March 26, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
It was a tale of two teams at Page Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-10) struggled all day long in an 8-0 loss to the Loyola Marymount Lions (15-9) in a non-conference game.
The Matadors were only able to record two total hits in the game against the Lions, as LMU converted timely at-bats and made key defensive stops to become just the second team to post a shutout against Northridge this season.
Both of the hits for Northridge were from the bat of senior leftfielder Ridge Carpenter, who led off the game with a hard ground ball that resulted in a double down the right field line. Kyle Attl sacrificed himself with a bunt to advance Carpenter to third with one out, but starting pitcher Alex Gillingham (4-2) retired the next two hitters to keep the run from scoring.
Another runner reached safely for the Matadors in the top of the second inning as Nate Ring found himself safe at first base following an error by the first baseman on a tough throw from the pitcher. Tommy Simis following with a comebacker to the pitcher, who was able to make the play and record the third out at first.
The Lions would have put up the first run of the game in the bottom of the second, had it not been for a spectacular relay play to cut down a runner at the plate. With one out, LMU's Alex Guthrie doubled to right field and Ring came up firing to the plate. First baseman Joshua Goossen-Brown cut off the throw and delivered a strike to Steven Keller at the plate to keep the runner from scoring from first base.
The second and final hit for Northridge came in the top of the third inning, as Carpenter singled to left field with one out. He promptly stole second for his conference-leading 10th steal of the year, but could not come around to score as Gillingham induced a groundout with the bases loaded and two out to end the inning.
Loyola Marymount put up three runs on five hits off Matador starting pitcher Vincent Roberts (0-5) to take the first advantage at 3-0 after three innings. Four more runs came across in the bottom of the fourth for the Lions as catcher Matt Koch hit a bases-clearing double to left center with the bases loaded. More runs would have likely scored for LMU had centerfielder Andrew Muren not made a remarkable play in the outfield, diving toward the center field wall to make an over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.
The final run for the Lions was scored in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Matadors did not have a runner advance past first base the rest of the way.
Carpenter finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, single and stolen base for Northridge as the only man to reach base via a hit.
The series will wrap up tomorrow at Matador Field at 1 p.m. before the Matadors head south to take on the San Diego State Aztecs on Tuesday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.