April 26, 2008
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge (17-21, 5-9) evened their weekend series with UC Riverside (12-25, 6-5) Saturday with a decisive 14-5 victory that featured several impressive feats. Justin DeMarco was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI and Ryan Pineda smacked his first career homer, a first-inning grand slam.
Matador starter Phil Hann had a six-run advantage with which to work before he ever took the ball.
In the top half of the opening frame, TS Reed was plunked to open the game and things continued from there, with Richard Cates, Dominic D'Anna, and Matt Warr notching back-to-back-to-back singles. Warr's knock brought in Reed and Drew Muren walk left the bases full for Ryan Pineda, who went yard with an opposite field blast that went as his first career homer. The slam was the first bases-loaded shot for the Matadors since 2006.
The Northridge bats would go silent through the middle innings.
On the mound, Hann allowed the Highlanders to halve the lead in the second with four singles to open the inning. The result belied Hann's work, however, as the senior right-hander stuck to the game plan and was able to induce ground balls for five of the first six batters in the inning.
Leadoff man Aaron Wible lashed a seeing-eye single through the left side, Ryan Goetz slapped a bouncer to second base that bounced over the shoulder of an in-position TS Reed, and after a line drive into right field, another hard grounder would slip down the third base line. Out number one came on a ground out to shortstop Justin DeMarco, and another grounder to DeMarco resulted in a throwing error. The Highlanders scored three in the frame.
UCR came within one in the fifth. A one-out walk was followed by a single to put two men on, Wible collected a sacrifice fly, and Goetz notched an RBI single that scored a run, narrowing the score to 6-5.
Northridge got back to the bats in the sixth, when three consecutive two-out hits resulted in a pair of runs.
Northridge held their three-run advantage when they took the bats in the ninth. Again the damage was done with two outs in the inning. A Warr doubled was sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts, and when reliever Ryan Platt walked a man behind Warr, the bullpen was stirred again.
Dustin Emmons was the reliever and he was greeted with a Chris Hannick single, back-to-back Matador triples off the bats of Justin DeMarco and TS Reed and back-to-back singles for John Parham and Richard Cates. Northridge pushed five runs across in the inning.
The triple for DeMarco was his first career three-bagger and John Parham extended his hit streak in the ninth after being walked in the sixth and eighth.
Eric Billings set the Highlanders down quietly in the ninth to secure the 14-5 Matador win.
For the day, Reed, Cates, Warr, and Parham all tallied multiple hits and each Northridge starter found his way into the hit column. Northridge has had one or fewer errors in each of its last three contests.
The series finale is set for 1 p.m. at Riverside Sports Complex. Northridge starter Ryan Juarez will be opposed by Paul Bargas of UC Riverside.