March 30, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (10-13, 0-3) fell behind early and was unable to recover Sunday, giving up three runs over the first two innings and ultimately falling 10-6 to UC Santa Barbara (18-7, 3-0).
Northridge got out to a hot start, knocking three singles against UCSB starter Chuck Huggins. TS Reed got aboard with a leadoff single and came around on Richard Cates' base hit later in the inning. Huggins did notch two strikeouts and was able to strand two Matadors.
The Matadors did not hold the lead for long, with the Gauchos evening the score with a Chris Fox solo home run in the bottom of the frame and adding a pair of scores in the second, chasing Billy Ott. Back-to-back solo shots in the fourth increased the Gaucho lead to four.
While the Matadors had a difficult time getting anything going, The Gauchos continued to roll. They added two more in the fourth and three in the sixth to open a 7-1 lead.
Down six, Northridge pieced together a scoring effort in the eighth, with Richard Cates smacking a single to set up Dominic D'Anna for a two-run shot. The blast markied the freshman's first career home run.
The Gauchos got the runs back on a three-batter sequence of double, double, home run to open the frame.
In the ninth, Jowen-James Murray-Thornton smacked a two-out two-run single that narrowed the final deficit to four, 10-6.
Despite the run in the first, Huggins was effective in the early going, and struck out the side in the second. He continued his momentum through each of his seven innings, finishing with just the one run and 11 strikeouts. The bullpen didn't fare quite as well, with five pitchers combining for two innings, five hits, and five earned runs.
Northridge will continue its search for the 500th conference win in program history when they host Cal Poly for a three-game set next weekend. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m.