April 15, 2011
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -
A two-out rally in the top of the eighth inning was not enough to spark a come-from-behind victory as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (17-17, 0-4 Big West) dropped the first game of the series 7-3 against the Cal Poly Mustangs (13-16, 4-3 Big West) on Friday night at Baggett Stadium.
The Matadors were locked into a pitching duel early on in the contest as both starting pitchers refused to give an inch. The Mustangs, however, were the first to strike as they plated a run in the bottom of the third inning.
With a runner on first and two outs, a ground ball got through the legs of shortstop Matthew Telesco to extend the inning. The next hitter for Cal Poly singled up the middle off of Ryan Juarez to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
A leadoff double in the home half of the fourth inning led to three more runs and a 4-0 Cal Poly lead. A sacrifice fly and a single scored one run with one out before an errant throw by Juarez to second on a come-backer allowed the second run of the inning to come around.
The throwing error came with runners on first and second as Juarez attempted to turn an inning-ending double play but was unsuccessful, and the final run of the fourth inning scored on a sacrifice fly.
Already ahead 4-0 in the fifth inning, the Mustangs tacked on three more runs to push the lead to seven. A leadoff single set the stage for another productive inning for Cal Poly and back-to-back one-out doubles brought in two runs. The last run for the Mustangs came on a two-out RBI single down the right field line off of Juarez.
Although Juarez (2-5) allowed seven runs in the game, only four runs were earned as the Matadors committed three errors in the field.
Northridge began to mount a late rally in the game to make things interesting when starting pitcher Mason Radeke (5-1) was lifted with a seven-run lead going into the top of the eighth inning.
After the first two hitters were set down on strikes, five straight Matadors reached base. Designated hitter Steven Keller singled to right center on the first pitch of the at-bat. Andrew Muren followed with his team-leading 12th double of the season to score Keller from first and advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
Catcher Marty Bowen walked on four pitches before Adam Barry extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single to left field. Joshua Goossen-Brown capped the inning with an RBI single to left field. At the end of the inning, the deficit was cut to four runs at 7-3.
The Matadors were not able to keep the momentum and were retired in order in the ninth inning to end the game.
Muren finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored and Goossen-Brown collected two hits in the loss. Jacob Petersen, who is originally from Los Osos, Calif., pitched 1.0 innings in relief and struck out one hitter in front of his hometown crowd.
Game two of the three-game series will take place on Saturday April 16 at 6 p.m. as the Matadors look to break into the win column in Big West play. The finale is scheduled for Sunday April 17 at 1 p.m.