CSUN Loses Series Finale at UC Irvine 10-2

IRVINE, Calif. -

Michael Livingston went 2-for-3 with a triple and Louis Cohen pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief but the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-22, 2-7 Big West) were defeated 10-2 by the UC Irvine Anteaters (24-11, 8-1 Big West) in a Big West Conference game on Sunday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark. The Anteaters scored the final eight runs of the game after the Matadors tied the score at two runs apiece early on.

"We need to get back, clean up and get healthy," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "We're going to be going at it again this week and our team is looking forward to the challenge."

UC Irvine scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first and were in position for more before CSUN starting pitcher John Salas was able to escape a bases-loaded jam. A one-out triple followed by a passed ball resulted in a 2-0 lead for the Anteaters going into the second inning.

The Matadors rebounded for two runs in the top of the third to tie the score after Salas set down the Anteaters in order in the second. Livingston singled to center field and stole second before scoring on an RBI single by Brett Balkan. Singles by Ranny Lowe and Ryan Raslowsky loaded the bases before Chester Pak's fielder's choice plated Balkan from third.

It was all UCI after that, however, as the Anteaters outscored the Matadors 8-0 the rest of the way. Taylor Sparks hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the third and scored on a sacrifice fly to but his side ahead 4-2.

Three runs in the bottom of the fourth pushed the margin to 7-2 on an RBI single for Grant Palmer, a sacrifice fly and a double by Connor Spencer. Cohen then entered the game for the Matadors and induced an inning-ending double play to strand a runner on base.

The final three runs of the game were scored in the bottom of the eighth to put the final score at 10-2. John Brontsema hit a pinch-hit RBI single, Chris Rabago drove in a run on a double and Spencer recorded the Anteaters' third sac fly of the day to push across the final run.

Livingston led the Matadors at the plate with a pair of hits and also recorded the second triple of his career. AB Blanchet got the start for CSUN at first base, as the Irvine native's pair of pinch hits the previous two games propelled him into the starting lineup for the second time this year.

"AB is a prime example of continuing to work even when you're not getting the opportunities," said Moore. "He's done a good job in the limited chances that he's had."

Salas (4-2) was charged with the loss in 3.1 innings of work while UCI starter Evan Brock (6-2) went 7.0 innings and allowed two runs in the win.

The Matadors will return home for their next game on Tuesday, April 15, against Pepperdine. First pitch at Matador Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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