April 19, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - One unfortunate bounce was all it took for the Long Beach State 49ers (17-18, 4-5 BWC) to defeat the Cal State Northridge Matadors (16-22, 4-8 BWC) Sunday afternoon as the 49ers were able to score the winning run to defeat the Matadors by a score of 5-2.
With the score tied at 2-2, Long Beach State caught a fortunate break in the seventh inning; with runners on first and second base 49er centerfielder Jordan Casas hit a shot down the left -field line that hit the base, and ricocheted into shallow left field.
Had the ball not hit the bag, Matador third baseman Justin DeMarco could have potentially recorded the force out at third, and potentially turn a double-play as he was in position to successfully block the ball and prevent it from bouncing down the left-field line.
Instead, 49er third baseman Taylor Krick sprinted home to give his team a one-run lead once again en route to recording the victory.
After Long Beach scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead, the Matadors responded in their half of the fourth to cut the 49er lead to 2-1.
Jeff Pruitt singled up the middle to lead off inning, and then proceeded to put himself in scoring position thanks to a passed ball thrown by Long Beach Starter Jake Thompson.
Ryan Pineda then grounded out to the shortstop, enabling Pruitt to advance to third on the play before scoring four pitches later when Richard Cates singled up the middle to put the Matadors on the board for the first time on the afternoon.
Northridge then tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh inning after a stand-up double down the left-field line by Chris Hannick drove in Cates, who reached base on a single of his own to left field in the previous at-bat.
That lead would turn into a 5-2 advantage when Long Beach scored two additional insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth before John Parham turned an unassisted double play to prevent Long Beach from further stretching out their lead.
With a 49er on third base, Parham tagged the runner, who attempted to score on a suicide squeeze and the hitter after he lost his footing only a handful of feet from the batter's box once the bunt was laid down in front of home plate.
The double-play would be the final highlight on the weekend at Blair Field however as CSUN was unable to chip away at the lead in their final set of at-bats in the ninth inning.
For the third consecutive game, a Matador pitcher was able to pick-off a 49er baserunner; Billy Ott notched his third and the team's twenty-third of the season with his quick throw to first base that caught 49er right-fielder TJ Mittelstaedt by surprise.
Going into this weekend, Long Beach State had successfully stolen 75 bases out of 100 attempts. During the last three games, the Matadors caught two out of five runners stealing in addition to CSUN's three pick-offs.
The Matadors return to the diamond Tuesday afternoon when they face the Pepperdine Waves in a 3:00 p.m. matinee. Northridge defeated Pepperdine 6-2 at Matador Field during the opening weekend of the season, and look to complete a home sweep over the Waves this week.
Fans can follow all the action from Matador Field live via GameTracker or by listening to Dave Caldwell broadcast all the action this Tuesday in the fourth and final game of the season between the Matadors and the Waves.
Matadors 000 100 100 - 2 6 2
Long Beach State 020 000 12x - 6 8 0
Win - Born (1-0) Loss - McCarney (1-3) Save - Corrales (1)
T - 3:04 A - 1177