SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
A three-run sixth inning gave Cal State Northridge all the offense it needed as the Matadors (13-18, 2-4 Big West) defeated the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (16-14, 4-2 Big West) 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Matadors were able to rally after trailing 2-1 to take the final game of the series from the Gauchos.
The Gauchos staked an early lead in the game with one run in the bottom of the first inning. With the bases loaded, Greg Mahle hit a sacrifice fly to score Brett Vertigan from third.
Neither team was able to get much offense after the first until Northridge evened the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning. Catcher Marty Bowen opened the inning with a single to left field and Nathan Ring nearly had a home run but the left fielder kept the ball in play, resulting in a double. Bowen came around to score on a ground out by Kyle Attl.
UC Santa Barbara retook the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Brandon Trinkwon doubled to score Steven Moon.
The Matadors answered as Miles Williams singled to left to start the top of the sixth. Bowen then hit a soft grounder that the third baseman threw away, allowing Williams to score from first. After Ring singled to center and stole second, Attl walked to load the bases.
Chester Pak came in as a pinch hitter and Bowen scored from third on a wild pitch before Pak grounded out to score Ring.
Freshman Jerry Keel (3-1) pitched 6.0 innings and struck out four batters for the victory. Harley Holt and Louis Cohen combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief, with Cohen picking up his third save of the year. Zak Edgington (1-2) suffered the loss for the Gauchos.
Williams and Ring each finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored and Bowen went 1-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored to pace the Northridge offense.
Cal State Northridge will return home to face the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners in a non-conference game on Tuesday, Apr. 10 at Matador Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.