NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Cal State Northridge got the potential winning run on base in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to cash in as the Matadors (8-14) were defeated 3-2 by the Bakersfield Roadrunners (8-11) on Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field. Bakersfield scored three early runs and were able to hold off CSUN despite having the final 14 batters of the game set down in order.
"I think the team, despite a lack of results on the scoreboard, is starting to understand its personality," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "There are some guys that are really locking into the plan at the plate. There are some positives coming out of today. The baseball gods are testing these guys a little bit."
The Roadrunners were the first to score in the game, putting up a run in the top of the second. After Allen Gwynn started the inning with a single, Logan Trowbridge plated him with a triple into the right field corner. Two more runs came across for Bakersfield in the top of the third when a two-run home run by Andrew Lojewski made it 3-0.
Bakersfield had runners on first and second with one out in the top of the fifth before Louis Cohen entered the game and proceeded to retire 11 consecutive hitters. From that point on, Cohen and fellow reliever Shay Maltese did not allow a Roadrunner to reach base.
"It's a good feeling to be able to go in there and support my teammate," said Cohen. "My approach was to just go after it, attack, and make sure everything I threw was straight toward the glove. I know I have guys behind me that can play defense, so I need to keep going out there to play my game."
The Matadors began chipping away at the deficit and scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Ranny Lowe drew a walk and stole second base before crossing the plate on an RBI single by Ryan Raslowsky.
A run in the home half of the sixth drew the Matadors to within one at 3-2. Nick Blaser started things off with a double down the left field line before scoring on a double by Dylan Alexander with two outs.
Cal State Northridge was set down in order in the seventh and eighth innings but came to life in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Michael Livingston drew a walk and pinch hitter Nick Murphy hit a single into right field. A snaking ground ball, however, found the second baseman for Bakersfield in time to tag Murphy for the final out of the game.
Garrett Nimmo (1-0) was credited with the victory for the Roadrunners after 3.0 innings of relief while Max Carter pitched the final three innings to earn a save. John Salas (2-1) was hit with the loss for the Matadors for the first time this year despite striking out five in 4.1 innings.
The Matadors will get right back to action when the team hosts Stony Brook on Wednesday, March 19th. First pitch at Matador Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.