April 10, 2009

Matadors Split First Two Games Against Fullerton 5-4, and 7-5

April 10, 2009

Box Score From April 9-10          Box Score From April 10  

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

John Parham’s single to right-centerfield proved to be the decisive hit in the first of two games played at Matador Field between the Cal State Northridge Matadors (14-19, 3-5 BWC) and #16-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans (21-9, 4-4) as centerfielder Jeff Pruitt touched home plate to end a fifteen-inning, two-day marathon to give the Matadors a 5-4 victory in the first game of a three-game series.

 

Having originally started on Thursday afternoon, the first game was postponed due to darkness after twelve innings, and re-scheduled to take place before the second game of the series originally scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.

 

Unlike Thursday’s four-plus hour contest, today’s continued game only lasted an additional 55 minutes and three innings before ending in favor of the Matadors.

 

Continuing on the mound in place of Brian Slover who pitched when the game was officially called the previous evening was Ryan “China” McCarney who allowed only three hits over his three-inning stint against Titans pitcher Kevin Rath.

 

After both teams took turns placing zeros on the scoreboard for two innings, the Matadors created their first serious scoring opportunity of the afternoon when Pruitt led off the 15th inning with his double to left field to put himself in scoring position.

 

Pruitt then advanced to third base on a well-placed bunt by second baseman Justin DeMarco, putting Matadors on the corners with zero outs in the inning.

 

Richard Cates was then intentionally walked to load the bases as Titan Head Coach Dave Serrano chose to face Parham instead Cates who currently possesses the highest amount of hits on the season.

 

Parham would make Serrano pay for his decision moments later as his single enabled Pruitt to score the winning run of the game two innings shy of tying the Northridge record for the longest game played on-record.

 

In the second game played on the day, Friday’s originally scheduled contest, the Titans jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when Titan first baseman Jared Clark hit his sixth home run of the season to left field, driving in teammate Josh Fellhauer who reached base on a hard hit-ball to Matador shortstop TS Reed who quickly gained possession before attempting to throw out the runner who narrowly beat the throw on the play.

 

After the Matadors were held scoreless in their half of the first inning for the first time in the last five games, the Titans added another two runs in the second to extend their lead to a 4-0 margin.

 

Matadors starting pitcher Billy Ott and Titans starter Noe Ramirez would take turns holding their opponent scoreless throughout the next three innings before the Titans offense was able to drive in another three runs off two singles and two doubles to add to their 7-0 lead.

 

In the bottom half of that same inning, the Matador bats would spring to life beginning with Parham’s single to put himself on base, before advancing to second once Cates reached base on a well-executed bunt that eluded the grasp of three Titan fielders.

 

Once rightfielder Ryan Pineda reached first base on his single through the left side of the infield, the bases were loaded for Dominic D’Anna once again.

 

Unlike his previous game when he was unable to drive in the decisive run of the game, D’Anna wasted no time in taking full advantage of the scoring opportunity presented to him as he crushed the first pitch thrown his was over the centerfield wall for his seventh home run of the season.

 

The grand slam was the first hit by D’Anna in his collegiate career, and the first hit by a Matador player since Ryan Pineda hit his grand slam against the UC Davis Aggies in the final game of the 2008 season.

 

Looking to further decrease the Titan’s lead, right-fielder C.J. Belanger helped create the second scoring opportunity of the inning once he reached base after being hit-by-a-pitch.

 

Belanger would take second base off of a single to left field by third-baseman Jason Dabbs, and advance to third when Pruitt was thrown out at first base for the first out of the inning.

 

DeMarco’s fly ball to left-centerfield was hit deep enough for Belanger to tag up and score the fifth run of the inning for CSUN, decreasing the Titan lead to 7-5.

 

Unfortunately for Northridge, their five runs in the sixth would be first and last ones scored in the game as neither team would score a run during the final three innings, giving the Titans a 7-5 win.

 

Tomorrow’s rubber match between the Matadors and the Titans is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. as CSUN’s RHP Justen Gorski (1-1, 3.21) will try to secure the series victory against Titan’s RHP Tyler Pill (5-0, 3.43).

 

Fans who are unable to attend the final game of the series on Sunday can still follow all the action online at www.GoMatadors.com by listening to Dave Caldwell broadcast all the action live from Matador Field, or by utilizing the GameTracker program provided by Cal State Northridge and CSTV.

 

Line Score: April 9-10

 

Fullerton  001 100 101 000 000 – 4 11 3

Matadors  200 000 101 000 001 – 5 12 2

 

Win – McCarney (1-2)     Loss – Ackland (2-1)

T – 5:12     A – 275

 

Line Score: April 10, 2009

Fullerton  220 003 000 – 7 14 0  

Matadors  000 005 000 – 5 11 1

 

Win – Ramirez, No. (4-1)     Loss – Ott (1-2)     Save – Ramirez, Ni. (1)

T – 2:48     A – 175