SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
After leading early in the game, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-10) fell 9-6 in the final game of a three-game series at Sacramento State (9-6) on Sunday afternoon at John Smith Field. The contest marks the end of a 10-game road trip for the Matadors, who will now return home for their next seven games.
Northridge jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Sacramento State starting pitcher Tanner Mendonca. Kyle Attl, Miles Williams and Tommy Simis all walked to load the bases with one out in the top of the first.
The Hornets responded, however, and took the lead for good in the bottom half of the first. Andrew Ayers hit a three-run home run to left and Justin Higley homered to left center to put Sacramento State up 4-3.
The Hornets added a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by David Del Grande and another in the fourth when Will Soto hit a solo home run to right field.
The Matadors battled back in the top of the six with a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 6-5. Joshua Goossen-Brown scored Simis with a sacrifice fly and freshman Nicolas Osuna dropped down a squeeze bunt that brought home Ring from third.
Sacramento State pushed back and plated a run in the sixth and seventh to extend its lead to 8-5.
Northridge threatened in the eighth and had the tying run on base with one out but could not capitalize. With a runner on first and one out, Anthony Lombardo picked up a pinch hit single and Ryan Raslowsky came through with an RBI single in pinch-hit duty.
Attl then walked to load the bases and move the tying run to second but that was as far as the runner would get.
Sacramento State added a final insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to set the final score at 9-6.
Michael Livingston went 2-for-3 at the plate for CSUN and Mercado drove in two runs to pace the Matadors offensively. Soto went 4-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs for the Hornets.
Starting pitcher Brandon Warner (1-1) took the loss for Northridge. Zach Morgan (2-1) lasted 5.1 innings in relief for Sacramento State and struck out three for the win while Sutter McLaughlin pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save.
The Matadors will now return to Matador Field for their next seven games, beginning with a 3 p.m. contest against the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday, March 12.