Matadors Rally Twice to Sweep Doubleheader Over Columbia
March 21, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (9-12) bounced back after a tough loss to the Columbia Lions (2-15) Friday to sweep the doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Matador Field by respective scores of 5-4 and 10-7.
Northridge starting pitcher Ryan Juarez (3-2) held off the Lions in game one by striking out six in his 7.2 innings of work. The Matadors were able to score early and often against Columbia in game two by piling up 16 hits and three home runs en route to taking the series three to one.
Northridge erased an early 4-0 in game 2, by scoring three runs in the first, one in the second, and three more in the third.
In the home half of the first, Northridge scored three runs cutting the Columbia lead to 4-3, highlighted by a RBI double by first-basemen Dominic D'Anna and a RBI single by catcher Chris Hannick. D'Anna recorded three hits in game two, and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle.
The Matadors would tie the score in the second inning with a home run by shortstop Justin DeMarco and would take the lead for good in the third when D'Anna tripled to right field, scoring designated hitter John Parham and Cates. After a wild pitch, D'Anna scored giving CSUN a 7-4 lead.
Despite taking a three run lead, the Matadors were unable to firmly put away the pesky Lions, as Columbia rallied to cut the deficit to 8-7 before Northridge hit back-back home runs in the seventh.
DeMarco belted a home run to left field, the second of his collegiate career. Pinch hitter Todd Eskelin would follow next with an identical shot to left field, homering for the first time in his career.
CSUN reliever Jimmy Jolicoeur held the 10-7 lead by retiring six batters in order, en route to pitching two scoreless innings for his first save of the season.
Earlier in the day, the Matadors tried to wipe away the memories of Friday's lopsided 10-1 defeat. However, for the second consecutive game the Lions scored first to grab an early lead over the host Matadors. After scoring a run in the top-half of the first inning and adding two runs in the fourth, Northridge knew they needed to step up their game quickly in order to stop the Lions' momentum.
CSUN though would quickly respond in their half of the fourth. With two on and nobody out, Hannick singled in Parham bringing the Matadors a run closer. D'Anna followed only moments later with another double scoring Cates. After third basemen Jason Dabbs brought in another run with a groundout, second baseman Tommy Simis would complete the comeback with an infield single that scored D'Anna, giving his team a 5-3 lead.
The four-run fourth was all the run support that Juarez and reliever Brian Slover would need as they combined to shut down Columbia in the latter half of game one for the 5-4 victory.
The save was Slover's third of the season.
The Matadors received outstanding hitting all afternoon, with their 16 hits in game two, they tied a season-high for the most hits collected in a game.
D'Anna and Cates were very productive on the afternoon, as they had five hits apiece. D'Anna drove in three runs in game two, and another in game one bringing his RBI total to 16 on the season, the second-highest total amongst his teammates. Cates' five hits brings his team-high total to 33.
The Matadors will now have two days off before they hit the road for a one game match-up with the Loyola Marymount Lions on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm.
Fans can tune in online to follow Tuesday's game on GameTracker or listen to Dave Caldwell and Tamer Tartir broadcast live from George C. Page Stadium on the campus of Loyola Marymount University.
Columbia 100 200 010 - 4 9 0
Matadors 001 400 00X - 5 11 1
Win- Juarez (3-2) Loss- Aquino (1-2) Save- Slover (3)
Columbia 400 201 000 - 7 7 2
Matadors 313 010 20X - 10 16 2
Win- Gorski (1-0) Loss- Max (0-1) Save- Jolicoeur (1)
T- 3:01 A- 425