March 20, 2008

Matadors Drop 5-4 Verdict to LMU

March 20, 2008

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Despite a breakout performance from Drew Muren and another outstanding effort from TS Reed, Cal State Northridge (9-9) dropped a 5-4 decision at Loyola Marymount (10-10). Jimmy Jolicoeur posted another solid outing but took the loss for the Matadors, who host the Lions in a twinbill Saturday.

Reed got things going with a leadoff double in the first, giving the Matadors an early scoring chance. When Justin DeMarco laid down his fifth sac bunt of the year, the Matadors were in even better position, but LMU starter Andy Beal worked his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out. Jimmy Jolicoeur repeated the feat in the bottom of the inning, allowing a single but coming out of the frame unscathed, notching two strikeouts and getting some help from catcher John Parham, who gunned down Spraker attempting to steal second.

In the second, Jolicoeur got touched up and but almost avoided being scored upon. Parham once again caught a runner on a steal attempt and Jolicoeur had two out with runners on the corners, but the Lion hitters caught up with him. The Matadors hurler walked a man and then surrendered a two-run single before finally putting out the Lion threat.

Muren broke the spell for Northridge in the fourth, cashing in Richard Cates and John Parham on a double that crashed against the 30-foot Mikos Blue Monster in left field. Dominic D'Anna followed up with a single to center field, bringing in Muren and shoving the Matadors into the lead by a 3-2 count.

The score stood pat until the seventh as Jolicoeur and Beal traded zeroes. In the seventh, Jolicoeur got the first two men he faced before the third man, Will Dugoni, reached when his bunt attempt turned into an error when Ryan Pineda's throw got away from Dominic D'Anna. Things fell apart after that with two walks (one of them intentional), two hit batsmen, and two LMU runs before the end of the frame. One more Lion score in the eighth gave the Lions a two-run advantage.

Muren breathed life into a Northridge rally in the ninth when he smacked his first home run deep into the trees beyond the right field wall. The Matadors went down quietly after that, however, and fell by a 5-4 count.

Reed did not let up throughout the day and finished the afternoon 4-for-4 with a stolen base. Muren was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored as he registered his best game of the season, and John Parham and D'Anna each tabulated hits as well. Under the radar was a Justin DeMarco sac bunt that put the freshman infielder within one of the record books in that category. DeMarco now has six for the season and needs one to enter into a tie for seventh in the single-season record books for sacrifice hits. Eleven is the Northridge record.

Jolicoeur finished with a nice stat line, as he tossed 6.2 innings and surrendered just two earned runs. Eric Billings and Bryce Schoening combined for the relief effort and managed to keep the Matadors in the game.

The Matadors return to action Saturday when they return to Matador Field after a six-game road stretch. The LMU Lions will come to Matador Field to finish up their four-game set with a doubleheader. Phil Hann gets the ball for the Matadors in game one and Davin Tate will get the nod for the nigthcap. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.

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