April 25, 2010
STOCKTON, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (21-17, 3-6 BWC) wasted no time in taking the lead Sunday afternoon as second baseman Ryan Pineda hit his team-high tenth home run of the season on the very first pitch of the game. But the Pacific Tigers (24-14, 7-5 BWC) would score seven runs in the third inning to take the weekend series after defeating the Matadors by a score of 12-4 Sunday afternoon.
Up next for Northridge is a three-game series against the visiting UC Davis Aggies that begins this Friday at Matador Field.
No sooner had Pineda crossed home plate, right-fielder C.J. Belanger reached base on a hard-hit double to right center to put himself in scoring position with zero outs in the inning. From there, the Matadors flawlessly executed the next two plays as third baseman Justin DeMarco advanced Belanger on his sacrifice bunt before first baseman Dominic D'Anna drove in another run on his sacrifice fly to deep centerfield. Before the partisan crowd even had a chance to settle into their seats, Northridge had already jumped out to a 2-0 advantage.
The lead would change hands in the bottom of the same inning when Pacific scored three runs on a combination of events that included a single, double, three walks, and a wild pitch to force CSUN head coach Steve Rousey to utilize his bullpen earlier than expected.
After Pacific right-fielder Nick Longmire reached base on a double with one out in the inning, the Matadors prevented the Tigers from lengthening their lead thanks to the efforts of TS Reed, and reliever Shawn Wilyman.
Reed robbed what would have been a bloop single in shallow left field by making a spectacular catch over his shoulder for the second out of the inning.
The Matador shortstop flashed his leather once again on the very next play by robbing what would have been a RBI single off the bat of Pacific first baseman Brian Martin. Running away from second base into the patch of open real estate behind third base, Reed made a diving catch before springing to his feet in an instant in an effort to end the inning. Martin reached base safely on the play; were it not for his efforts the ball would have squirted into left field, enabling Longmire to score from second.
Reed's run-saving efforts would become even more valuable as the game progressed as Belanger hit his second home run of the season to begin the third inning, another solo shot off Tiger starter Jake Hummel, past the 365 mark in right center to tie the game at three apiece.
The lead would continue to see-saw between the teams as Pacific regained the lead thanks to a seven run effort in the third inning that was highlighted off by a three-run home run that just narrowly cleared the fence in right field.
With another six innings yet to play, the Matadors began to erase the Tiger lead in the top of the fourth inning when Nate Ring belted his second home run of the season, another lead-off shot, to left field. Swinging at the first pitch thrown in the inning, Ring's shot was the third solo home run of the game for CSUN, decreasing the Pacific lead to 10-4.
Unfortunately for Northridge, Pacific would score one run in the bottom of the fourth, and another in their half of the eighth to take the third game of the series by a score of 12-4.
CSUN will now have the next four days off to prepare for the first game of their next conference series against UC Davis. The penultimate Big West home series of the season will begin this Friday at Matador Field, first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Matadors 201 100 000 - 4 11 3
Pacific 307 100 01x - 12 18 0
Win - Hummel (5-2) Loss - Wilyman (1-4) Save - None
T - 3:07 A - 703