March 6, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - NOTE: Due to a last-minute agreement between the Big West Conference and the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the remaining three games of the Matadors series at Nebraska will be broadcasted live, on-line, at www.bigwest.org/tv for free.
Back-to-back home runs from the bats of Matador third baseman Ryan Pineda and first baseman Dominic D'Anna helped CSUN (5-5) chip away at an early five-run deficit, but the Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-3-1) would not allow Northridge to score another run for the remainder of the game as the Matadors lost Friday's game by a score of 9-3.
Both home runs were hit in the fourth inning to one of the deepest parts of the ballpark in left-centerfield, the third home run on the season for each player.
The host Cornhuskers share Hawks Field with their minor-league counterparts, the Lincoln Saltdogs. Due to this unique arrangement, the dimensions of the field are not uniform. With the centerfield fence located 395 feet from home plate, left field and right field alleys measuring at 403 and 400 feet respectively from the dish, the outfield is more expansive than other fields, forcing outfielders to prepare accordingly or risk giving up extra bases to hitters due to the vast real estate that is needed to be covered to field even the most routine ball hit.
After falling behind in the second inning to Nebraska due to a combination hits scattered throughout each and every part of the outfield, the Matadors eventually found their footing, and regained their poise in an effort to further reduce the Conhusker lead.
With the exception of that fatal second inning, Matador starter Ryan McCarney (0-1) only allowed two additional hits to the host 'Huskers in his 5.0 innings pitched.
McCarney struck out another two batters, and negated two seperate 'Husker scoring opportunities as he picked off two Nebraska base-runners, once in the third inning and another time in the fourth inning, raising his total number of pickoffs on the season to three.
McCarney is one of six Matador fielders to pick-off opposing base-runners this season as RHP Billy Ott, LHP Peter Mendez, RHP Bryan Longpre, LHP Bryan Harper, and catcher John Parham each have one apiece.
After the Matadors decreased the Husker advantage to two runs after their home run derby in the fourth inning, Nebraska responded with one run of their own in the sixth inning as Husker catcher Cody Burleson drove in the team's sixth run of the afternoon, driving in teammate Nick Sullivan who originally walked to open up the inning, and advanced to second base on a 'Husker sacrifice bunt.
The newly-created three-run lead would be enough for Nebraska starter Mike Nesseth as he eventually finished the afternoon with a complete game victory, his second win of the season.
The Matadors look to even the series tomorrow afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon. The first game of the series is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. CT/11:05 a.m. PT, with the second game of the day scheduled to start approximately 30 minutes after the completion of the first contest.
Matador baseball fans can catch both of Saturday's games, and the series finale on Sunday afternoon on-line through Gametracker, on the radio via the Husker Sports Network (www.huskers.com), or watch every play live as Big West TV will broadcast all the action on their website (www.bigwest.org/tv).