April 23, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Six hits were the only things that kept the Cal State Northridge Matadors (18-21, 1-8 Big West) and the Pacific Tigers (13-22, 5-7 Big West) from rewriting history at Matador Field on Saturday afternoon. With a combined 42 hits in the game, the two sides were six short of setting a new Cal State Northridge baseball record for hits in a game, which will remain at 47, a feat accomplished on May 9, 1996 against Brigham Young at Matador Field.
At the end of the day, the Tigers came away with a 13-11 victory to win the finale and the series from the Matadors. Pacific started off the game by scoring a run in the top of the first inning for the third time in three games against Northridge.
A one-out single eventually came around to score off of Matador Joshua Goossen-Brown. After hitting a single to right field, Dustin Torchio reached second base on a fielding error by TS Reed. Following a wild pitch that moved the runner to third, a ground ball got through the right side of the infield to score the game's first run.
The Matadors countered in the bottom of the first inning with a one-out single up the middle by Adam Barry, who extended his hitting streak to tie the conference season-high of 13 games. On the eighth pitch of his at-bat, Andrew Muren singled to right field and advanced Barry to second. After a strikeout, catcher Steven Keller was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Tommy Simis, who hit a three-run homerun in Friday's contest.
On a 2-2 pitch from Pacific's Jake Hummel, Simis drove the ball down the left field line to clear the bases and give Northridge a 3-1 lead after one.
The two-run lead was cut down to a single run in the next half inning when Pacific's Daniel Johnston led off with a homerun to left field. Goossen-Brown was able to retire the next three hitters in order to escape further damage.
Holding on to a 3-2 advantage, the Matadors attempted to break the game open in the bottom of the third inning by putting across four runs. Marty Bowen was hit by the second pitch of the inning and both Keller and Simis singled to load the bases with nobody out. Chris Allen, making his first start of the series, then doubled down the left field line to score both Bowen and Keller.
Kyle Attl walked to load the bases before all of the runners advanced a base on a wild pitch, scoring Simis from third. Ridge Carpenter came up with one out in the inning after a fly out and grounded out to the shortstop to bring home Allen and give Northridge a 7-2 cushion.
Determined to keep the game close, the Tigers came out hot the next inning. The leadoff hitter singled to left field and stole second base before being driven in by a single up the middle. Josh Simms put down a sacrifice bunt to give Pacific a runner at second with one out facing a four-run deficit, but the next nine hitters reached base safely, collecting eight hits and eight runs before a strikeout and fly out recorded by relief pitcher Jacob Petersen ended the inning with Pacific ahead 10-7.
The Matadors mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning as Bowen, Keller and Allen all drove in a run on singles to tie the score heading into the later stages of the game.
Northridge regained the lead in the home half of the seventh inning after Reed singled to start things off and Carpenter singled to advance him to third base on a hit-and-run. With one out, Muren executed a sacrifice fly to left field to score Reed and put the Matadors up by one at 11-10.
Pacific rebounded with their second leadoff homerun of the game, this time in the top of the eighth. With the game tied, the next hitter doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring the go-ahead run on a one-out single.
The final run of the game scored in the top of the ninth as insurance for the Tigers, giving them a final margin of 13-11.
Justen Gorski (3-5) received the loss for Northridge after pitching 1.0 inning in relief and allowing two runs. All 18 position players that started the game recorded at least one hit, as only two players did not. Nate Ring entered as a pinch runner and Justin De Marco came on as a defensive substitute with neither recording an official at-bat.
The Matadors had seven of nine players finish with multiple hits: Carpenter (2-for-6, one run, one RBI), Barry (2-for-6, one run), Muren (2-for-4, two runs, one RBI), Keller (3-for-4, two runs, one RBI), Simis (2-for-5, one run, three RBI), Allen (3-for-5, one run, three RBI) and Reed (2-for-5, one run).
The Matadors' next game will be a non-conference match up at UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The next Big West series will take place on April 29 through May 1 at UC Davis.