Matadors Suffer 14-11 Loss to West Virginia


On a warm afternoon that featured 25 runs and 36 hits, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (8-13) were edged 14-11 by the West Virginia Mountaineers (10-6) on Saturday at Matador Field. Seven Matadors had multiple hits in the game, led by Chester Pak's four.

"Good approach today by the offense, I thought it was our best," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "You saw some guys really work their at-bats, get deep into counts and then execute."

The Mountaineers took the lead with a run in the top of the first inning when Ryan McBroom doubled home a run with two outs, but the Matadors immediately answered back with a run of their own. With runners on the corners and one out, Nick Blaser brought home Ryan Raslowsky with a sacrifice fly to right field.

West Virginia added two runs in the second before CSUN responded with four runs in the bottom half to go ahead 5-3. Ranny Lowe drove in a run with a single, Ryan Raslowsky's single scored two runs and Pak closed out the frame with an RBI single of his own.

"We executed really well today," said Pak. "We had been struggling offensively over the past few weeks but today was a good day and we just need to carry it forward to our next games."

Two more runs in the top of the third allowed WVU to tie the game. McBroom drove in a run on a single and Cameron O'Brien plated another with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The momentum stayed with the Mountaineers in the next inning as WVU struck for four runs and a 9-5 lead. Runs came across on an RBI double for Taylor Munden, a wild pitch with the bases loaded, a single for McBroom and a sacrifice fly for Jacob Rice. 

The Matadors used a run in the fourth and fifth innings to trim the deficit to 9-7. In the fourth, Lowe hit a one-out triple to right field and scored on a ground out by Raslowsky. The next inning, Nick Murphy connected for an RBI single that scored Brett Balkan.

A run in the top of the sixth put WVU ahead 10-7 and the Matadors answered with two to bring the score to 10-9 after six innings. After Rice singled in a run for the Mountaineers in the top half, Blaser drove in two runs on a double in the bottom half.

The Mountaineers began to pull away in the top of the eighth, scoring four runs. McBroom launched a two-run home run, Rice scored on a wild pitch and Shaun Wood hit an RBI single through the right side of the infield.

The Matadors started to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth but were unsuccessful. With a runner on first and two outs, Pak blasted his first home run of the season to bring the score to 14-11. A pair of singles followed to bring up the potential tying run but CSUN was unable to cross the plate.

Pak finished the day 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Raslowsky went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs. McBroom led the Mountaineers with a 4-for-6 day and five runs batted in.

Jordan Johnson (2-2) was handed the loss for the Matadors while Sean Carley (3-0) picked up the win for WVU despite allowing eight earned runs. Corey Walter was credited with his third save of the season after recording the final out of the game. 

The Matadors will return to Matador Field for their next game, a Tuesday afternoon contest against Bakersfield on March 18th at 3 p.m.

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