April 4, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Northridge (11-13, 1-3) relievers P.J. Rousey and Edwin Quirarte combined to shut out Cal Poly (9-14, 1-3) over the final four innings of Friday's Big West Conference game, and the Matadors claimed the 9-7 win. John Parham and Ryan Pineda had three hits each and Drew Muren was 4-for-4 to lead the Northridge attack.
The Matadors also played error-free baseball for just the third time in 2008.
Paul Tremlin had a rocky start and was chased after just 1.2 innings and was ultimately responsible for the first three Cal Poly scores. Ryan Juarez did a nice job to stem the Cal Poly momentum, and allowed just one run over the next 2.1 frames.
The Northridge bats came alive in the second when Pineda cashed in TS Reed, who was aboard on a single, with a sac fly. In the fourth, however, they really got going, touching up Cal Poly starter Eric Massingham for five hits in the inning. Northridge hung a four on the board for the inning, and Massingham didn't help his cause, chalking up an error and a hit batsman in the frame.
Peter Mendez followed Ryan Juarez on the bump for the Matadors and had an ignominious outing, allowing three runs in the fifth on three singles and a walk. After the Mustang output, the Matadors trailed by a 7-5 count.
Northridge got two back in the fifth when, after a double play ball put them in a two out, nobody one situation, Dominic D'Anna, Drew Muren, and Ryan Pineda hit back-to-back-to-back singles, the third of which scored an RBI. Consecutive walks gave the Matadors their second run of the inning and shoved Northridge into a 9-7 lead.
Matador fireman P.J. Rousey put on a clinic in middle relief to shut down the Mustangs in the middle innings. The junior took the ball and struck out the side in order in the sixth and faced just four batters in the seventh, stranding one man. Edwin Quirarte took the ball and after an uneventful eighth in which he faced just four men, made the save opportunity interesting in they ninth. The 'Stangs got the tying run aboard with two outs, but Quirarte slammed the door with a ground ball to first baseman D'Anna, conserving the 9-7 Matador victory.
The win represented the 500th conference victory in program history. The sum is spread over seasons in the Big West, Western Athletic Conference, and the Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Rousey was the winner and he moved to 2-0 for the year. The save was Quirarte's third of the season.
On the Cal Poly side, Logan Schaefer and Brent Morel homered in the losing effort. Jared Eskew pitched admirably despite the loss, surrendering two runs and four hits over his three innings.
The Matadors and Mustangs will lock horns again Saturday in the continuation of their three-game set, which pits Cal Poly's Derrick Saito against Phil Hann of the Matadors. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Matador Field.