May 20, 2012

Keller, Roberts Lead Matadors to 6-3 Senior Day Win over UC Davis

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

A pair of seniors came up big in their final home game for Cal State Northridge as Vincent Roberts threw three scoreless innings and Steven Keller hit a three-run home run to give the Matadors (23-26, 10-11 Big West) a 6-3 win over the UC Davis Aggies (24-29, 10-11 Big West) on Senior Day at Matador Field. With the victory, the Matadors reached 10 conference wins for the first time since 2002.

After winning the first two games of the series the Aggies came out of the gates hot in the top of the first, using four straight singles to take a 1-0 lead with no outs. UC Davis added a run on a fielder's choice to lead 2-0 early.

Northridge starting pitcher Harley Holt was able to find his way out of a jam in the top of the second as well, striking out Austin Logan looking to end the inning with the bases loaded.

The Matadors worked their way onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth and scored a pair of runs to tie the game. After Adam Barry walked and Miles Williams singled to left center, Nathan Ring singled to load the bases with no outs.

With one out, Marty Bowen reached on a fielder's choice and drove in a pair of runs as both Barry and Williams came around to score.

The Aggies struck back in the top of the fifth to go ahead 3-2 and had a chance at more runs in the inning. After Kevin Barker scored on a throwing error with two outs, Brett Morgan singled to center field but Scott Kalush was thrown out at the plate by Ring as Bowen applied the tag.

Northridge tied the game once more in the bottom of the sixth after capitalizing on a pair of errors by shortstop Tino Lipson. Williams reached on an error with one out and came around to score on a wide throw with two outs.

UC Davis nearly took the lead in the top of the eighth but the Matadors cut down a runner for the second time as Ring, Ryan Raslowsky and Bowen combined to get Allgrove at the plate to end the inning.

The Matadors took advantage of the momentum and distanced themselves in the bottom of the eighth. Williams was hit by a pitch and Ring walked to set up Keller, who launched his fifth home run of the season off a tree beyond the fence in left center field.

Louis Cohen came in to pitch the ninth after Roberts had thrown three strong innings in relief of Holt. Cohen worked around a one out double to collect his sixth save of the season and his career. Cohen now ranks tied for fourth in Northridge history with six single-season saves and ties for eighth on the career list.

Roberts (1-8) struck out one batter and allowed two hits to win in his final home game as a Matador. Craig Lanza (1-1) pitched two innings for the Aggies in a losing effort.

Keller led the Matadors offensively and went 1-for-4 with three RBIs and a run. Bowen drove in a pair of runs, Ring tallied two hits in three at-bats and Williams scored three times for Northridge.

The Matadors will conclude the 2012 season with a four-game road trip. Northridge travels to take on CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, May 22 before heading north to Stockton, Calif. to play three games against the Pacific Tigers next weekend.

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