NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Coming into the day, Cal State Northridge had yet to win a game decided by one run this season. On Saturday, the Matadors (9-12) accomplished the feat twice, sweeping a doubleheader from the Utah Valley University Wolverines (9-15) by scores of 4-3 and 5-4 at Matador Field.
"We pride ourselves in being good in close ball games," said CSUN head coach Matt Curtis. "I didn't realize we were 0-and-4 in those games. I'm glad to see that turn a little bit because that's something I think we want to take pride in.
The Matadors started the day on the right foot by taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first in game one. With two outs, Miles Williams walked and Joshua Goossen-Brown reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Nathan Ring followed with a bloop single to right that scored Williams from second.
Northridge extended its lead to 4-0 by adding three runs in the bottom of the third. Michael Livingston and Kyle Attl opened the frame with back-to-back singles and Goossen-Brown reached on an infield single to the pitcher that scored Livingston from third.
With two outs, Chester Pak drove in a pair of runs with a single to right field.
The Wolverines made it interesting in the scheduled seven-inning game, scoring three times in the top of the sixth. Mark Krueger walked with the bases loaded, Willie Pratt brought in a runner on a fielder's choice and Colby Croft scored on a wild pitch.
Goossen-Brown shut down Utah Valley in the seventh, however, to earn his third save of the season.
Calvin Copping (2-2) allowed three runs on three hits in 5.1 innings and earned the victory for CSUN. Adam Gunn (2-4) tossed a complete game in a losing effort for the Wolverines.
Goossen-Brown had two hits at the plate to lead CSUN while Pak's two RBIs led the Matadors in that department.
In the second game of the doubleheader Northridge again struck first, this time plating two runs in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and third, Williams hit into a fielder's choice and Ryan Raslowsky was able to elude the tag on a rundown to score from third.
Later in the inning, Attl scored on a wild pitch with one out.
Utah Valley was able to chip away at the lead and scored a run in the fourth and fifth to tie the game at 2-2. Pratt hit an RBI double in the fourth and Kade Andrus brought home a run with a sac fly in the fifth.
The tie was short lived, though, as Raslowsky opened up the home half of the fifth with a triple into the right field corner. Attl followed with a single through the left side to score the run.
The Matadors extended the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Kyle Ferramola, who had tripled in Friday's series opener, hit his first home run of his CSUN career to left field.
Utah Valley tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the eighth but could not take the lead. With one out in the eighth, Ferramola launched his second solo home run of the game to provide the Matadors with just enough of a cushion to get the win.
Goossen-Brown worked around a two-out single and error in the ninth to pick up his second save of the day and fourth overall.
DJ Milam (1-0) pitched 0.2 innings in relief and picked up the win for CSUN while Braden Poole (1-2) was saddled with the loss for Utah Valley.
Ferramola's two home runs marked the first time a Northridge player accomplished the feat since Steven Keller hit two in a 4-3 win over San Diego at the SDSU Aztec Invitational in March 2012.
"I've actually had three multiple home run games before," said Ferramola. "In Little League."
The Matadors and Wolverines conclude their four-game series on Sunday, March 24, with a 1 p.m. game at Matador Field.