May 7, 2010

Northridge Wins Fourteen-Inning Marathon, Defeats UCSB 6-5

May 7, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Back-to-back doubles from Ryan Pineda and Dominic D'Anna in the top of the 14th inning was all the offense Cal State Northridge (23-19, 5-8 BWC) needed to start their season-long seven game road trip on a positive note as they erased a two-run deficit to defeat UC Santa Barbara (19-21, BWC 5-8) 6-5.

Northridge wasted no time in applying pressure to Gaucho starter Mario Hollands as they loaded the bases before the first out was ever recorded in the game.

After reaching base on a fielding error committed by Gaucho shortstop Matt Valaika, centerfielder Drew Muren sprinted his way around the diamond from first to third on C.J. Belanger's 13th double of the season.

Pineda soon joined them on-base when he was hit by a pitch for the eighth time on the season to load the bases. With the diamond now full of Matadors, first baseman D'Anna forced in the first run of the game when he drew a walk, giving the Matadors an early 1-0 lead.

UCSB tied the game, eventually taking the lead from CSUN due to the events that took place in the bottom of the second. After leading off the frame with a solo home run to tie the game, they scored two more runs on back-to-back bloop singles, another single, and a double to take the lead.

Each team would prevent the other from scoring for the next three innings, a precursor for what would take place in the latter part of the game, until the sixth when the Matadors quickly tied the score at 3-3 thanks to some clutch hitting by the middle of their line-up.

On a 2-0 count, Pineda led off the sixth with a solo home run to left field to slice the Gaucho lead in half. Entering Friday's game with the second highest amount of home runs in the conference, Pineda is now tied with Christian Colon (CSUF) for the conference lead as each have touched `em all 12 times this season.

Drawing walks in his first two at-bats of the contest, D'Anna earned his first hit of the game on his hard-hit single to right field, advancing to second moments later thanks to third baseman Justin DeMarco and his groundout to the shortstop. Left-fielder Nate Ring advanced his teammate D'Anna another 90 feet on his groundout to the second baseman before designated hitter Brad Decater drove him home on his single to centerfield to tie the game at three.

With that hit, Ring earned his 19th RBI of the season.

No sooner had Northridge evened things on the scoreboard when UCSB threatened to take the lead once again in the bottom of the sixth.

With runners on second and third base, and one out, Tremlin struckout Gaucho third baseman Ryan Palermo on five pitches, and catcher Dan Camou on the next four to silence any momentum the Gauchos built, keeping the game tied in the process.

Notwithstanding the actions that took place in the second inning, Tremlin followed his complete-game victory earned last week against UC Davis with another stellar performance on the mound this weekend against UCSB.

After six full innings, Tremlin had fanned four batters, helped eradicate two Gaucho scoring opportunities, and kept his team within striking distance after CSUN fell behind by two runs early in the game.

Tying the game in the previous inning, CSUN took the lead in the seventh on D'Anna's single to shallow centerfield. With two outs already recorded by the Gauchos, and two Matador baserunners running on contact, shortstop TS Reed scored easily from second base once the ball came to a stop on an empty patch of real estate in center field.

Reed initially led off the inning with a single to center, advancing to second on another well-placed single to left from the bat of Muren.

With Reed running on the play, and Valaika sliding towards the bag in preparation for a throw from his catcher, Muren took full advantage of the now-enormous gap on the left side of the diamond and drilled a single through the gap to complete his half of the hit-and-run call.

The lead would be short lived though as the Gauchos responded with a solo shot of their own to left field in their half of the seventh, tying the game at four apiece.

That lone run would be the only one to score in that half of the inning as Tremlin maintained his poise on the bump, and retired the next three batters in order on a fly out to left field, fly out to right field, and a strikeout respectively to end the inning and his time on the mound.

Finishing with six strikeouts, Tremlin threw seven full innings and only walked one batter before Coach Rousey decided to utilize his bullpen in an effort to win the inaugural game of the series.

Leading off the ninth inning for CSUN, Reed earned first base the hard way as he was plunked on his left side by the first pitch thrown his way by Gaucho reliever David Meals, placing the go-ahead run on-base.

On an attempted sacrifice bunt, Muren reached base on a fielder's choice as the shortstop was narrowly thrown out at first base by Meals. Had the pitcher not fielded the ball as quickly and cleanly as he did, both first and second base would be occupied by Matadors.

With one out already recorded, Belanger advanced his teammate to second, almost reaching base on the play.

Representing the tie-breaking run at second, Pineda took full advantage of the scoring opportunity that presented him as the junior hit his tenth double of the season, enabling Muren to score easily.

Unfortunately for the Matadors, the Gauchos would respond once again as pinch-hitter Connor Whalen led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run to tie the game at 5-5.

Once Ben Edelstein reached base on a single, his teammate Gunnar Terhune faked a sacrifice bunt, pulled his bat back, and hit a chopper over the outstretched hands of DeMarco into left field to put Gauchos on first and second with zero outs in the inning.

After Sean Williams loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch, the Matadors buckled down and ended the inning in abrupt fashion when reliever Jimmy Jolicoeur forced pinch-hitter Steve Moon to pop out to shallow left field and Trevor Whyte to hit into an inning-ending 3-2-3 double play to force additional innings.

UCSB was the first to build the first serious scoring opportunity in the extra frames as they were able to load the bases with only one out in the tenth inning. Rather than succumb to the pressure attached to that moment of the game, Jolicoeur calmly forced Edelstein to hit a pop-up on a full count to Reed before striking out Terhune to end the Gaucho's half of the inning.

Jolicoeur would pitch an additional three scoreless innings before he was relieved by Bryan Longpre in the bottom of the 12th.

As strong as Tremlin pitched, especially during key situations in the game, Jolicoeur was just as filthy during his time in the game. Finishing with five strikeouts, tying his season high set against Cal State Bakersfield on April 11, he only allowed two hits in the extra frames.

With a Gaucho on second base, and one out in the 13th inning, Muren single-handedly kept the Matadors in the game as his diving catch robbed Moon of a game-winning RBI. Had Muren not utilized every inch of his 6'6" frame, the Gauchos would have taken the first game of the weekend.

In addition to his highlight-reel catch, Muren had the wherewithal to throw to second base in an attempt to pick-off Gaucho base runner Sean Williams. Not realizing that the cheers were for Muren's catch instead of Moon's hit, he nearly rounded third and raced towards home before realizing that an out was recorded. By not touching third base on his return trip to second, he was tagged for the back-half of the inning-ending double play.

After driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth on a double, it was Pineda's turn to score what would turn out to become the winning run of the game after initially reaching base on another double to centerfield.

D'Anna followed Pineda's efforts with a double of his own, driving in the sixth and final run of the game for CSUN. The Matador first baseman now leads the team with 14 doubles.

Armed with a one-run lead, Longpre sent the partisan crowd home broken-hearted as he retired all three UCSB batters faced to earn his second win of the season, continuing the stellar string of performances by the Northridge pitching staff on the afternoon.

Northridge in now undefeated in their three extra-inning games after defeating Pepperdine (Feb. 26) and Seattle (March 19), UCSB now falls to 0-3 on the season after losing to Stanford in 11 innings and Cal Poly in 10.

Northridge will look to win the series against UCSB Saturday afternoon when they return to Caesar Uyesaka Field for a 1 p.m. contest. GameTracker, streaming video, and a live internet broadcast of the game will be available at GoMatadors.com.

Matadors 100 002 101 000 01 - 6 14 2

UCSB      030 000 100 000 00 - 5 15 2

Win - Longpre (2-0)    Loss - Brady (0-1)    Save - None

T - 4:38    A - 201

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