March 5, 2014

Matadors Lose in Marathon at LMU 12-11

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

In a game that took five hours and 42 minutes to complete and featured 42 players, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-7) were edged 12-11 in 13 innings by the Loyola Marymount University Lions (6-7) on Wednesday night at Page Stadium. The game was the first played under the lights between the Matadors and the Lions in a series that started in 1960.

The game was a wild showdown with plenty of offense to go around. In addition to the 34 hits on the night, there were seven lead changes. The Matadors scored the first runs in the game, plating a pair in the top of the second.

With one out, Ranny Lowe was hit by a pitch and Nicolas Osuna and Chester Pak each singled to load the bases. Ryan Raslowsky walked to force in a run and another scored on an errant throw by the LMU catcher as he tried to complete a double play that would end the inning.

The Lions got a run back in the bottom of the second and took the lead at 3-2 after scoring twice in the third.

Not to be put away, Cal State Northridge rallied to score the tying run in the fifth inning after Raslowsky reached on an error, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Brett Balkan followed with a ground out that scored Raslowsky easily from third.

Two more Northridge runs came across in the sixth to put the Matadors ahead 5-3. With the bases loaded and one out, Pak hit a sacrifice fly that scored Nico Garbella and Raslowsky reached on an error that allowed Devon Harrison to cross the plate.

However, more swings were in store for the players and fans alike. LMU struck for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to reclaim the lead at 7-5 after putting together five hits in the inning.

The Matadors then followed with five runs of their own in the seventh to lead 10-7. With the bases loaded, Michael Livingston walked to force in a run. Balkan then scored on a wild pitch and Osuna hit a two-run single to center field.

The runs would not be enough though, as the Lions scored twice in the bottom of the eighth and once in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. LMU nearly had the winning run in the ninth but William Colantono's throw home from first cut down the potential run trying to score.

The Matadors once more took the lead in the top of the 11th due to the work of Balkan and Nick Blaser. Balkan walked to open the inning and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt before Blaser's single to center field scored the run.

Facing their final strike in the bottom of the 11th, the Lions rallied to get a triple to left center field and an infield single to extend the game.

The final run scored in the bottom of the 13th for LMU when Tanner Donnels singled to first base with the bases loaded to drive in David Fletcher.

Kenny Rosenberg (0-1) was one of eight pitchers used by the Matadors and took the loss after allowing one run in one inning of work. Brenton Arriaga (1-0) was the seventh pitcher for LMU and was credited with the victory.

Osuna went 3-for-7 in the game and drove in two while Pak went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Colantono had two sacrifice bunt in the game and Raslowsky picked up three stolen bases.

The Matadors will next travel to Sam Houston State for a three-game series agains the 20th-ranked Bearkats beginning this Friday. First pitch in Huntsville, Texas, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT on March 7th.

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