Unearned Runs the Difference in 4-3 Northridge Loss

May 23, 2008

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (23-31, 7-15) held the visiting UC Davis Aggies (33-21, 12-10) to just one earned run Friday, but three earned runs pushed Davis to a 4-3 win. Drew Muren was 2-for-4 and Ryan Pineda hit his fifth home run of the year in the loss.

Matador starter Davin Tate locked horns in an earlier pitcher's duel with Davis starter Eddie Gamboa. The sophomore right-hander retired the first six batters he faced before a pair of his own errors cost Northridge an unearned run in the third. Tate wiggled out of trouble in the fourth and then sat the Ags down in order in the fifth.

Gamboa was nearly flawless on the Aggie side of things. The Davis ace surrendered just one hit through six, a second-inning Drew Muren double, and held a 2-0 lead heading into the seventh. In that frame, a TS Reed leadoff single set up a Ryan Pineda blast into the trees beyond the left field wall. The shot was Pineda's fifth and tied the game at two.

Gamboa got back in trouble in the seventh and was eventually lifted in favor of lefty Andy Suiter, who walked the first man he faced and let one in on a wild pitch.

The slim Matador lead was on the line in the eighth with Edwin Quirarte on the mound. Quirarte struck out the first man he faced before a single and a walk, and after a fly out for out number two, induced a bouncer out to shortstop Jason Dabbs. Dabbs' throw to first was errant and two Aggies came around on the play. Quirarte got out of the inning, setting up do-or-die situation for the Matadors.

Muren led off the frame and sent the first pitch he saw to within inches of a game-tying home run, but Davis left fielder Ryan Scoma made a leaping catch at the wall to keep the ball in the park and retire Muren. Chris Hannick was called up on to pinch hit and the Ags countered with right-handed closer Justin Fitzgerald. Hannick slugged a fastball off the center field wall for a double, but Northridge went down meekly after that.

Bryce Schoening came on for the ninth and tossed a 1-2-3 frame, and Muren and Pineda were the offensive stars for Northridge. Billy Swanson and TS Reed were the only other Matadors to reach base more than once.

The Matadors get their second crack at the Aggies tomorrow in the second installment of their season-closing series at Matador Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.