Matadors' Three-Run Ninth Inning Not Enough in 4-3 Loss to Pacific
April 22, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Tommy Simis homered on a 2-2 pitch with two on in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the three runs were not enough power to spark a rally as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (18-20, 1-7 Big West) lost to the Pacific Tigers (12-22, 4-7 Big West) 4-3 at Matador Field on Friday afternoon.
The three-run homer scored the only runs of the game for Northridge, as the Matador offense was stymied by Pacific starter Marcus Pointer (3-5), who pitched into the ninth inning and struckout four before being replaced.
The Tigers leapt to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as the leadoff hitter singled to right center off of Paul Tremlin (2-3) to open the game. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to second before a one-out single scored the first run of the ballgame.
The Matadors were able to get a runner into scoring position in the bottom of the second inning as Marty Bowen walked and Steven Keller singled with one out. The next two hitters were retired in order to strand the two on base.
Pacific doubled its lead in the top of the fourth following another leadoff single. A one-out double down the left field line for John Haberman scored the second run of the game for the Tigers.
A third run for the Tigers came across in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Brian Martin singled to left field to score a run. Tremlin was able to get out of the inning, however, as the next hitter rolled into an inning-ending double play, the third time the Matadors have turned two with the bases loaded this series.
Pacific took its largest lead of the game at 4-0 in the sixth after Justen Gorski came on in relief of Tremlin. With a runner already at second and one out, Josh Simms singled up the middle to bring home the run.
The Matadors began to show signs of a comeback as Adam Barry (3-for-5) singled to right field to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Andrew Muren followed with a hard line drive to the shortstop, who was able to turn a double play as Barry was caught moving with the contact.
In the bottom of the ninth, still trailing by four, Bowen singled through the left side to open the frame. Keller followed with a walk to give Northridge two runners on in the inning. Pointer, who had walked five batters to that point, was then lifted from the game in favor of closer Chris Larsen.
Simis stepped into the box for his first at-bat of the game after replacing Matthew Moreno defensively in the top of the seventh. On a 2-2 fastball, Simis turned on the pitch and launched it to left field, easily clearing the wall for a three-run homerun, his third homer of the season.
The next two hitters for Northridge, however, grounded out before Ridge Carpenter reached on an infield single to give the Matadors renewed hopes with two outs. Barry could not extend the inning and grounded out to second base to end the game.
With his single to left field in the second inning, Barry extended his team-high hitting streak to 12 games, the second-longest streak in the Big West this season.
The final game of the series is scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 23 at Matador Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. as the Matadors look to win their first conference series of the season.