April 17, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - A bloop single into left field by Long Beach State (16-17, 3-4 BWC) shortstop Devin Lohman scored the only run of the game as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (15-21, 3-7 BWC) was defeated Friday evening by a score of 1-0.
Up until that point of the ballgame, Matador starting pitcher Ryan Juarez pitched a brilliant game throughout his eight innings on the mound, the second time this season he has gone eight deep for Northridge.
Throughout his 109-pich performance, Juarez was able to strikeout five 49ers, and helped squelch two potential Long Beach scoring opportunities; his pick-off of 49er right-fielder TJ Mittelstaedt brought a sudden end to the third inning, while he successfully induced a number of fly balls in the sixth inning to eradicate a would-be scoring opportunity for the home squad.
Juarez was not the only Matador who turned an impressive performance in the field as both left-fielder Richard Cates and catcher John Parham made some impressive plays to keep the 49er offense at bay throughout the game.
In the bottom of the fourth Cates sprinted from his original place in left field to make a highlight reel-worthy sliding catch to rob 49er left-fielder Jordan Casas of what would have otherwise been a base hit, while his teammate Parham caught his eleventh runner of the season trying to steal a base, giving Long Beach a reason to second-guess any future decisions to stealthroughout the remainder of the series.
Going into Friday's game, Northridge had picked-off 20 runners, a conference-high mark with the 49ers bringing their collection of 75 bases stolen out of 100 attempts to Blair Field, also a conference-high total.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Casas reached base with two outs in the inning, before stealing second base to place himself in scoring position for Long Beach.
With Casas looking to run on any given opportunity, Devin Lohman's single to left field hit off the fist of his bat entered the Bermuda Triangle of open real estate along the left side of the field.
Hit hard enough to escape the clutches of Matador third baseman Justin DeMarco, just far enough away from shortstop Jason Dabbs to make a play, and just shallow enough to elude a hard-charging Cates from left field, that one hit would be the difference in the ballgame for both teams.
Game two of the weekend series will take place Saturday afternoon at Blair Field near the campus of Long Beach State as Matador starting pitcher (RHP) Justen Gorski will look to even up the series at one apiece as he faces Long Beach State RHP Andrew Gagnon in a matinee match-up.
First pitch is scheduled to take place at 2:00 p.m.; fans can listen to the radio broadcast, or follow along using GameTracker for the remaining two games of the series by visiting www.GoMatadors.com.
Matadors 000 000 000 - 0 4 1
Long Beach State 000 000 01x - 1 6 0
Win - Wilk (5-1) Loss - Juarez (4-3) Save - Ruiz (8)
T - 2:31 A - 1025