March 14, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After winning the first game in extra innings Friday afternoon, Cal State Northridge (6-9) dropped the second game of their weekend series with the San Jose State Spartans (10-3) Saturday afternoon by a score of 6-5 at Matador Field despite rallying from a five-run deficit to pull within one run in the ninth.
With today's outcome, the Matadors lost for just the third time in nine home games this season while the Spartans snapped a three game losing streak.
Just like in Friday's game, the Spartans took a lead into the late innings only to see the Matadors chip away as the game progressed.
Matador starting pitcher Ryan Juarez (2-2) held San Jose State off the board for the first two innings, but was unable to escape a three run third inning. In the seventh inning, Spartan third basemen Tyler Heil hit a two-run home run off Juarez, extending their lead to 6-1.
Much like Friday's game, the Matadors attempted another late-inning rally. In the home half of the seventh, Northridge left-fielder Richard Cates hit a sacrifice fly bringing in first basemen Dominic D'Anna to bring the Matadors one run closer.
In the eighth inning, CSUN third basemen Ryan Pineda led off with a deep drive over the left field fence to chip away at the Spartan's four-run lead.
The home run extended his Big West Conference-leading hit streak to 15 games. Pineda has now hit safely in every Matador game this season.
Trailing 6-3 heading to the ninth, the Matadors continued to make a charge. With one out and the bases empty, Cates struck a single to center field. Two batters later, Pineda came up again and in a replay of the eighth, homered again to left field. The two-run home run brought Northridge to within a run.
Spartan closer Anthony Vega would put an end to the Matador's rally, as he struck out Matador catcher Chris Hannick to finish the game. Vega struck out three in the ninth en route for his six save of the season.
Cates had two hits on the afternoon and drove in two of the Matador's five runs. In the bottom-half of the fifth, he drove in right-fielder Todd Eskelin with a single for the Matadors first run of the afternoon.
Along with Cates, Pineda continues to be a dangerous bat in the Matador lineup. With his three RBI's on Saturday, he now has 17 RBI's on the season. He leads the team in RBI's and in home runs with 5.
Despite the setback, the Matadors can still win the weekend series with the Spartans on Sunday afternoon. LHP Bryan Harper (0-1) will take the mound for Northridge, and will try to improve upon his team-leading 3.21 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Matador Field.
San Jose St. 003 001 200 - 6 10 0
Matadors 000 010 112 - 5 8 0
Win- Peterson (3-0) Loss- Juarez (2-2) Save- Vega (6)
T- 2:42 A-185