April 18, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Justin DeMarco's line-drive shot to centerfield enabled teammate Chris Hannick to score the winning run for the Cal State Northridge Matadors Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Long Beach State 49ers by a score of 3-1.
Sunday's rubber match will feature Matador RHP Billy Ott (1-2, 7.07) as he faces 49er RHP Jake Thompson, first pitch is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. at Blair Field in Long Beach.
CSUN Saturday starter Justen Gorski, Paul Tremlin, and Brian Slover combined to limit Long Beach to only one serious scoring opportunity on the afternoon, an effort that took place in the fifth inning when the 49ers were able to score the first run of the game to take an early 1-0 lead.
That advantage would be short-lived, however, as Northridge was able to score two runs in their very next set of at-bats in the top of the sixth to grab the lead away from Long Beach, a lead that the team would hold until the end of the contest.
Chris Hannick was the next Matador to step into the batter's box; with the count at 2-2 the catcher then proceeded to foul off a number of pitches thrown by Long Beach starter Andrew Gagnon before getting the best of the right-hander by lining a shot to centerfield to load the bases for Northridge.
The Matadors then tied the game at 1-1 when Gagnon was called for a balk, scoring Cates who initially led off the inning for CSUN and started the come-from-behind effort.
DeMarco would complete that effort later on in the inning with his hit to centerfield that allowed Hannick to score the eventual winning run of the game.
CSUN would take a 3-1 in the top of the eighth on another scoring opportunity created by Hannick who was hit-by-a-pitch to leadoff the inning, before advancing to second on a Jason Dabbs sacrifice bunt, and to third base on DeMarco's groundout to second base.
Hannick's journey around the diamond would finally be completed when Tommy Simis struckout swinging for the third out of the frame.
The only problem for Long Beach was that the pitch was thrown in the dirt, and ended up squirting past 49er catcher Kellen Hoime all the way to the backstop.
Instead of ending the inning with a strikeout, Simis ran down the line to take his position at first base while teammate Hannick, who was originally at third base before the wild pitch was thrown, advanced another 90 feet to give the Matadors a 3-1 lead.
For the second straight game, the Matadors turned another solid performance in the field, punctuated by the Matador's twenty-second pick-off of the season earned by Gorski in the first inning, and Hannick's fifth runner caught stealing this season when he threw out 49er centerfielder Jordan Casas at second base to end the Long Beach half of the inning in the seventh.
Entering the series against Northridge, Long Beach had successfully stolen 75 bases out of exactly 100 attempts in the season; in the two games that have taken place so far against Northridge, the Dirtbags have been caught stealing on two of their five attempts, and picked-off twice.
Feeding off of Juarez' performance on the mound last night, the Matadors continued to pitch an effective game against the host 49ers starting with Gorski's 4.0 inning, two strikeout performance followed by Tremlin and Slover who each allowed only one hit in their respective three and two innings on the mound.
The Matadors will now look to win the series against Long Beach in the final game of the weekend Sunday afternoon. Fans who are unable to make the trek to the coast can visit www.GoMatadors.com to listen to the radio broadcast or follow along in real-time via GameTracker.
Matadors 000 002 010 - 3 8 1
Long Beach State 000 010 000 - 1 7 2
Win - Tremlin (5-1) Loss - Gagnon (2-5) Save - Slover (5)
T - 3:11 A - 1067