NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Despite being locked into a defensive battle for much of the afternoon, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-3) were defeated by the Seattle University Redhawks (4-1) by a score of 4-2 on Friday afternoon at Matador Field. The Matadors had three players record at least one hit but a late home run for Seattle stood up as the difference in the game.
"Our guys are working on sticking to their plans, free up their swings and keep things simple at the plate," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "Our pitchers need to work on execution. I don't think we pitched particularly well today; we could've been a lot sharper. A couple of pitches got away but overall we need to be much better and sharper on the mound."
The Redhawks quickly took a lead in the game, scoring a run in the top of the first. With a runner on third and two outs, Brian Olson hit a single through the left side of the infield to score Chase Fields.
Cal State Northridge was able to fight back and gain the lead after scoring a run in the second and another in the third. With Daniel Timmerman on second base and two outs, Nick Murphy hit a single to the shortstop that was promptly thrown away. Timmerman scored easily on the play and Murphy advanced to second before the second inning was through.
In the third, Ryan Raslowsky singled to right field and advanced to third after a failed pickoff attempt resulted in the ball being thrown down the right field line. Raslowsky later scored on a triple by Chester Pak to give the Matadors a 2-1 lead.
The one-run lead stayed intact until the top of the seventh, when a two-run home run for Michael McCann turned the momentum in Seattle's favor. The Redhawks added a run in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by McCann to put the final margin at 4-2.
Jerry Keel (0-2) recorded a season-high six strikeouts while issuing only three walks in 6.2 innings of work. Grant Gunning (1-0) earned the win for Seattle with 2.0 scoreless innings in relief and Will Dennis picked up his second save of the year.
The Matadors and Redhawks will continue their series on Saturday, Feb. 22, with a doubleheader at Matador Field. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with Game 2 starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
"Guys will walk in here tomorrow saying, 'Hey, we get to play a large number of innings," added Moore. "We're going to go at it all day and there's something great about that. Who doesn't want to play two on a Saturday?"