May 17, 2008
STOCKTON, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (23-29, 7-13) got outstanding pitching and timely hitting en route to a 10-3 victory over Big West Conference foe Pacific (12-38, 4-19) Sunday at Klein Family Field. The main culprits for Northridge were Ryan Pineda, who went 5-for-5 with two home runs at the plate and Phil Hann, who went eight innings and limited the Tigers to just six hits and two runs.
Pineda got the Matadors on the board in the first inning on Pineda's third career home run, a solo home run that was a no-doubter over the right field wall that put Northridge on top 1-0. Pacific answered in the bottom of the second when Mike McKeever hit his own solo shot.
Four Northridge runs in the top of the third put the Matadors on top for good. In that inning it was C.J. Belanger poking a lead off double that sparked the rally that culminated with Pineda's two-run homer that was his second of the day.
On the hill, Hann was on his way to one of his best starts of 2008. The senior fired six blank frames for the day and was touched up just on the home run in the second and on a lead off double-turned-run in the fifth. Hann faced no more than four batters in any inning on the evening. He finished with four strikeouts and six hits scattered against him.
Northridge got back to the bats in the fourth when Drew Muren smacked an inning-opening double and was brought around on an ensuing single off the bat of John Parham. Parham later scored on a TS Reed base knock.
Tiger reliever Cole Akins came on in the fourth and quickly doused the Northridge rally and carried his momentum through the seventh, blanking the Matadors until a double and a single yielded a Matador run in the seventh. Northridge added two in the ninth to swell their lead to 10-2.
Pacific narrowed the lead by one in the ninth with a run off reliever P.J. Rousey, but Rousey escaped the inning with no more damage. The final went in the books as 10-3.
Pineda finished at 5-for-5 on the evening and became the second Matador to collect five hits in a game in 2008. His two home runs made him the second Matador to hit multiple home runs in one game.
Northridge will look to claim the series in Sunday's rubber match vs. Pacific. The Matadors will send Ryan Juarez to the mound to oppose the Tigers' Tyler Waldron. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.