March 5, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Richard Cates logged his fifth-straight multi-hit game and Jason Dabbs was 3-for-4 on the day, but the Matadors (5-3, 0-0) couldn't keep up with UC Santa Barbara (7-3) in Tuesday's game at Matador Field. The Gauchos pounded out 16 hits in recording their fourth consecutive victory.
The Gauchos have now beaten two Big West opponents in as many days.
For Northridge, Ryan Juarez got the start in the Wednesday game. It was his first career start and the freshman responded with two shutout innings to start things off. The Matadors were the first on the board after a Richard Cates double brought home Ryan Pineda, but four-run frames for the gauchos in the third and fifth toppled Northridge.
Runs in the sixth and eighth gave the Matadors three runs total, and the Gauchos added one in the eighth as well to push the final score to 9-3. Juarez was the loser, and his record moved to 1-1.
Cates, Dabbs, and Pineda were all bright spots for the Matadors. Each player tabbed at least two hits with great results. Dabbs was the only Matador with three knocks, Cates added two RBI to his stat line, and Pineda smacked a double and a triple in the Northridge cause. C.J. Belanger made four Matadors with two or more hits.
Matt Valaika was the Gaucho champion; the shortstop was 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. One of Valaika's hits left the yard for a home run.
The matadors will rest Thursday before kicking off a four-game weekend set with St. John's. The action starts Friday at 2 p.m. at Matador Field.