March 19, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
A four-run third inning would provide all the necessary offense for Cal State Northridge (7-11) starting pitcher Billy Ott as he threw a dominating eight full innings in the Matador's victory over the Columbia Lions (1-13) Thursday afternoon.
Outside of two runs given up to the Lions in the eighth inning, the only blemish on Ott's performance, the Lions were only able to collect five hits off the Matador right-handeder throughout the first seven innings of the game.
The only scoring threat that Columbia was able to create took place in the third when they had runners on first and second base with zero outs in the inning. After Matador catcher John Parham threw out the runner on second for the first out in the frame, Ott collected the second out only moments later as he picked off the runner on first to eliminate the Lions' opportunity to score the first runs of the game.
The Matador pitching staff now has ten pickoffs on the season, with Ott earning his first of the year, with Parham collecting his second on the season.
For the second consecutive game, Northridge was the first team to take the lead thanks to their four-run, three-hit effort in the third, all with two outs already recorded.
With base runners advancing one base on a balk call made by the first base umpire, Matador third baseman Ryan Pineda earned his 18th and 19th RBI's of the season as both of his teammates touched home plate on his single to right field.
Pineda would soon find a seat in the Matador dugout as the very next batter, left fielder Richard Cates hit a double to right-centerfield to score Pineda. Cates would later score the final out of the inning courtesy of a single up the heart of the infield off the bat of first baseman Dominic D'Anna to complete the scoring for the home squad in that inning.
The Matadors would tack on another three runs in the fifth thanks to the combination of a Cates single, D'Anna double, Parham single, a wild pitch thrown by Columbia starter Geoff Whitaker, a single by the designated hitter Chris Hannick, a single to right field by Jason Dabbs, and a Columbia wild pitch.
In total, an additional three runs were scored off of five Matador hits to pull away from the visiting Lions, making a tough job even more difficult for Columbia as they struggled to even earn a hit off of Ott, let alone string together a number of hits to dent the Matador advantage.
CSUN added another insurance run in the sixth as Parham earned his second RBI on the afternoon by driving in Cates who advanced his way around the diamond after originally reaching base on a single that split the Lions' third baseman and shortstop before coming to a rest in shallow left field.
A two-run Columbia eighth inning decreased the CSUN lead to six runs, but RHP Justen Gorski would make his first appearance in 2009 a successful one as he entered the game in the ninth to secure the Matador's seventh victory of the season, snapping a three-game skid in the process.
Both teams will return to Matador Field Friday afternoon for the second of four games taking place this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Columbia 000 000 020 - 2 8 2
Matadors 004 031 00x - 8 13 3
Win - Ott (1-1) Loss - Whitaker (0-3)
T - 2:36 A - 235