March 31, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Fresh from a series victory against UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (12-14, 2-1 BWC) continued where they left off Tuesday afternoon as they led from start to finish in a 5-1 victory over the visiting UNLV Rebels (13-14).
Starting with Westley Wright, Northridge Head Coach Steve Rousey used four different pitchers on the afternoon, all combining to limit the Rebels to only one run and five hits throughout the game. Wright ended up winning his first game of the season, and in the process set a new season high with four strikeouts while his teammate Jimmy Jolicoeur earned his second save.
With almost twenty percent of their runs scored this season taking place in the first inning, the Matadors wasted no time in scoring the first run of the game in their first at-bats as shortstop TS Reed led-off with a double down the left-field line before scoring on a fielding error by Rebel second baseman Bryan Resnick.
What should have been the first out of the first inning morphed into a Matador scoring opportunity, one that they would fully take advantage of as Richard Cates followed Reed’s at-bat and grounded to the second baseman; a hit that could not be handled cleanly, allowing Reed to score from second base.
The Matadors would tack another run on the scoreboard in the second As Todd Eskelin led off with a triple to the gap in right-centerfield and never slowed down once he left the batter’s box to motor around the diamond for his second triple of the season.
Eskelin would not have long to catch his breath as Chris Hannick followed with a sharply-hit ball to the gap, this time in left-centerfielder for a double that easily scored Eskelin for an early 2-0 lead
The Rebels would score one run of their own in the fifth, cutting the Matador lead in half and making the game a lot more interesting before CSUN scored two more runs in the seventh to extend their lead to three runs.
After third baseman Jason Dabbs reached base on a throwing error, second baseman Tommy Simis was hit by a pitch on an attempted bunt that was intended to advance Dabbs to second base. Instead of a sacrifice bunt, the Matadors now had two men on-base with zero outs, and a runner in scoring position.
Pinch-hitter C.J. Belanger then entered the game and laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the season to move Dabbs to third, and Simis to second, wit only one out having been recorded by the Rebels in the inning.
Cates then drove in both runners with his double through the middle of the infield to extend the Matador lead from one to three runs.
CSUN added another insurance run the following inning thanks to Simis who doubled to left-centerfield to drive in Dabbs who originally reached base on a bunt single to stretch out the CSUN advantage to a 5-1 margin before Jolicoeur retired three consecutive Rebels in the ninth to end the game.
Baseball fans will be able to follow Wednesday’s game online at www.GoMatadors.com via GameTracker, or internet radio as CSUN senior Tamer Tartir will broadcast all the action live from Matador Field.
UNLV 000 010 000 – 1 5 4
Matadors 110 000 21x – 5 8 2
Win – Wright (1-0) Loss – Urlaub (3-3) Save – Jolicoeur (2)
T – 2:34 A - 118