May 7, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Cal State Northridge (21-25) rode a wave of offense to its 21st victory Wednesday, notching three consecutive doubles in the fourth and cruising to a 4-2 victory over UNLV (20-24). The Northridge pitching effort returned to form behind a strong start from Drew Muren, who tossed five shutout frames before handing off to Davin Tate and the rest of the bullpen.
Muren wrapped us his first career shutout appearance in the fifth by facing just four batters and also posted two perfect innings. The freshman right-hander only got into any real trouble in the second, when Jesse Wight smacked a leadoff double for the Rebels. Muren, however, promptly picked him off and struck out the second man of the inning. Muren then surrendered a single and a walk before getting a fly out to finish the inning.
Northridge was also blanked through three to start the game, with UNLV starter Michael Goodman setting the Matadors down in order in the first and squirming out of trouble in the second and the third.
In the fourth, Ryan Pineda, Chris Hannick, and Dominic D'Anna logged back-to-back-to-back doubles that led to a pair of runs and a 2-0 Northridge lead. In the third, it was Jeff Pruitt making things happen with a leadoff single and subsequent stolen base with a throwing error that moved him to third. TS Reed singled Pruitt home to push the Northridge lead to 3-0.
The score stood pat through the sixth, with Northridge going down in order and Tate coming on to shut down the Rebs in the bottom half. The seventh brought the offense back for both sides, with Matt Warr logging a leadoff double, Jason Dabbs following with a sacrifice bunt, and Reed coming up with another RBI single.
Tate surrendered a solo home run in the bottom half that slimmed the Northridge advantage to 4-1.
A quiet top of the eighth preceded a very loud bottom half. On after relieving Tate in the seventh was Edwin Quirarte, who loaded the bases with none out. With the sacks full, Quirarte induced a pop up in foul territory that Pineda snagged for the first damage-free out. A ground out brought home one, and a second ground out closed out the inning with Northridge ahead 4-2.
Reed collected another single in the ninth with two outs and stole second to get himself in scoring position, but was stranded there after a C.J. Belanger ground out.
Quirarte took a two-run lead into the ninth with a chance for his ninth save and did not disappoint. The junior had a slight hiccup with a two-out, pinch-hit single through the right side but slammed the door with a ground out to Dabbs at short, securing the 4-2 win.
Reed was 3-for-5 with two RBI with a stolen base on the day, joining D'Anna as offensive catalysts for Northridge. D'Anna slugged a pair of doubles as part of a 2-for-4 day.
Northridge, taking a break from Big West play this weekend, hooks up with USC Saturday for the first half of a two-game set with the Trojans. First pitch Saturday is slated for 7 p.m.