PULLMAN, Wash. -
On the strength of a five-run third inning, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (5-6) salvaged the series at Washington State (8-3) and snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-3 win on Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field. Miles Williams hit a three-run home run and Nathan Ring added a solo shot of his own to help CSUN earn a come-from-behind win for the fourth time this year.
The Cougars opened up the scoring in the game, however, with a two-out home run in the bottom of the first. After CSUN turned a double play with runners on the corners and no outs, Yale Rosen hit the ball over the fence in right center field to put Washington State up 2-0.
The Matadors responded with five runs in the top of the third to take the lead for good after Will Colantono and Michael Livingston singled to open the inning. The two each advanced a base on a wild pitch with no outs.
With one out in the inning, senior Kyle Attl collected his first RBI of the season with a single to second base that scored Colantono. Williams then stepped into the box and launched a three-run home run, his third blast of the season, to center field on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Then, with two outs, Ring homered to left field to put the Matadors ahead 5-2.
Washington State cut into the lead with a run of their own in the bottom of the third, but it was as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. Following a leadoff double by Trek Stemp, Collin Slaybaugh singled and Nick Tanielu drove in the run with an infield hit to third.
The pitching staff for the Matadors clamped down for the remainder of the game and stranded seven Washington State runners after the third-inning run scored.
Northridge starting pitcher Brandon Warner (1-0) pitched a career-high six innings and scattered nine hits while striking out two. Shay Maltese bested his previous season high by tossing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and closer Joshua Goossen-Brown picked up the final three outs to earn his first save of the year.
Kyle Swannack (1-1) was saddled with the loss for Washington State after allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
Ring, Colantono and Livingston eached recorded a pair of hits for CSUN while Williams produced his second three-RBI game of the season.
The Matadors continue their current 10-game road trip with a pair of games at 14th-ranked Oregon on Monday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 5. First pitch from PK Park on Monday is 6 p.m. while Tuesday afternoon's game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start time.