March 25, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Despite scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-9) could not come from behind against the Loyola Marymount Lions (14-9), suffering a 5-3 loss at Matador Field on Friday.
In what was a defensively dominated game for the most part, the two teams combined for five runs in the ninth inning, resulting in a victory for LMU.
The Lions were the first to strike as they scored twice in the top of the third inning following a leadoff double. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Loyola Marymount traded an out for a run on a groundout to the right side and scored again on a two-out single up the middle.
Northridge was able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning as senior TS Reed started things off with a single after turning an inning-ending double play in the top half. Ridge Carpenter earned an infield single on a well-placed bunt and Reed advanced to third on an errant throw from the first baseman trying to get Carpenter at first. Shortstop Kyle Attl picked up his seventh RBI on a fielder's choice to trim the lead to 2-1.
The bats were quiet for both teams until the top of the ninth inning when the Lions added three insurance runs to go ahead 5-1. A leadoff single and a one-out walk set the stage for LMU's Ryan Hawthorne, who took a two-out pitch to left center for a two-run double. The next hitter singled in Hawthorne to build a four-run cushion for the Lions.
Down by four in the bottom of the ninth, Joshua Goossen-Brown started the inning with a double to left field. Rightfielder Nate Ring followed suit by doubling down the left field line for an RBI. With no outs and Ring on second, Tommy Simis recorded an RBI single to get Northridge within two runs at 5-3.
With one out, Carpenter singled to give Northridge runners on first and second for pinch hitter Christian Allen. Allen got under a pitch and fouled out to first base before Andrew Muren struckout swinging to end the game.
In total, LMU left 11 runners on base while the Matadors stranded nine. Justen Gorski (3-2) started the game on the mound for Northridge and pitched 4.0 innings, allowing two runs and taking the loss.
Carpenter finished the day with three hits in five at-bats and Ring went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. The Matadors will play the second game of this series tomorrow at Page Stadium in Los Angeles before returning to Matador Field for the series finale this Sunday at 1 p.m.