HUNTSVILLE, Texas -
In the opener of their second series outside of California this season, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-8) fell 6-0 to the No. 20 Sam Houston State Bearkats (11-3) on Friday evening at Don Sanders Stadium. Due to the threat of rain in the weekend forecast, Saturday's game between CSUN and SHSU has been moved up to a 10 a.m. PT (12 p.m. CT) start.
Cal State Northridge had a tough time finding their way on base in the game and came up unlucky with runners when they were there. Chester Pak hit a single for CSUN in the top of the first inning, but a hard line drive was then hit right into the glove of the first baseman to set up an unassisted inning-ending double play.
The Bearkats opened the scoring in the game with two runs in the bottom of the second. A pair of walks with one out resulted in runs when Colt Atwood laced a two-run double down the right field line later in the inning.
William Colantono opened the CSUN third inning by reaching base on an error, but he too was out on a double play that ended the inning before being able to advance.
Sam Houston State broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs to put the final scoreline at 6-0. With the bases loaded and two outs, Anthony Azar walked to force in a run and Hayden Simerly followed with a bases-clearing double down the left field line.
The Matadors had a runner reach scoring position after a sacrifice bunt in the fifth but could not bring him around. Runners reached base in the sixth and seventh innings but with the same result.
Jerry Keel (0-3) took the loss for the Matadors despite striking out six batters in 6.0 innings of work. Tyler Eppler (3-1) went the distance in the three-hit shutout with one strikeout for Sam Houston State.
Due to potential rain in Huntsville, Texas, the second game of the series has been moved up to 10 a.m. PT on Saturday, March 8. Sunday's series finale is still scheduled for 11 a.m. PT.