Feb. 20, 2010
COMPTON, Calif. - A three- run seventh inning gave the Matadors the lead once against the Southern Wildcats Saturday afternoon in their second game of the Urban Youth Invitational in Compton, Calif. However a late inning Jaguar rally was enough to hand CSUN their first loss of the season as Northridge was defeated by a score of 12-9.
Unlike yesterday's game where CSUN's opponent was the first to light up the scoreboard, second baseman Ryan Pineda helped the Matadors take an early 1-0 lead when he hit a line drive home run over the left field fence on the second pitch he faced from Jaguar pitcher Jarrett Maloy.
First baseman Dominic D'Anna then hit a long single to shallow right field, before advancing to right field on a wild pitch before touching home plate six pitches later when catcher Dominic Piazza lined a single to the gap in left-centerfield.
Matador left-fielder C.J. Belanger then hit a pop fly that ended up falling in-between the Southern second baseman, centerfielder, and left-fielder that enabled Piazza to round third and slide safely just underneath the mitt of Southern catcher David Nolting for the third run of the inning.
That lead would increase moments later when Southern shortstop DeMario Ellis misplayed a ground ball hit by third baseman Jason Dabbs and rushed his throw to first base; a throw that severely missed its intended target, allowing Belanger to score the final run of the inning for Northridge.
Southern would respond with one run in the bottom of the second, and eventually piece together a six-run inning to swing the lead in their direction.
The Southern rally would have taken a serious hit midway through the inning; with Southern runners at first and third, Ott made a double-pickoff move that froze the runner at first in his tracks for what would have been the second out.
Instead, the move was ruled a balk, with Southern scoring another two runs to knock Ott out of the game.
CSUN began chipping away at the Southern lead when C.J. Belanger hit a double to left-centerfield with two out in the inning to place himself in scoring position before reaching home on Billy Swanson's first triple as a Matador to cut Southern's lead to 7-5.
The score would remain the same until the top of the seventh when Pineda led off the inning with a single, then stole his first base of the season to put himself in scoring position.
D'Anna would advance to Pineda to third on his single to centerfield before catcher Dominic Piazza drove Pineda home with his double that landed in fair territory down the line in right field to decrease the Jaguar lead to only one run.
After advancing to third on Piazza's double, D'Anna advanced another 90 feet thanks to a balk by Joshua Rochelle to tie the game.
Northridge soon regained the lead on the very next at-bat when Belanger was called out on a razor-close play by the Jaguar first baseman who fielded Belanger's bunt and won the footrace between the two, if only by a step or two.
Even though he was called out on the play, Belanger successfully enabled Piazza to sprint from third to home to score, giving CSUN an 8-7 lead.
Having originally entered the game with his team down 7-4 in the bottom of the third, Justen Gorski pitched brilliantly throughout the duration of his 3.1 innings pitched as the sophomore right-hander allowed only four hits, striking out two in the process.
That lead would become short-lived, as Southern was able to string together five hits to score five runs of their own; a scoring run that would prove to be the difference in the game.
The Matadors will now travel to Westwood to face the UCLA Bruins in the third and final game of the MLB Urban Invitational. RHP Shawn Wilyman will face Bruin left-hander Rob Rasmussen, first-pitch is scheduled to take place at Jackie Robinson Stadium at 2:00 p.m. Matador fans who are unable to attend can still follow all the action online on GameTracker at www.GoMatadors.com.