March 19, 2010

Late-Inning Heroics Helps CSUN Defeat Seattle 5-4

March 19, 2010

Box Score

BELLEVUE, Wash. - With the score tied at 4-4 in the top of the thirteenth inning, a double into right field from the bat of Marty Bowen would prove to be the decisive swing as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-6) defeated Seattle University (3-12) by a score of 5-4 in thirteen innings.

CSUN has only a short amount of time to enjoy the victory as they will compete in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Game one is scheduled to last only seven innings and will start at 1 p.m., game two will go the full nine innings and begin 40 minutes after the end of the previous game.

Northridge would be the first team to score in Friday's game as Matador designated hitter Nate Ring drew a five-pitch base on balls with the bases loaded to force right fielder C.J. Belanger home from third base in the second inning.

Belanger initially reached base on a single, advanced to second when third baseman Justin DeMarco lined a single through the left side of the infield, and reached third when catcher Dominic Piazza drew a walk to load the bases before Ring earned a free pass to first base himself.

The RBI was fourth of the season for Ring.

In the bottom half of the same inning, Seattle created their first scoring opportunity of the evening, a chance that quickly evaporated thanks to the stellar performance of the Matador defense.

With a Redhawk runner on third, and zero outs in the inning, Matador starter Ryan Juarez struckout left fielder Mike Malland for the first out.

Matador first baseman Dominic D'Anna caught out number two in foul territory shortly before crashing into the fence next to the Matador dugout off the first base side of the infield, and wisely threw home as fast as he could to prevent Seattle from scoring their first run of the game. Three pitches later, Seattle shortstop Nick Latta grounded out to Juarez to end the inning, leaving his teammate stranded at third.

Seattle successfully tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third before Northridge regained the lead once again with their efforts in the top of the sixth.

Second baseman Ryan Pineda led off the action with a single to centerfield, before stealing his team-high twelfth base in as many attempts this season.

D'Anna soon joined him on base due to catcher's interference, and was followed by shortstop Brad Decater's successful bunt down the line at third base to load the bases.

Belanger drove in his twelfth run of the season on a sacrifice fly to right field, driving in Pineda to regain the lead at 2-1.

D'Anna would extend that lead by another run once he scored on a passed ball, and was soon joined in the dugout by Decater who was able to score on a throwing error by Latta.

Seattle responded by scoring two runs in the bottom of the same inning, a scoring opportunity that could have caused even further damage to Northridge had Decater not made two outstanding plays.

After diving into the dirt behind second base to turn what would have been a surefire hit to centerfield into the second out of the frame, Decater ended the inning moments later by snaring a potential single through the left side of the diamond, jumped into the air towards third base, and threw across his body to end the inning and preserve the 4-3 Matador lead.

Seattle would eventually tie the game in the bottom of the seventh when Latta reached base to lead off the inning, eventually making his way around the diamond to score on Redhawk second baseman Nate Robert's sacrifice fly to centerfield.

That run would tie the game at 4-4, sending the game into extra innings to determine a winner.

Both teams would hang zeroes on one another until the bottom of the twelfth inning when Seattle pieced together the first serious scoring opportunity of the extra frames.

With runners on first and second, and zero outs, relief pitcher Bryan Longpre struckout Narby before inducing an inning-ending double play to further extend the game.

After squelching Seattle's scoring opportunity the previous inning, CSUN would take full advantage of their first extra-inning scoring opportunity when a leadoff single by Decater in the top of the thirteenth would morph into the deciding run of the game.

With pinch-runner Billy Swanson entering the game for Decater, Bowen wasted no time in bringing him home as when he hit a rocket down the line in right field for the game-winning RBI.

The double was his third of the season, improving CSUN's record to 2-0 in extra-inning games this season.

Matador right-hander Billy Ott then entered the game to pick up his first save of the season, helping Longpre earn his first win in 2010.

After forcing Latta to pop-out to the catcher, he then picked off Redhawk pinch-runner Bryndon Ecklund before forcing centerfielder Doug Buser to groundout to Decater to end the game.

Both teams will return to Bannerwood Park for a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. Game one is scheduled for only seven innings and will begin at 1:00 p.m.; a full nine inning game will take place later in the day and will start approximately 40 minutes after the end of the first game.

A pair of right-handers will face one another in the first game of the day as Paul Tremlin (3-1, 3.71) will face Arlo Evasick (1-2, 6.75) in the afternoon, RHP Shawn Wilyman (0-2, 7.36) will square-off against LHP Conor Spink (0-3, 9.16) in the back-half of the doubleheader.

Both games will be available on internet radio and Live Stats courtesy of Seattle University and can be accessed at www.GoMatadors.com.

Matadors   010 003 000 000 1 - 5 10 6

Seattle     001 002 100 000 0 - 4 8 2

Win - Longpre (1-0)    Loss - Whieldon (1-2)    Save - Ott (1)

A - 114     T - 4:12