April 3, 2009
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif - With the score tied at 10-10 in the bottom of the tenth inning, a Cal State Northridge (13-15, 2-2 BWC) throwing error on an attempt to catch Cal Poly (19-7, 1-3 BWC) designated hitter D.J. Gentile went awry, as the Matadors were defeated in a thrilling extra-inning contest in San Luis Obispo by a score of 11-10.
In Saturday's game, RHP Billy Ott (1-1, 6.30) with face Mustang LHP Matt Leonard (3-1, 6.82) in the second game of a three-game series. Fans can follow all the action online via GameTracker, watch the game live as it will be broadcasted on www.bigwest.org/tv, or listed to the radio feed by clicking on the `Listen Live' link at www.GoMatadors.com.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The Matadors forced Cal Poly starting pitcher DJ Mauldin to work from the very start of the game as Mauldin needed to throw 28 pitches just to get himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning.
Shortstop TS Reed led-off with a bunt single, only to have catcher John Parham join him on-base moments later as he was hit-by-a-pitch in the left shoulder, the ninth time of the season Parham has been hit by opposing pitchers this season.
Richard Cates exhibited his discipline at the plate as he drew a walk to load the bases, Mauldin's seventh walk in 44.0 innings pitched this season, before right-fielder Ryan Pineda drew another walk in as many at-bats to force the first Matador run across the plate.
The RBI was Pineda's 28th on the season, a team-high mark in that category.
Mustang D.J. Gentile tied the game in the bottom of the second as he hit his third home run of the season over the wall in left-centerfield of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
On the very next at-bat, his teammate Luke Yoder hit another solo home run, this time to the opposite gap in right-centerfield, to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.
Unfazed by the actions in the Mustang half of the second, first baseman Dominic D' Anna belted his sixth home run of the season that curled just inside the foul pole in right field in the top of the third. The shot was his second home run in as many games as he hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth in the Matadors last game at home on April 1st against the UNLV Rebels.
After scoring the first run via the long ball to lead off the inning, the Matadors scored their next runs in the inning by playing small ball in an effort to rattle the Mustangs and catch them off-guard before a couple of well-timed hits to the outfield helped turn a scoring opportunity into a barrage of runs scored.
Once third baseman Jason Dabbs and centerfielder C.J Belanger reached safely after dropping well-placed bunts in the dirt down the first baseline, TS Reed singled to left-centerfield to light up the scoreboard for the Matadors once again.
After Cates drove in the fifth run of the inning on a single through the heart of the infield, Reed was almost caught in a rundown between second and third base only to return to second base on an errant throw by the Mustangs that nearly sailed into the Mustang dugout had it not been for the heads-up play on defense by Mustang third baseman J.J. Thompson.
On the same play, Richard Cates had turned the corner at first and headed to second before noticing that his teammate Reed had been caught in what looked like an inning-ending rundown. Once Reed made it back to the base safely, Cates would have been out had a Mustang covered first base. Instead there were two fielders at second base, making the retreat back to first base an easy one for the Matador left-fielder.
In total, ten Matadors had a turn to swing away at the Mustangs in the top of the third and were able to score five runs on five hits, with the home team committing one error in the inning for a 6-2 lead.
However, the Mustangs responded with a big inning of their own in their next set of at-bats as they regained the lead after scoring five runs of their own on four hits to regain their one run advantage once again.
That lead would not last long as Pineda, the first batter to take the plate in the fourth took a 3-2 pitch and hit it over the foul pole in left field with authority to even up the score at seven.
Pineda's eighth home run of the year was met with some resistance by the partisan crowd as they though the ball had sailed over the pole into foul territory. However the third base umpire positioned himself to obtain the best possible angle on the play, and emphatically raised his arm and circled it over his head once the ball cleared the wall.
That umpire would be tested once again once again as Dabbs hit his first home run of the season, a shot that looked like an exact replica of Pineda's hit earlier in the inning to give the Matadors an 8-7 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Mustangs looked to regain their lead as they loaded the bases with two singles and drew a walk before Matador reliever Justen Gorski forced Mustang shortstop Kyle Smith to pop-up to second base to bring an end to the inning, and negate Cal Poly's scoring opportunity.
Two innings later, the Mustangs loaded the bases once again as a combination of back-to-back singles and a walk put the Matador's one-run lead in jeopardy.
That lead would soon disappear as the tying run scored off the bat of Smith as he hit into a 6-4 fielder's choice to bring in the tying run; a routine hit to the Matador shortstop that eventually morphed into a double-play as D'Anna threw to Parham to secure the final out of the inning as the potential go-ahead run was sent home from second base in an effort to regain the lead for Cal Poly.
Instead of taking a 9-8 lead, the Mustangs had to settle for scoring only the tying run as a heads-up play in the field by the Matadors preserved the 8-8 tie.
Cal Poly would take the lead in the very next inning as Mustang first baseman Ricky Rossman walked and advanced to third on a single through the left side of the infield by his teammate Ryan Lee.
Rossman would end up scoring on a single that bounced over the head of D'Anna, thus eliminating the threat of a double-play being turned, landing in the glove of DeMarco before throwing to a charging Jimmy Jolicoeur who stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning.
Only one Mustang run would score before Jolicoeur forced a ground ball to first base for the third out of the inning, with the Matadors now trailing the Mustangs by a score of 9-8.
As has been the case throughout the entire season, the Matadors responded quickly in their very next at-bat when Reed doubled down the left-field line to put himself in scoring position. Once Cates reached base on an intentional walk, D'Anna came to the plate and reached base on a four-pitch, unintentional walk.
The Matadors were unable to capitalize however as a check-swing hit to the pitcher let the Mustangs off the hook, bringing a premature and undesirable end to the inning for CSUN.
Cal Poly would add another insurance run in the eighth to extend their lead to 10-8 before the Matadors responded in their final at-bats in the ninth inning with the tying run.
The score would remain at 10-10 until Cal Poly scored the winning run in the tenth.
Northridge is now 1-2 in extra-inning games in 2009.
Matadors 105 200 002 0 - 10 14 2 Cal Poly 025 001 110 1 - 11 15 2
Win - Massingham (3-0) Loss - Slover (1-2) T - 4:02 A - 1437