HUNTSVILLE, Texas -
For the second time this week the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-10) were defeated in 13 innings, this time by a score of 3-2 at #20 Sam Houston State (13-3) on Sunday afternoon at Don Sanders Stadium. Despite nine innings on the mound for Jordan Johnson, the Matadors could not rally for the lead after falling behind two runs early.
The Matadors have now played in a pair of 13-inning games this season, the first two since a 14-inning win at UC Santa Barbara in 2010. The longest game by innings in CSUN history is 17, set in 1972 and matched in 1992.
Hayden Simerly opened the second inning for the Bearkats with a walk. With one out, Ryan O'Hearn hit a ball to deep right center field that went off the top of the wall and over for a two-run home run.
The Matadors immediately answered by scoring a run to cut the deficit to 2-1 after loading the bases with one out. Dylan Alexander singled and Ranny Lowe and Chester Pak reached on errors before Alexis Mercado walked to force in the run.
Cal State Northridge nearly tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, but could not get a run across after having two runners in scoring position with one out. Mercado and Nick Blaser got things started with singles and moved up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, but a line drive out and a grounder ended the threat.
The Matadors did, however, come through with a run in the seventh to tie the game at two runs apiece. Lowe singled with one out and was able to move up to third on a ground ball by Michael Livingston after the SHSU shortstop threw the ball away.
Pak followed with an RBI single to right field that scored Lowe easily.
The game remained 2-2 until the bottom of the 13th inning when the Bearkats broke through for the winning run. Between the fifth and 12th innings, CSUN pitching kept Sam Houston State from having a runner reach base at all.
It was a leadoff single in the bottom of the 13th that set the wheels in motion for the Bearkats. A potential sacrifice bunt was then thrown away, allowing Jake MacWilliam to move up to third base. Ryan Farney followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the winning run.
Alexander, Blaser and Pak each had two hits for the Matadors, who had nine in the game compared to SHSU's five. Johnson did not receive a decision in the game and finished the day with six strikeouts and just three hits allowed in 9.0 innings of work. Shay Maltese had 3.0 scoreless innings in relief with three strikeouts for CSUN.
The Matadors will return to action with a game on Monday, March 10, against Utah Valley. First pitch between CSUN and the Wolverines is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Matador Field.