March 12, 2010
WESTCHESTER, Calif. - An eight strikeout performance by Ryan Juarez and a six run fourth inning helped Cal State Northridge (7-5) defeat Loyola Marymount (3-9) by a score of 12-5 Friday afternoon at Page Field.
Northridge jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when a leadoff double to left centerfield by Ridge Carpenter turned into Drew Muren's ninth RBI of the season when Muren reached base on a single of his own to left.
Northridge came only a handful of feet from rapidly extending their lead as third baseman Justin DeMarco hit a blast to left-center but LMU left fielder Matt Lowenstein caught DeMarco's shot with his back against the wall to end the inning.
The Lions responded in the bottom half of the inning when leadoff batter Jonathan Johnson hit a triple to right-center to put himself in scoring position.
After Jason Barmasse drew a walk off of Matador starter Juarez, LMU centerfielder Ryan Hawthorne slapped a single through the middle of the infield to tie the game.
With Lions on second and first base, and zero outs in the inning, the Matador defense stepped up and made three key plays to end the inning without suffering further damage.
After Ryan Juarez struckout Lions catcher Matt Koch to record the first out, he then earned his first pickoff of the season when he caught Barmasse at second base leaning a little too much towards third.
The Lion batter ended up singling to right field to put two Lion runners on base on first and second; without Juarez' pick-off, Barmasse would have easily scored from second base to give his team the lead. Instead the Matadors ended the inning with the score intact at 1-1 thanks to a shoestring catch made by Carpenter in left field to end the potential Lion scoring opportunity.
LMU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, but Carpenter tied things up one again in the Matadors' half of the fourth when he reached on a fielder's choice, enabling designated hitter C.J. Belanger to score.
With the bases loaded during Carpenter's at-bat, the junior transfer knew he entered a footrace to first once he put the ball in play as his ground ball went straight towards Lions shortstop Joel Licon who quickly threw the ball to second to gain the first out of what looked to be a potential double-play.
Once Johnson received the ball from Licon, he quickly threw to first, but was unsuccessful in retiring Carpenter. Once the ball left his bat, he quickly sprinted out of the box down the line towards first knowing that a close play at first was imminent.
Instead of being called out on the back-end of a double-play, Carpenter's lightning-quick speed was on full display as he beat the throw by a fraction of a second.
With Belanger running towards home on the play, the Matadors had tied the game at 2-2 once Carpenter was deemed safe.
Little did the crowd at Page Field know what would take place throughout the duration of the inning; instead of turning an inning-ending double-play, Carpenter's hustle would spark what would become a six-run inning for the Matadors.
As Ring stood on third base representing CSUN's go-ahead run, Carpenter stole his eighth base of the season when he sprinted towards second and beat the throw from Koch.
Muren would load the bases when he was hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count, enabling second baseman Ryan Pineda to take his swings at Lion starter Martin Viramontes.
Pineda kept the CSUN scoring opportunity alive when Lion third baseman Shon Roe mishandled Pineda's grounder, enabling all three base-runners to score once the ball ricocheted off Roe's body into shallow centerfield.
Pineda would touch home plate moments later when first baseman Dominic D'Anna launched a line drive to the gap in right-center for his sixth double of the season, driving in the sixth and final run of the inning for Northridge.
All six runs scored with two outs in the inning.
Northridge would extend their lead in the sixth when a lead-off double down the left field line by Muren was followed by a Pineda hit-by-pitch. Muren then stole third, his fourth of the season, which was followed by Pineda's eighth stolen base the very next pitch.
D'Anna drove in his second run of the game when Muren scored on his ground ball to the first baseman; after stepping on first to record one out, Lion first baseman Alex Guthrie threw home in an attempt to complete the double play.
Muren danced his way around the catcher, touching home plate for the Matadors' eighth run of the game by forcing Koch to drop the ball when the two collided with one another at home.
Catcher Marty Bowen advanced Pineda to third with his second hit of the game before the Las Vegas native scampered home on a sacrifice fly to left-center by third baseman Justin DeMarco to extend CSUN's lead to a 9-2 margin.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the Lions would string together back-to-back doubles and a two-run home run to trip three runs off the Matador lead.
After Bryan Longpre entered the game for Juarez, he struckout Lowenstein looking to end the LMU rally, preserving the Matador advantage at 9-5.
Juarez would finish the game tying his career high with eight strikeouts in his 7.2 innings pitched, earning his first win of the season.
As quickly as the Lions chipped away at CSUN's lead, the Matadors would respond in their half of the ninth. After loading the bases, Reed would drive in another two runs with his single through the middle of the infield, to stretch the CSUN lead to 11-5.
Pineda's single through the left side of the infield would bring in Ring from third, restoring Northridge's lead back to seven runs. Longpre would return to the bump in the ninth and retire the side in order to close out the game.
Game two of this weekend's three-game series against the Lions will take place Saturday afternoon at Page Field on the campus of Loyola Marymount. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., Paul Tremlin (2-1, 6.30) will start for CSUN and face Lion right-handed pitcher Ramiro Carreon (1-1, 2.84).
Matadors 100 602 003 - 12 14 0
LMU 101 000 030 - 5 10 1
Win - Juarez (1-1) Loss - Viramontes (0-3) Save - None
T - 3:19 A - 212