SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. –
Needing a victory to keep pace at the top of the Big West Conference, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (31-23, 15-9 Big West) were defeated 7-2 by the No. 27 Cal Poly Mustangs (37-16, 15-9 Big West) on Sunday afternoon at Baggett Stadium. A late-inning run for the Matadors was unable to spark a rally and the Mustangs scored two runs in the eighth to seal the game.
Cal Poly jumped out to an early lead as Denver Chavez, the first batter for the Mustangs, hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning. The Matadors were able to answer by tying the game in the top of the fourth with two outs.
After Cal Vogelsang singled through the left side of the infield, catcher Alexis Mercado lined a double off the base of the wall in center field to score the run from first. Mercado now has 16 doubles for the Matadors this season.
The Mustangs regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring two runs to go ahead 3-1. Elliot Stewart led off the inning with a home run to left center field and Chavez singled home a run with one out.
Two more runs scored for Cal Poly in the sixth to put them ahead 5-1. With one out and a runner at second, a fly ball to center field was misplayed, allowing the Mustangs to have two runners in scoring position. Stewart took advantage by singling in both runs.
Northridge brought the game closer in the top of the eighth, scoring a run to cut the margin to 5-2. Michael Livingston opened the inning with a single to right center field and scored on a one-out double by Nathan Ring.
John Salas (4-6) struck out four in 5.0 innings but took the loss for the Matadors. Casey Bloomquist (6-1) struck out six in 7.1 innings for Cal Poly to pick up the win.
Joshua Goossen-Brown and Mercado led CSUN at the plate by each going 2-for-4 while Livingston had a hit and a stolen base.
The Matadors will close out the regular season at home when they welcome the Cal State Fullerton Titans to Matador Field for a three-game series next weekend. The opener is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 3 p.m.