March 21, 2010
BELLEVUE, Wash. - A career-high six RBI's by second baseman Ryan Pineda provided all the runs that Cal State Northridge (13-6) needed to defeat Seattle University by a score of 18-6 in the series finale Sunday afternoon.
With the victory the Matadors earned their first four-game sweep since 1998 when the Matadors took all four games against Southern Utah to close out the 1998 season, and extended their win streak to a season-high five games.
For the third time in the series, CSUN was able to take an early lead when a leadoff walk drawn by left-fielder Ridge Carpenter morphed into the first run of the game. Once on base, Carpenter advanced from first to third on a successful hit-and-run play when teammate Drew Muren hit a line drive through the left side of the infield.
With runners on the corners, Pineda took full advantage of the scoring opportunity that presented him as the second baseman promptly hit a single to the left field power alley that enabled Muren to advance to second, and Carpenter to score the first run of the game.
First baseman Dominic D'Anna then drove in his first RBI of the game when he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Instead of playing it safe during D'Anna's at-bat by holding Muren at third, third base coach Mark Kertenian decided to send the centerfield home as he sprinted around the base paths from the moment the ball left D'Anna's bat.
The aggressive play caught Redhawk first baseman Riley Tompkins by complete surprise as his late reaction to the play forced a throw to his catcher that sailed high and wide from its intended target.
Looking to add to their 2-0 lead, designated hitter Nate Ring reached on an error, and quickly advanced his way around the diamond to score the third run of the inning thanks to back-to-back-singles from right-fielder C.J. Belanger and third baseman Justin DeMarco.
After Seattle scored one run in the bottom of the first inning to shave the CSUN lead down to 3-1, Pineda extended the Northridge lead back to three with his home run to straightaway centerfield.
The home run was Pineda's second of the weekend, and served as a precursor to his offensive exploits that would take place later in the game.
D'Anna followed with his fifth double of the season to place himself in scoring position, advancing to third when Decater grounded out to the pitcher.
Had Decater's ground ball not ricocheted off the foot of Redhawk pitcher Brian Shannon, D'Anna would have stayed at second base. But once D'Anna saw the ball bounce off the pitcher, he wisely advanced to third.
Belanger would keep the momentum alive when he took first base after being hit by a pitch, and was quickly followed by DeMarco's seventh double of the season when his shot down the line in left field enabled D'Anna to score.
Only two pitches later, Ring hit his fourth double of the season to right-centerfield, driving in both Belanger and DeMarco for a 7-1 Matador lead.
Advancing to third on catcher Dominic Piazza's deep fly ball to right field, Ring would advance another 90 feet to score the fifth run of the inning on Carpenter's single through the middle of the infield.
The Matador scoring spree continued when Carpenter stole his thirteenth base of the season, scoring four pitches later when Muren singled to left field.
An innocent dribbler back to the pitcher off the bat of Pineda looked to bring an end to the inning, with Pineda hustling towards first base on the play he forced Redhawk reliever Even Ewing to rush his throw towards first and commit the third Seattle error of the game.
With Muren scoring on the play, Pineda sprinted around the diamond, eventually ending up at third base.
As was the case with Pineda when he originally led off the third inning, D'Anna belted his second home run of the weekend over the fence in right field to score the final two runs of the inning, wrapping up a nine run, seven hit inning.
CSUN's offense showed no sign of slowing down as a leadoff walk in the fourth inning by DeMarco would jump-start a six run, four hit inning.
Ring's single up the middle would advance DeMarco to second before Piazza drove in the third baseman on the very next pitch with his single to right field. Carpenter would then reach base with another single, scoring Ring in the process before Swanson reached base on a fielder's choice/throwing error to load the bases for Pineda.
With the count 2-1, the second baseman hit his second home run of the game, a grand slam, to empty the bases and stretch out the Matador lead to 18-1. The grand slam was the second hit by the Matadors in as many days against the Redhawks; DeMarco hit his first career grand slam the previous day en route to a 10-5 CSUN victory.
Seattle would score another two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, and another two in the seventh to shrink the Matador lead to what would end up being the final score of the game, 18-6.
Sunday's offensive output for CSUN matched their season-opening performance against Bethune-Cookman, a game the Matadors won decisively by a score of 18-4. Including last week's games against Loyola Marymount and UNLV, Northridge has driven in double-digit runs in five of their last eight games.