May 18, 2012

Early Runs Cost Matadors in 9-5 Loss to UC Davis

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Despite scoring five unanswered runs to finish the game the Cal State Northridge Matadors (22-25, 9-10 Big West) were unable to overcome an early deficit, losing 9-5 to the UC Davis Aggies (23-28, 9-10 Big West) on Friday afternoon at Matador Field. The Aggies scored nine runs through the first four innings before Northridge began its comback bid.

The Aggies got on the board first in the top of the second with four runs, three of which were unearned. With one out, Brett Morgan reached on an errant throw that scored Eric Johnson. Tino Lipson then had a two-run double and David Popkins added an RBI double with two outs for UC Davis.

The Aggies doubled their lead to 8-0 in the third with another four runs. After an RBI ground out with the bases loaded, Morgan had a two-run single and Popkins hit his second run-scoring double of the day. UC Davis added a lone run in the top of the fourth before Northridge began chipping away at the lead in the bottom of the frame.

With two outs in the inning, Nathan Ring singled down the third base line for Northridge's first hit of the game. Steven Keller then followed with his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot to left center that put the score at 9-2.

The Matadors added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth after Ryan Raslowsky singled with one out. Cal Vogelsang singled to right and the ball was misplayed by the right fielder, allowing Raslowsky to come all the way around to score as Vogelsang advanced to third. Adam Barry then hit an RBI single up the middle to make it 9-4.

Northridge scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth to begin closing in on the Aggies, but it would not prove to be enough. After Miles Williams was hit by a pitch to open the inning, Ring singled and the runners found themselves on the corners later in the inning with two outs.

With Kyle Attl batting Ring stole second and the throw down by the catcher went high, allowing Williams to score on the error.

Northridge got the leadoff runner on base in the ninth but was unable to get any closer.

Anthony Kupbens (4-4) pitched 7.0 innings with six strikeouts to pick up the win for UC Davis. Alex Muren (5-7) went 5.0 innings for the Matadors and took the loss.

Keller finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBIs while Ring led the Matadors at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a walk.

The series will continue on Saturday at Matador Field with first pitch set for 1 p.m. The two teams will wrap up the weekend on Sunday, May 20 at 1 p.m. in Northridge's final home game of the 2012 regular season.