March 17, 2009

Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short, CSUN Defeated 6-5 by BYU

March 17, 2009

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Ryan Pineda's RBI in the bottom of the ninth inning chopped the BYU (11-7) lead in half to one run, but the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-11) were unable to score again to tie the game and were defeated by the visiting BYU Cougars by a score of 6-5 Tuesday afternoon.

Northridge now has one day off to prepare for their upcoming four-game series against the Columbia Lions starting on Thursday afternoon, the final games of an eight-game homestand, CSUN's longest of the season.

After Jeff Pruitt was hit by a pitch to lead off the game for Northridge, he stole second base before he was driven in by C.J. Belanger to take an early 1-0 lead.

Belanger would later make his way around the diamond to give his team an early 2-0 lead after one inning of play due to a Cougar throwing error and a catcher's interference call before teammate Chris Hannick singled up the middle to bring him home.

BYU would respond the next inning with one run of their own, and take the lead outright with a three-run third inning performance.

With runners on the corners in the visitor half of the third, what initially looked to be the 11th runner picked-off by a Matador pitcher morphed into a delayed balk call; instead of recording the first out of the inning after BYU's Andrew Law was caught in a 1-3-6-1-6 rundown, the first BYU run crossed the plate, tying the game at that point.

Walton would eventually score thanks to a home run hit by Cougar third baseman Steve Parker, giving the visitors a two-run advantage in the process.

Northridge would trim that lead to only one run in the fifth inning as left fielder Richard Cates drove in TS Reed who led-off the inning with a bunt single of his own.

Just when it looked like the Matadors were building momentum with their performance both on the mound and in the field, Cougar left fielder Sean McNaughton changed the direction of the game with his two-run home run in the seventh inning to build the BYU advantage to three runs.

The Matadors would respond in their half of the seventh as Reed once again led off the inning with a hit, this time with his single to left field, before scoring for the second time in the game on a Cates single through the left side of the infield.

CSUN reduced the BYU lead to one run in the ninth before running out of time, as that single run would become the lone obstacle preventing Northridge from snapping their two-game losing streak.

The Matadors now have a day off to prepare for their four-game series against a Columbia Lion squad that will wrap up their ten-game road trip through Southern California against the Matadors beginning with Thursday's contest.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

BYU            013 000 200 - 6 10 3

Matadors     200 010 101 - 5 10 4

Win - Bunch (2-0)   Loss - Tremlin (2-1)   Save - Wortham (1)