NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
A four-run second inning capped off by a two-run home run for Kyle Attl provided all of the offense Cal State Northridge needed as the Matadors (16-19, 4-5 Big West) defeated the No. 27 Cal Poly Mustangs (21-13, 5-4) 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at Matador Field. With the win, Northridge earned its first Big West Conference series victory of the season and moved into a tie for fourth place in the standings.
Things appeared to be going the way of the Mustangs early as Cal Poly struck for two runs in the top of the second. With one out, the Mustangs loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks. Denver Chavez then grounded out to score a run and Mike Miller had the chance to bring in two more as a run scored on his single but Chris Hoo was thrown out at the plate by Adam Barry to end the inning.
Northridge rode the momentum into the bottom half of the second as Miles Williams laced a double down the left field line to open things up. Marty Bowen then hit a soft ground ball between the pitcher's mound and third, reaching on a single and moving up to second as the throw by pitcher Kyle Brueggemann sailed by the first baseman. Williams scored easily on the play to cut the game to 2-1.
Designated hitter Steven Keller followed suit by hitting an RBI single to right center to score Bowen and Attl eventually brought in Keller with one out as he hit his third home run of the season over the left field wall to give CSUN a 4-2 lead.
Cal Poly got a run back in the top of the third on a David Armendariz double down the left field line that scored Mitch Haniger before the Matadors went up 5-3 in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded, Nathan Ring singled down the right field line to score Barry from third.
Northridge added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Bowen dropped down a squeeze bunt that scored Vogelsang from third with one out.
The story of the afternoon, however, was the Northridge defense that stranded 15 Cal Poly runners on base. The Mustangs left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings due to the Matadors' stellar defensive play.
In the fourth, Vogelsang snagged a line drive at first base to end the inning with a runner in scoring position before Justen Gorski got himself out of a jam in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Gorski recorded back-to-back strike outs looking to end the frame.
In the sixth, Harley Holt found himself in the same situation and benefitted from a diving catch by Attl at shortstop and a fly out to keep danger at bay.
On the afternoon, the Matadors retired the first hitter in an inning eight times, allowing just a leadoff double by Jimmy Allen in the fifth that did not come around to score.
Gorski (2-0) picked up the win after working out of trouble twice in 1.1 innings and striking out two. Brueggemann (4-3) was saddled with the loss for Cal Poly after giving up five runs in 2.2 innings. Holt worked the final four innings of the game to earn his second save.
Vogelsang led the Matadors offensively by going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored while Barry, Bowen and Keller all had two hits on the day. Attl finished 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs on his home run.
The Matadors will take a break from Big West action to visit cross-town rival No. 11 UCLA on Tuesday, Apr. 17 at 6 p.m. Northridge will then have the weekend off and return to Matador Field for another non-conference game against CSU Bakersfield on April 24 at 3 p.m. The home game against the Roadrunners will be streamed live online for free on BigWest.TV.