Feb. 28, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Down 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, second baseman Ryan Pineda provided the perfect ending to a three-run effort by Cal State Northridge (4-2) in their last set of at-bats as his two-run home run clinched a 7-6 victory over the visiting Pepperdine Waves (2-4).
After being defeated in similar fashion twice in Malibu last season, Pineda turned the tables Sunday afternoon as he blasted the ball over the 360 foot mark in left-centerfield on a 1-2 count to give CSUN their third straight victory.
Matador Field continues to give the Waves nothing but fits as their drought at Northridge continues for another year; Pepperdine's last victory on Valley soil took place during the 2000 season.
The walk-off home run was the first since May 25, 2008 when Pineda accomplished the same feat against the visiting UC Davis Aggies.
After falling behind 3-0 early in the game, the Matadors first scored in the bottom of the third when left fielder Ridge Carpenter singled in TS Reed, giving Pepperdine starter Matt Bywater his first earned run of the season.
The score would remain 3-1 until the eighth inning when Pepperdine added another two runs to their advantage to stretch the score to a 5-1 mark.
CSUN would respond in the bottom of the same inning with three runs of their own in what would eventually turn out to be the start of a six run scoring spree over the final two innings of the game.
After Carpenter drew a walk to begin CSUN's half of the eighth, Drew Muren, Pineda, and first basemen Dominic D'Anna hit consecutive singles to score the first two runs of the frame, giving D'Anna his fifth and sixth RBI's of the season.
Catcher Dominic Piazza would help drive in the third and final run of the inning when Pineda scored on his sacrifice fly to centerfield to decrease the Wave lead to 5-4 entering the final inning of the game.
With momentum, and the energy of the crowd clearly on the Matadors' side, Pepperdine would score one more run off a double to left-centerfield by Wave third baseman Colin Rooney that scored teammate Joe Sever.
Down by two in the ninth, right-fielder C.J. Belanger led things off with a single to second base, his fourth hit in as many at-bats on the day against Pepperdine pitchers.
Belanger then advanced to second on a wild pitch thrown by Wave reliever Robert Dickmann, moving him to scoring position.
Pinch-hitter Jason Dabbs then successfully advanced Belanger to third base on his groundout to the opposite corner of the diamond before Muren singled up the middle to drive in the first of three runs.
With Muren still 90 feet away from placing himself into scoring position, Pineda then gave his teammate a clear path to home plate as he swung at a 1-2 pitch that would eventually land 375 feet away in left-centerfield on the opposite side of the outfield fence to complete the Matador comeback.
The home run was his second of the year, Pineda now lead the Matadors in home runs (2), hits (12) and RBI's (9).
Northridge has now won their last three consecutive games, all against teams from the West Coast Conference.
CSUN will return to Matador Field one more time before taking a well-deserved break as they welcome the Waseda University Bears to the Valley in an exhibition game Monday afternoon.
Making the trip from Tokyo, Japan, the Bears will spend the upcoming days competing against a number of universities throughout their tour of Southern California.
Pepperdine 021 000 021 - 6 9 1
Matadors 001 000 033 - 7 11 0
Win - Jolicoeur (1-0) Loss - (Dickmann (1-1) Save - None
T - 3:22 A - 337