ANGELES -
A late-inning charge was the deciding factor as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-2) were defeated by the No. 12 UCLA Bruins (3-1) 7-1 on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Bruins used a five-run eighth inning to pull away in the late stages of the game.
"We gave it to them a bit, but they did a good job of capitalizing on a few pitches late in at-bats and late in the game," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "We needed to execute a little bit better. We had to do a better job of getting to the baseball with our first steps and catching pop-ups."
Cal State Northridge had the first chance in the game to score a run after the first two batters reached base in the top of the second. Ranny Lowe singled, Michael Livingston walked and the pair advanced to scoring position following a sacrifice bunt by Daniel Timmerman. However, they were unable to come around to score in the inning.
UCLA scored the first run of the game on a one-out single with runners at second and third in the bottom of the second. Trent Chatterton hit a ball deep enough into the hole at second base to allow the runner to score and give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins extended their advantage to 2-0 after a dropped ball in foul territory helped extend the inning. With two outs and another chance at the plate, Chris Keck singled and scored on a triple by Luke Persico.
The Matadors halved the deficit in the top of the eighth inning and were in a position to tie the game. William Colantono drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second when Nick Blaser's ground ball to second base was too hot for the fielder to handle. A sacrifice bunt by Brett Balkan moved the runners into scoring position and Colantono scored on a ground out by Ryan Raslowsky. The tying run could not score however, and the Bruins took the opportunity to counter.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, UCLA struck for five runs on an RBI double by Keck, a three-run triple for Christoph Bono and a wild pitch on a third strike to Chatterton. Heading to the final inning, the Bruins had built a 7-1 lead.
Cal State Northridge was unable to mount a comeback and fell at Jackie Robinson Stadium for the first time since 2012 after upsetting the Bruins last May. Calvin Copping (0-1) took the loss for CSUN despite allowing just a run in 4.1 innings of work with two strikeouts. Grant Dyer (1-0) got the win and David Berg (1) picked up the save for UCLA.
Raslowsky picked up a sacrifice bunt on the night to move within two of cracking CSUN's All-Time Top 10 List for the statistic.
"All I can say to myself and the younger guys is to keep practicing hard and try to keep it simple," said outfielder Chester Pak when asked about the mindset moving into the next game. "It's just a baseball game."
The Matadors will play their 2014 Home Opener this Friday, Feb. 21, against Seattle University. First pitch from Matador Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.