SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –
A late surge provided insurance for UC Santa Barbara as the Cal State Northridge Matadors (17-32, 5-12 Big West) were defeated 6-0 by the Gauchos (29-14-1, 9-11 Big West) on Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to seal the game.
"We played good defense today and we'll stay with that," said CSUN head coach Greg Moore. "These guys played a good seven out of eight innings as far as executing pitches. We need to stay with our plan and minimize damage in big innings."
A pitchers' duel made for a quick afternoon as the game was completed in a little more than two hours. Both pitchers were perfect through three innings until Ryan Raslowsky singled with one out in the fourth to give the Matadors the first runner in the game.
The Gauchos broke through against CSUN starter Jerry Keel in the bottom of the fourth after Scott Quinlan reached on an infield single. After stealing second and advancing to third base on a sacrifice bunt, Quinlan scored on a two-run home run by Joey Epperson that put UCSB ahead 2-0.
CSUN got a single with one out in the fifth from Brett Balkan but a double play ended the inning. The Matadors also had a runner aboard on a single in the seventh by Nick Blaser and in the ninth by Michael Livingston but could not string hits together to produce a run.
Four runs scored in the bottom of the eighth for UCSB as the Gauchos got the insurance runs they needed on the day. An error on a sacrifice bunt attempt with no outs allowed one run to score before the Gauchos pieced together three consecutive hits to drive in three more runs and put the final score at 6-0.
Keel (0-9) took the loss for the Matadors despite striking out seven batters and allowing just four hits in 7.0 innings of work. Austin Pettibone (3-1) went the distance for UCSB and struck out five in the winning effort.
The Matadors and Gauchos will close out their series on Sunday, May 11, with a Mother's Day matinee at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.