BAKERSFIELD, Calif. –
A sixth-inning rally stood up as the difference in the game as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-6) fell 3-1 at the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (6-6) on Tuesday night at Hardt Field. After taking the lead in the top of the first, the Matadors could not hold the lead and were done in by a pair of errors that led to two unearned runs.
"The first thing you look at is the strong individual effort by their starting pitcher. James Barragan was outstanding tonight," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "You tip your cap and when a guy throws a complete game on a Tuesday, in some ways you leave here appreciating what he did and go back and look at what you could've done to break him down."
The Matadors took control of the game early on by scoring a run on two hits in the top of the first inning. On the eighth pitch of the opening at-bat, Ryan Raslowsky singled up the middle and moved to second on a ground out.
After stealing third base, Raslowsky came in to score on a bloop single to right field by Brett Balkan. Starting pitcher Calvin Copping built on the momentum on the mound, striking out two batters while retiring the side in order in the bottom of the first.
In the second and third innings, Copping worked around a runner in scoring position to keep the lead intact. He recorded four strikeouts in the first three innings and finished the game with six.
The tide turned in favor of the Roadrunners in the bottom of the sixth after leadoff hitter Jordie Hein singled to open the inning. Max Carter reached on a fielding error while trying to put down a sacrifice bunt and Hein scored when Oscar Sanay's bunt attempt was thrown out of play.
A two-run single for Logan Trowbridge with two outs plated two more runs for CSU Bakersfield to put the Roadrunners ahead 3-1.
Cal State Northridge had a final chance to tie the game in the ninth inning but was not able to get the tying runner on base. Raslowsky singled to open the ninth for the Matadors, but a pair of fielder's choices and a pop fly ended the game.
Copping (1-2) struck out six and allowed four hits and two unearned runs in 5.0 innings but was saddled with the loss. Barragan (1-1) recorded seven strikeouts and allowed one run on four hits in the complete-game victory for CSU Bakersfield.
The Matadors will now set their sights on Loyola Marymount for their next game. First pitch on Wednesday, March 5, is scheduled at 6 p.m. at Page Stadium, a place where the Matadors were held hitless last season.
"Last year is a different year and tomorrow is another day," concluded Moore. "We are going to go in tomorrow and attack the game of baseball."