Matadors Fall in Season Opener at Bethune-Cookman 2-1


In a pitcher's duel that saw very little offense, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-1) were edged by the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats (1-0) by a score of 2-1 on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Despite a combined 10 hits and two errors, the game also saw 17 strikeouts and 14 runners left on base between the two teams.

"We executed two of the three facets in the game. In terms of pitching, Jerry Keel was sharp with his fastball," said CSUN first-year head coach Greg Moore. "Defensively, we played well. We just didn't get anything going with the bats. There's a lot to take from these nine innings that we played tonight."

The Matadors had a runner in scoring position in the first, second and third innings but were unable to find the timely piece of hitting to bring across the game's first run. Keel worked around a one-out single in the first inning and set the Wildcats down in order in the second and third to keep the game scoreless heading into the fourth.

Bethune-Cookman took advantage of its first opportunity with a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jordan Robinson hit a two-run double down the left field line with no outs to put his team ahead 2-0. With Robinson on second, Keel recovered to retire the next three batters in order to get out of the inning without further damage.

Cal State Northridge saw a prime opportunity to tie the game or take the lead evaporate in the top of the seventh. William Colantono opened the inning by drawing a walk and Nick Murphy was hit by a pitch to put the tying run aboard with no outs. Daniel Timmerman followed by reaching base on an errant throw by the pitcher after he attempted to get down a sacrifice bunt. Colantono scored easily while Murphy advanced to third and Timmerman took second.

The Wildcats buckled down to get a strikeout before Ryan Raslowsky walked to load the bases. Two more strikeouts ended the inning with the bases full of Matadors.

CSUN was able to put a runner in scoring position with two outs in the eighth and ninth innings but could not score.

Keel (0-1) took the loss for the Matadors after allowing two earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Brandon Warner pitched a scoreless inning in relief for CSUN. Keith Zuniga (1-0) struck out seven batters in six innings and allowed one unearned run in the win for Bethune-Cookman.

Raslowsky, Murphy, Chester Pak and Ranny Lowe each picked up hits for the Matadors while Raslowsky was also hit by a pitch twice and drew a walk. He and Colantono earned stolen bases in the game as well.

The Matadors and Wildcats will continue their series on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT).

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