March 28, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Six hits and seven runs in their first two innings helped Cal State Northridge (15-7) claim the series finale against Sacramento State (7-14-1) Sunday afternoon at Matador Field.
Today's win is the Matadors second straight over the Hornets, and gives Northridge its third straight weekend-series victory.
Five different Matadors had multiple hits on the afternoon. C.J. Belanger paced the offensive attack with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, while Ridge Carpenter, Drew Muren, Dominic Piazza and TS Reed each contributed two hits apiece.
Matador hurler Billy Ott did his part to keep the Hornet offense in-check, allowing only one hit and two runs in his 5.1 innings pitched.
After the Hornets scored three quick runs in their first set of at-bats, the CSUN hitters would come to the plate ready to do some damage of their own.
With two men aboard and no outs, Ryan Pineda stepped to the plate and blasted his team-leading eighth homer of the season deep over the right field fence. The three-run shot brought home Carpenter and Muren and tied the score at three.
Then in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded, it would again be Pineda who would jump start another lengthy scoring opportunity for Northridge.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Pineda's sacrifice fly to center field allowed Reed to tag and score from third. Shortly thereafter, a wild pitch by Hornet pitcher Mike Guglielmo allowed Carpenter to score the Matadors second run of the inning.
Just five pitches later, a D'Anna single through the right side would score Muren from third and make the score 6-3, Matadors.
CSUN would get its fourth and final run of the inning when Belanger's double to left field brought D'Anna home from second base, giving the Matador a four-run cushion after two innings of play.
Piazza lit up the Matador's side of the scoreboard for the third-straight inning when his solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third made the score 8-3, CSUN. The home run was Piazza's first as a Matador.
Northridge kept things rolling in the bottom of the fifth when Carpenter singled to center field to score Reed from second, and put Northridge up 9-3.
Reed put himself in scoring position earlier in the inning by ripping a one-out double down the left-field line.
The Hornets got three runs back in the top of the sixth, but it would not take long for Northridge to answer.
It was Reed's single to center field that fueled the final scoring opportunity of the day for Northridge.
Reed's single was followed by two straight walks drawn by Carpenter and Muren to load the bases once again for Pineda.
Once Reed reached base, he did a superb job of getting into the head of Hornet pitcher Tommy Elrod, as the Matadors shortstop threw one fake after the other to steal second base. It was clear that Reed's speed and potential to steal a base was in the minds of the Hornet battery, as Elrod's pitches sailed in every direction except for its intended target.
This time Pineda would drew a walk, allowing Reed to cross home plate for the third time of the day. Neither team would score again, giving the Matadors the win in this weekend's rubber match.
With the victory, CSUN has now won eight of the last nine games against the Hornets.
The Matadors will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at Matador field, when they will face off against Albany in their final tune up before the start of Big West play. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.
Sacramento State 300 003 000 - 6 6 1
Matadors 341 010 10x - 10 13 0
Win - Ott (2-0) Loss - Guglielmo (0-2) Save - None
T - 3:20 A - 410