Matadors Battle the Elements and Evansville, Win 9-8
March 4, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A single by Cal State Northridge (5-4) catcher John Parham in the fifth inning would prove to be the difference in today's game against the Evansville Purple Aces as they held on to defeat the Purple Aces in a weather-marred game at Matador Field Wednesday afternoon.
The Matadors led from start-to-finish, having amassed a three-run lead going into the top of the ninth inning before the Purple Aces made things interesting.
After leading off the inning with two walks and a single, Evansville was able to score two runs and chip away at the lead before Matador closer Brian Slover struck out two batters, and forced a third to ground out to end the inning.
The win enabled Northridge to split the series with Evansville 1-1 before heading off to Nebraska for a four-game series against the Cornhuskers, CSUN's second Big-12 opponent in as many weeks.
The men in red attacked early and often as all nine batters had an at-bat in their half of the first inning, resulting in a four-run, two-hit inning that gave CSUN an early lead.
Evansville responded with two runs of their own the very next inning, to whittle the initial lead down to one run.
The Matadors responded to the Aces' initial offensive surge with another run of their own in the bottom-half of that same inning.
After Reed opened up the inning with his second consecutive walk, he advanced to third thanks to a double by Parham, and eventually scored on a throwing error by Purple Ace Sean Loggins during the at-bat of third baseman Dominic D'Anna.
Northridge extended their lead with another run in the fourth inning on a balk by Purple ace pitcher Jared Baehl that forced in Parham who initially reached base via base on balls, and advanced around the horn by a single from Cates and a wild pitch.
Not content to sit on a 6-3 lead after the game became official; Northridge continued their aggressive style of play throughout the next few rain-scarred innings.
C.J. Belanger started the fifth inning with a bunt single, and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Once catcher Chris Hannick walked, both runners advanced one base on a Westley Wright sacrifice bunt.
Right-fielder Billy Swanson drove in both runners only a few moments later on his single to right-field to extend the lead to 8-3, only to be driven home by a Parham single for the Matador's final run of the afternoon.
At that time, Parham's RBI was the latest damage inflicted by the Matador bats as they drove in a run in four of the first five innings of the game. As the game continued, and the Purple Aces slowly chipped away at the CSUN advantage did the importance of that run become more pronounced as it eventually turned into the game-winning tally for CSUN.
The Matadors will now hit the road for a four-game series against the Nebraska Cornhuskers starting on Friday, March 6th. Matador baseball fans can follow the action of all four games live, on-line by utilizing Gametracker, a program provided by CSTV and Cal State Northridge.
The Husker Sports Network will also provide a radio feed of all four games for free; fans can register at www.huskers.com to sign-up and listen to any of the four games played this weekend.
Evansville 030 003 002 - 8 11 2
Matadors 410 130 00X - 9 13 0
Win - Tremlin (2-0) Loss - Dennis (0-1) Save - Slover (2) T - 3:13 A - 143