March 8, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A four-run sixth inning propelled the Cal State Northridge baseball team (5-5) to victory Monday afternoon, as they defeated the visiting Connecticut Huskies (5-2) at Matador Field.
The Matadors trailed for the majority of their series finale with the Huskies, but four hits and a couple of UConn miscues in the sixth were enough for CSUN to score their first four runs of the game, to take a lead that would not be relinquished.
Heading into the bottom-half of the sixth inning, it looked as if Northridge would be unable to avoid being swept by Connecticut. At that point in the game, UConn led 2-0, and the Matadors had only managed one hit, a bunt single by C.J. Belanger.
However, when it came their turn to hit in the sixth, Northridge came out swinging.
Justin DeMarco laid down another nice bunt that not only advanced both Pineda and D'Anna, but allowed DeMarco to reach base as well.
CSUN got its first run of the day when UConn's Pat Butler was called for a balk, advancing all runners, allowing Pineda to cross home plate, making the score 2-1.
Marty Bowen then drove a single into right field, bringing in DeMarco and D'Anna, giving the Matadors their first lead of the game, 3-2.
UConn tried switching pitchers, as Dan Feehan came in to try and get the Huskies out of the jam, but Northridge's bats stayed hot.
Butler walked the first batter, Brad Decater, and the next man up, Belanger, knocked another single between the shortstop and second baseman. One batter later, Ridge Carpenter's drove in the next Matador run, to extend the Matador lead to 4-2.
The Huskies tried to battle back, as Billy Ferriter led off the top of the seventh with a triple to right field, followed immediately by a Pierre LePage single, shrinking the Matador lead to one.
However, Northridge hurler Justen Gorski retired three out of the next four batters, and the Matadors escaped the seventh with their lead intact.
CSUN would add another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, to push their lead back to two runs. Pineda led off the inning with a double and then stole third base moments later, before being driven home by a Bowen single to left centerfield.
The score remained 5-3 until the top of the ninth, when the Huskies strung together three straight one-out singles by Ferriter, LePage, and Ahmed to load the bases.
Just when Connecticut looked ready to steal another victory from the Matadors in dramatic fashion, Jimmy Jolicoeur answered with a strong performance of his own.
Joliceur whiffed the next two Husky hitters, the last of which came on a 3-2 payoff pitch with the bases loaded to end the game and the Huskies' rally.
For the second straight game, Bowen led the offensive attack with two hits and three RBI's.
CSUN had two other players who finished the game with multiple hits: Belanger went 3-for-4 on the day, while Pineda finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
CSUN will return to Matador Field on Wednesday to face East Carolina University. First pitch is slated for 2:00 P.M.
Connecticut 001 010 100 - 3 10 1
Matadors 000 004 100 - 5 8 1
Win - Gorski (2-0) Loss - Butler (0-1) Save - Joliceur (1)
T - 3:11 A - 108