Matadors Drop First Game of Weekend Series to #1 UC Irvine 7-1
May 1, 2009
IRVINE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (18-27, 4-12 BWC) were able to score in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a lead-off single by second baseman Tommy Simis, but five runs scored by the UC Irvine Anteaters 32-11, 12-1 BWC) in the early part of the ballgame would be enough offense to secure a 7-1 victory over CSUN Friday evening in Irvine.
Irvine took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, a dangerous sign for Northridge as Irvine came into Friday's game undefeated at Anteater Ballpark during Big West Conference play.
In the top of the fourth inning, right-fielder Ryan Pineda put himself in scoring position with his double to left field. But Irvine starting pitcher Daniel Bibona was able to induce the Matadors to hit a groundout and a pop-fly to end the inning, squelching the first Matador scoring opportunity of the game.
CSUN's second scoring opportunity of the evening, taking place in the sixth inning with UCI leading by a score of 5-0, would yield more favorable results as the Matadors were able to put their first run up on the board to chip away at the 5-0 Anteater advantage.
Simis led off the top of the sixth with a single, and was able to advance to second base thanks to a passed ball thrown by Bibona to put himself in scoring position with zero outs in the inning.
C.J. Belanger then singled to advance Simis to third base, followed by Pineda who reached on a fielder's choice, enabling his teammate to score on the play.
Any momentum that Northridge was able to create with their set of at-bats were quickly extinguished by Irvine in the bottom of the same inning as they responded by scoring two runs of their own to extend their lead to a 7-1 margin.
During his stint in the sixth inning, Matador pitcher Bryce Schoening recorded his first pickoff of the season, adding to the Matadors conference-leading total of 27 on the season, when Anteater catcher Francis Larson was caught off-guard by the senior left-hander for the second out of the inning.
Schoening is now the eleventh Matador to record a pick-off during the 2009 campaign, enlarging what was already a new Matador record going into the weekend at Irvine.
RHP Justen Gorski (1-2, 4.11) will take the mound for Northridge Saturday afternoon as the Matadors look to become the first Big West Conference opponent to defeat the Anteaters on their own field when he squares off against RHP Christian Bergman (7-1, 2.50).
First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., baseball fans can listen to a radio broadcast of the game, or follow along live on GameTracker by visiting www.GoMatadors.com.
Matadors 000 001 000 - 1 4 1
UC Irvine 002 302 00x - 7 10 0
Win - Bibona (8-1) Loss - Juarez (4-5) Save - None
T - 2:46 A - 793