Feb. 21, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A three-run fifth inning would provide all the necessary runs for sophomore pitcher Ryan Juarez as the Matadors avenged yesterday's final-inning loss by defeating the Pepperdine Waves 6-2 in their inaugural home game of the 2009 season.
In his six-inning stint on the mound today, Juarez only allowed seven hits and two runs to pick up the first CSUN victory of the season.
Billy Ott emerged from the bullpen in the top of the seventh to preserve the victory, allowing zero hits in three runs, picking up his first save of the season in the process.
For the second consecutive game, the Matadors jumped out to an early lead, this time in the second inning as third-baseman Ryan Pineda scored the first run of the game thanks to a line drive down the left field line by designated hitter Chris Hannick.
The Matadors fully took advantage of a number of pitching miscues by Pepperdine starter Scott Alexander in the very next inning as they drove in yet another run after Alexander walked two batters and threw a wild pitch.
The Pepperdine miscues continued in the bottom half of the third inning as T.S. Reed attempted to steal third base and forced Pepperdine catcher Nate Johnson to launch his throw over the head of his third baseman, giving Reed an easy path to home plate to score the second run of the game.
But it was in the fifth inning when the Matador bats exploded, adding another three runs to the scoreboard to take a commanding 5-0 lead over the visiting Waves.
After centerfielder Jeff Pruitt took first base after being hit by another errant Alexander pitch, he advanced another 90 feet due to another wild pitch thrown by the Waves starter, and was eventually driven in by a single from the bat of Richard Cates.
It was then when Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez took his starter out of the game in an attempt to neutralize the newly-created momentum created by the Matadors.
But even with a fresh arm on the mound, the Matadors continued to stay aggressive at the plate.
After Parham scored on a fielder's choice, Cates ended up scoring the final run of the inning for CSUN thanks to a single from the bat of Todd Eskelin.
For the second time in as many games, Pepperdine responded in their very next at-bat with back-to-back solo home runs. Whereas the Waves tied and won the games via the long ball in yesterday's match-up, this time around the home runs provided what would be their only run production on the afternoon.
The Waves could have chipped away at the Matador lead even further if it were not for the effort of Eskelin; instead of damaging the Waves with his bat, it was his spectacular throw from deep right field to Parham that secured the third out of the inning as he gunned down Pepperdine's Denny Duron who was trying to score on the play.
With the combined play of Ott on the mound, and another insurance run scored by CSUN in the bottom of the seventh, the Matadors took the second game of the weekend series, and will travel to Malibu tomorrow afternoon for the rubber match of the series.
First pitch is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m.