April 25, 2008
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (16-21, 4-9) kept it close throughout but ultimately fell short on the offensive end, notching six hits but failing to push a run across. UC Riverside (12-24, 6-4) starter Paul Applebee earned the win behind seven scoreless innings.
Northridge got in an early hole. The Highlanders loaded the bases with no outs after two Tate walks, and they ultimately scored two runs in the inning. Tate induced a shallow fly to Billy Swasnon in right for out number one but a sac fly and a single brought home the pair.
Things settled down considerably after that frame with both satrters tossing dueling shutout frames.
A scary moment came in the third when Swanson attempted a bunt against Applebee. The ball ricocheted off his bat and struck his face, sending Swanson to the dirt. After being checked out by the trainer, Swanson continued his at bat with a bruise and a swollen right cheek. He would srike out swinging.
Northridge first threatened in the third when Reed smacked a single and stole second. He would be stranded after back-to-back strikeouts. Another Matador would next reach second in the eighth when consecutive singles gave Northridge a scoring opportunity with no outs. The Matadors went wanting in the frame.
Tate, meanwhile, was dealing through the seventh. From the middle of the third to the middle of the sixth, the sophomore right-hander retired ten consecutive men, joining Phil Hann and Jimmy Jolicoeur as Matadors to accomplish the feat this season. Hann has done it twice in his senior campaign.
Hann would hand off to Billy Ott in the eighth, and the reliever let one in despite pitching effectively. Joey Gonzalez poked a seing-eye single through the left side and advanced on a single into right field on the ensuing at bat and scored on a strange play that went as a stolen base. Northridge catcher Chris Hannick caught Riverside runner Aaron Wible wandering off first and attempted to gun him down on the basepaths Hannick's throw wasn't handled cleanly at second and Gonzalez slipped in on the miscue.
The score would prove lasting and went as the final. Northridge put a man on in the ninth but stranded him.
Northridge renews their series with UCR tomorrow afternoon with a 2 p.m. start time. Phil Hann will take the ball for Northridge and will be opposed by Riverside starter Matt Larkins.