Matadors Split Season Series With Pepperdine After 9-5 Loss


On a warm and breezy day in the San Fernando Valley, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-23) were defeated by the Pepperdine Waves (28-8) 9-5 in a game that featured 24 hits, 14 runs and six errors on Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field. With the loss, the Matadors split the season series against the Waves one game apiece.

"You can't go backwards and focus on a mistake. You have to move forward and focus on the next pitch," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore when asked about his postgame message to the team. "We didn't get the big hit today. We had a chance early to keep them close but we didn't do it."

The Waves rushed out to an early lead after scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Hutton Moyer hit a triple off the center field wall before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Bryan Langlois. CSUN starting pitcher Jordan Johnson settled in after that point, however, and allowed just one more hit while striking out two before being relieved in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the second inning the Matadors were able to get runners to second and third with two outs following singles for Nick Blaser and Michael Livingston and a sacrifice bunt by Brett Balkan. William Colantano then hit a ball deep behind the bag at second but shortstop Manny Jefferson made a fine diving stop and throw to first to end the inning.

Pepperdine extended its lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Aaron Brown. The Waves went ahead 6-0 the next inning after an RBI double by Moyer, a two-run double by Brown and an RBI single by Brad Anderson.

The Matadors scored their first run in the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after Livingston opened the frame with a single down the right field line. With Balkan batting, Livingston advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt by catcher Kolten Yamaguchi and moved to third on a ground out. Colantono then hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield that scored Livingston easily.

The Waves got the run back in the top of the sixth to take a 7-1 lead on an RBI single by Jefferson but the Matadors struck for two runs in the home half to move within four.

Ryan Raslowsky hit a ball to right center field that was misplayed by Brown in center and reached third on the error. He then scored on a ground out by Chester Pak before Nick Murphy hit a solo home run to left field, the first homer of his CSUN career.

Pepperdine added a run in the eighth on a deep sacrifice fly by Austin Davidson before the Matadors plated a pair in the bottom half to cut the deficit to 8-5. Pak and Murphy hit consecutive singles to start the inning before Blaser grounded into a fielder's choice at first base. Anderson fielded the ball at first and attempted to start a double play but threw the ball into left field, allowing Pak to score from second.

Balkan then hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield to bring the Matadors within three runs. With the tying run on first base, however, Colantono hit a sharp line drive off of the back of the pitcher and it deflected right to the shortstop, who completed the double play to end the inning.

Pepperdine added an insurance run in the ninth to put the final score at 9-5. Pak finished the game 3-for-5 for the Matadors with a run scored and an RBI while Murphy and Livingston had two hits each.

Johnson (2-3) allowed one earned run in 3.0 innings of work but was hit with the loss as he was the pitcher of record when he left the game in a controlled outing. Jackson McClelland (6-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6.0 innings to get the win for Pepperdine.

The Matadors will remain at home for their next series and will welcome the Hawai'i Rainbows to Matador Field for a three-game set beginning Thursday, April 17. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and following the game the program will host Movie Night for all fans on the field.

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