NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
In a game that was rescheduled from February due to rain, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-14) were able to shut down the Washington State Cougars (9-12) 2-1 on Monday afternoon at Matador Field. Dylan Alexander tripled in a run and scored on a William Colantono single in the second inning to provide all of the offense the Matadors needed in the contest.
Things got off on the right foot for the Cougars when Collin Slaybaugh opened the game with a single on the first pitch he saw. Two batters later, Yale Rosen hit a ball down the right field line that eluded Chester Pak and went for an RBI triple that put Washington State ahead 1-0.
Cal State Northridge nearly tied the game in the bottom of the first when Ranny Lowe drew a four-pitch walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Raslowsky. The sacrifice was the 15th of Raslowsky's career, moving him into a tie for 10th all-time at CSUN. The Matadors could not take advantage of the situation, however, and Lowe was stranded at second after a pair of strikeouts.
The Matadors did tie the game and take the lead in the bottom of the second, scoring a pair of runs that held up over the course of the afternoon. Nicolas Osuna walked on four pitches before Alexander laced a 3-2 pitch into the right field corner for the first triple of his career. With one out in the inning, Colantono lined a single back up the middle to put the Matadors ahead for good at 2-1.
"I didn't think about anything; I just wanted to go up there and take good, quality swings," said Colantono.
Pitching played a vital role in the victory for CSUN, as starting pitcher Louis Cohen and reliever Brandon Warner combined to retired 16 consecutive Cougars from the top of the second to the top of the seventh. Washington State got a pair of singles in the seventh but stranded two runners on base when Anthony Cortez came into the game and got the final out on one pitch.
Alexander and Colantono each picked up their second hits of the game in the bottom of the seventh but a runner was thrown out at the plate to end the inning as the Matadors looked to score an insurance run.
Washington State got a runner to second base in the eighth against closer Shay Maltese after a one-out single and a stolen base. Maltese buckled down to force a ground out that ended the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Nick Tanielu got the Cougars going with a leadoff single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A foul out to catcher Nick Murphy and a ground out put the potential tying run at third with two down, but Maltese responded by getting Matt Mendenhall to pop up to end the game.
"Shay is so steady and consistent and we know what we are going to get with him," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "He's not perfect, but he gives us a chance every time because of the way he goes about his business."
Warner (1-1) pitched 4.2 innings in relief and allowed two hits while striking out three to earn the victory. Layne Bruner (0-1) took the loss for Washington State after conceding a pair of runs in 1.1 innings. Shay Maltese worked around two hits and struck out two in 2.0 innings to notch his third save of the year.
Alexander and Colantono each went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI while Alexander also scored a run.
The Matadors will return to action on Tuesday, March 25, with a non-conference game at Pepperdine. First pitch from Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu, Calif., is scheduled for 3 p.m.