March 7, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge baseball (4-5) team's rally fell short on Sunday afternoon, as they were defeated by the Connecticut Huskies (5-1), 9-7 at Matador Field. Despite scoring five runs over the final three innings, two timely Husky home runs late in the ballgame would be too much for CSUN to overcome.
The Matadors spent the entire afternoon clawing out of an early hole and nearly did so after rally from a deficit as large as 7-2.
Heading to the top half of the seventh the Huskies broke open a close game at 3-2 to 7-2 after scoring four runs in the inning highlighted by a two out, three-run home run.
The five run deficit though would not deter Northridge, as they slowly began to rally in the final innings.
The Matadors again scored in the eighth when freshman Marty Bowen belted his first collegiate home run, a two-run shot that brought Northridge to within a 7-5 score.
Connecticut though would respond by adding two more runs by way of a home run that stretched their lead to 9-5.
While the home run put the Matadors in a four-run disadvantage with only three outs to go, they started the ninth with a quick strike that propelled themselves back into the game. Drew Muren led off with a single to right field that brought Pineda to the plate, who promptly blasted a deep drive over the left field wall, bringing the Matadors two runs closer.
Unfortunately for the Matadors, their comeback bid came up short, as three of the next four Matadors who came to the plate were retired on strikeouts, securing a 9-7 Connecticut win.
Early on in the game, the Matador found themselves trailing, due to two costly errors that led to the Huskies putting three runs on the board in the top of the first.
Northridge finally got on the board with a two-run fourth inning. Dominic D'Anna led off the frame with a double to left field and would later reach third base on a balk call. Next, C.J. Belanger hit a groundball that gave D'Anna the opportunity to come home. Justin DeMarco then followed with a double to left field. After a wild pitch allowed DeMarco to reach third base, Bowen singled up the middle to bring his team to within 3-2, for his first career hit. The Matadors though did not get any closer in the inning, as the next two batters were retired in order.
In the sixth inning, Connecticut looked to add to their 3-2 lead, but stellar Matador defense prevented what could have been a sure-fire scoring opportunity for the Huskies.
With a runner on second and nobody out, the Huskies' designated hitter Matt Burnett hit a long fly ball that looked to be heading over the head of Matador center fielder Muren. Instead, Muren robbed Burnett with an outstanding diving catch that fooled Huskies baserunner Mike Nemeth, who thought Muren did not catch the ball. Muren threw to third baseman DeMarco, who then relayed to second baseman Pineda to record a double play that ended the Huskies scoring threat.
On the afternoon, five different Matadors had multi-hit games. DeMarco went a perfect 4-for-4 in the game, Muren, Pineda and D'Anna were each 2-for-5, and Bowen went 2-for-4.
Two Matadors, Pineda and Bowen, each had three RBI in the contest, as the former added to his team-lead of 13 RBI on the season.
CSUN will return to the field for the final game of their four-game series against Connecticut. Alex Muren is slated to start for the Matadors and will be opposed by Huskies starter, Pat Butler. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Connecticut 300 000 402 - 9 8 0
Matadors 000 200 122 - 7 14 5
Win - Barnes (2-0) Loss - Wilyman (0-1) Save - None
T - 3:12 A - 413