April 14, 2012

Matadors Split Doubleheader Against No. 27 Cal Poly

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Ryan Raslowsky had three hits and two RBIs, including the game winner in the bottom of the 11th inning, as the Cal State Northridge Matadors won the first game of a doubleheader against the Cal Poly Mustangs 6-5 on Saturday afternoon at Matador Field. The Mustangs responded with a 6-1 victory in the second game to split the series heading into Sunday's finale.

With the split, the Matadors are now 15-19 on the season with a mark of 3-5 in Big West Conference play. The Mustangs moved to 21-12 and 5-3 in the conference.

Fans were treated to a back-and-forth battle in the first game as Cal Poly scored to take the lead 1-0 in the top of the first. The Matadors evened the game in the bottom of the second as Chester Pak hit a double to left field off the glove of the shortstop, scoring Miles Williams.

The teams remained tied until the Mustangs scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth. David Armendariz picked up an RBI as Mitch Haniger scored on the play.

Northridge took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the seventh inning by scoring three runs. Nathan Ring opened the inning with a single through the right side and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pak.

Kyle Attl then doubled down the left field line to score Ring. With two outs, Raslowsky hit an infield single to score Attl and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single by Adam Barry.

Ahead 4-2 in the top of the ninth, the Matadors were unable to close out the game in regulation as Cal Poly regained the lead at 5-4. After an RBI single for Tim Wise, Haniger hit a home run to left field.

Northridge tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a disputed play that set up a thrilling finish in extra innings. With the bases loaded and one out, Matthew Moreno hit a line drive to the shortstop that was caught on a short hop.

Thinking that a catch had been made, Cal Poly shortstop Mike Miller tried to run back Raslowsky to second for a game-ending double play. The ball had bounced, however, allowing pinch runner Alex Muren to score from third to tie the game.

After a meeting of the umpires, it was determined that the final out of the inning came after the run scored, sending the game into extra innings.

Louis Cohen was able to get the Mustangs out in order in the 10th and 11th innings and Pak opened up the bottom of the 11th with a double down the left field line.

With two outs and Pak on third, Raslowsky chopped a ball over the head of the third baseman to give Northridge its second consecutive walkoff win.

In the game, the Northridge defense turned two double plays, caught a runner stealing, picked another off of first and caught a player in a rundown between third and home. Still another Mustang was called out on batter's interference.

Raslowsky went 3-for-6 in the first game with two RBIs and Pak, Attl and Williams each recorded multiple-hit games. Cohen (4-1) pitched 4.0 innings with three strikeouts to pick up the win while Chase Johnson (1-3) took the loss for Cal Poly.

Game Two Recap:

The Mustangs rebounded in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 6-1. The game was scoreless through the first three innings before Cal Poly opened the scoring in the top of the fourth.

After a one-out walk, Armendariz doubled down the left field line to drive in Jimmy Allen. Back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth put the Mustangs ahead 3-0.

With one out, Haniger hit an infield RBI single and Allen followed with an RBI single to left field for Cal Poly. The Mustangs took a 5-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning after a miscue by the Northridge defense.

In the top of the sixth, the Matadors had Tommy Pluschkell caught in a rundown between third and home. The throw home was mishandled, however, and Pluschkell was able to score. Allen then kept the momentum going in the top of the seventh with a leadoff home run.

The Matadors scored their lone run of the game in the home half of the seventh inning. After Pak was hit by a pitch to open the frame, Michael Livingston hit a single to right field with one out. Raslowsky followed suit with an RBI single to left center to drive in Pak.

Cal Poly tacked on a final run in the top of the ninth inning to put the final score at 6-1. Chris Hoo singled home Haniger with one out.

Kyle Anderson (6-1) earned the win for the Mustangs while Muren (5-4) took the loss for Northridge after 5.2 innings pitched with five strikeouts.

Livingston, who entered the game with one hit in limited action this season, went 3-for-4 in the second game to lead the Matadors offensively.

Northridge and Cal Poly will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday, Apr. 15 at Matador Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. as the series victory is in play for both sides.