April 5, 2009
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - For the third straight game, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-17, 2-4 BWC) jumped out to an early lead, but the Cal Poly Mustangs (21-7, 3-3 BWC) responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first and held on for a 9-3 win.
TS Reed led off the game with a single to right field before stealing second base to put himself in scoring position.
Once Reed advanced to third on a Richard Cates single to left field, Ryan Pineda hit his teammate home as Mustang second baseman Matt Jenson could not handle Pineda's grounder cleanly, allowing Cates to advance to second on the play, giving CSUN a 1-0 lead.
Cal Poly would respond in the bottom half of the same inning as a lead-off triple helped jump-start a four run, four hit scoring spree that forced Matador starter Ryan "China" McCarney out of the game after only two-thirds of an inning.
When all was said and done, Cal Poly had all nine batters in the line-up reach the plate to take a 4-1 lead.
Northridge began chipping away at the Cal Poly lead starting in the third when Dominic D'Anna's sacrifice fly to deep center field drove home designated hitter John Parham who started the inning with a single to right field.
Cal Poly would regain their initial three-run advantage in the bottom half of the inning as two doubles to left and right-centerfield respectively helped the Mustangs build their lead back to a 5-2 margin.
CSUN's never-say-die attitude was in full effect as the game progressed as the men in red were able to decrease the Mustang lead to two runs in the very next inning thanks to some heads-up base-running by Jeff Pruitt.
After starting the inning with a single to left field, the Matador centerfielder stole his fourth base of the series before scoring on a single to the second baseman off the bat of Reed.
From the moment the ball left the bat, Pruitt raced towards third base, and when the Mustang second baseman made an unsuccessful throw to beat the speedy Reed to first base, Pruitt wasted no time and made the turn towards home.
Without breaking stride, Pruitt was more than half-way down the line before any Mustang realized what was happening on the opposite half of the diamond. A throw to home was made but Pruitt had already touched home plate before the Mustang catcher received the throw to make in a 5-3 ballgame.
No sooner had the scoreboard been lit for the Matadors when the Mustangs strung together a walk and back-to-back singles to bump the lead back to three runs.
That three run advantage would extend to six when the Mustangs put three on the scoreboard when Jenson hit a wind-aided shot to centerfield that ricocheted off the wall back towards home plate, enabling Cal Poly to clear the bases in the sixth inning to take a 9-3 lead.
That lead would grow to 11-3 in the eighth as Cal Poly tacked on another two runs on a two-out single that rolled and deflected off first base itself, making it impossible for any Matador to field cleanly in attempt to prevent two Mustangs from scoring.
Had the ball not struck the bag, D'Anna would have fielded the ball cleanly and recorded the third out of the inning as he put himself in the best possible position to keep the ball in front of his body and prevent anything from reaching the vast real estate in right field.
The Matadors now have a day off before traveling to downtown Los Angeles to face the USC Trojans in a non-conference match-up. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with the game available on both radio and GameTracker online at www.GoMatadors.com
Matadors 101 100 000 - 3 10 2
Cal Poly 401 103 02x - 11 14 2
Win - Radeke (2-1) Loss - McCarney (0-2)
T - 3:24 A - 1638