March 1, 2008

Matadors Ambush Explorers in 15-0 Win

March 1, 2008

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Phil Hann tossed a gem, Richard Cates continued his hot start, two Matadors logged their first career hits, and the Matadors cruised to a 15-0 win Saturday at Matador Field. Hann went six strong innings, striking out 11, and keyed the Matadors' first shutout since the 2006 campaign.

Hann moved to 1-0 with the win and his 11 strikeouts more than doubled his previous career-high. Hann was the first Northridge hurler to register double-digit strikeouts since Craig Baker, who managed ten twice in 2006. No Matador has logged 11 in the last five seasons.

Hann also keyed what turned into the Matadors' first shutout since the 2006 season, when Edwin Quirarte blanked the Gauchos in a complete game effort. The 15 runs in a shutout were the most since the Matadors lambasted Loyola Marymount in 1996 by the same count.

In the third inning, Northridge jumped out to a three-run lead behind C.J. Belanger's two-run double. The frame represented the first time this season that Northridge had score first in a game. The Matadors didn't let up over the next three innings, scoring at least two runs in each. The barrage was capped by a five-run fifth in which six consecutive matadors reached base to open the inning. The Matadors added two runs in the seventh to open the advantage to 15 runs, and Billy Ott corraled an eighth-inning surge from the Explorers, stranding runners at second and third to send the shutout into the ninth. Freshman Paul Tremlin sat the Explorers down 1-2-3 in the ninth to preserve the blanking.

Cates continued his impressive start. Coming into the game leading the Matadors in most offensive categories, Cates went 3-for-6 and brought home three runs. TS Reed was an early substitution and made the most of his opportunity with two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. The second baseman also scored three runs and had a pair of RBI. Matt Warr and Jason Dabbs, with two hits each, rounded out the Matadors with multiple hits. Drew Muren also was a contributor with two RBI, and John Parham reached base four time with three walks and a hit. The Northridge attack outlasted six LaSalle hurlers, and none made it through as many as three frames.

Chris Hannick broke out of his hitless spell with a line-drive single in the fourth, and Edwin Quirarte made the most of his first career at bat with a single through the right side in the seventh.

Northridge will look to ride the momentum from Saturday's win into Sunday's contest with the Explorers, where LaSalle will continue its search for its first win. The matadors, on the other hand, will be looking to start its first two-game winning streak of 2008. Davin Tate gets the ball for the Matadors; game twime is slated for 1 p.m.

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