May 8, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Brilliant pitching performances by Cal State Northridge (24-19, 6-8 BWC) starter Justen Gorski, reliever Billy Ott, and a seven-run fifth inning helped the Matadors defeat the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (19-22, 5-9 BWC) by a score of 11-4.
The win gives CSUN the weekend series against their rivals from the coast, their second conference series victory in 2010 as they twoo two of three from Cal Poly earlier in the season. Ryan Juarez (2-4, 4.52) will start for CSUN Sunday afternoon and face Gaucho right-handed Jesse Meaux (6-3, 5.05) as the Matadors look to earn their first Big West sweep of the season.
As was the case in Friday's game, the Matadors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when C.J. Belanger swung on the first pitch he saw and drilled his third home run of the season over the fence in left centerfield during the third inning. Prior to Belanger's at-bat, Drew Muren reached base with his single through the middle of the infield.
With one out in the top of the fifth, TS Reed reached base on a fielder's choice to begin a chain of events that would bring another ten Matadors to the plate, expand the Northridge lead by seven runs, and rewrite the Matador record books.
With Reed on first, Muren reached base on his single through the right side of the infield to place two of CSUN's speediest players on-base. Moments later, to the surprise of nobody in the Matador dugout, both advanced one base on a double-steal to place themselves in scoring position.
It was the second time on the afternoon that Northridge successfully pulled off a double steal as D'Anna and Belanger stole second and third respectfully in the top of the first inning. Little did the fans in attendance know that those two bases would be the first of nine that the Matadors would swipe throughout the game.
Belanger hit a single to right to score Reed, taking second base on the play when he wisely recognized that the throw from the Gaucho rightfielder was directed towards home plate instead of second base, giving him ample time to put himself in scoring position.
Belanger did not spend much time on second however, as both he and Muren scored on Ryan Pineda's single to center field to give the second baseman his 51st and 52nd RBIs of the year.
Pineda then stole third base, one of five bases stolen in the frame, before Justin DeMarco drew a walk to put Matador base runners on the corners. Pineda would score shortly thereafter then Brad Decater hit a single to the shortstop to reach base. Dominic Piazza would enter the game as a pinch-hitter and waste no time in causing additional damage to the Gauchos. By hitting a single down the left field line, Piazza woud reach base, advance Decater to third, and enable DeMarco to scamper home from second for the fifth run of the inning.
A wild pitch thrown by Gaucho reliever Greg Davis provided Piazza the opportunity to advance one base; during his slide into second base Piazza was plunked in the thigh by Gaucho catcher Bryce Tafelski's throw, enabling Decater to score from third on the throwing error.
After taking second base on the previous play, albeit painfully, Piazza would score from second thanks to a single to left field by Carpenter for the seventh, and final Matador run.
Carpenter would steal second base before advancing to third on a single to left field by Reed, a hit earned in his second at-bat in the same inning. Reed would steal second base before the Gauchos secured the third out of the inning on a ground out to second base to end the CSUN rally.
By the time the inning had ended, CSUN sent a total of 12 batters to the plate, scored seven runs on eight hits, and stole five bases to set a new Matador record. Going into Saturday's game the record for most stolen bases earned in one inning was three; a feat that had taken place on five previous occasions, with the last occurrence taking place against Utah on March 8, 1992.
In the fifth, one Matador base-running record was set; it took another four innings to break yet another record as Northridge stole a total of nine bases against the Gauchos to set another new base-running mark.
On March 8, 1978 against Westmont, that Matador squad stole eight bases on the afternoon. Over 32 years later, the 2010 team topped their mark thanks to the efforts of Pineda and his three steals, Reed and his two, and a group of Matadors that include Muren, Belanger, Dominic D'Anna, and Ridge Carpenter who all stole one apiece.
Armed with a nine run lead, Gorski would throw a total of 4.2 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Along the way, Gorski fanned four batters, tying his season high originally set on March 26 against Sacramento State, allowing only four hits and one run to the Gauchos before relieved by Ott.
Even though the Gauchos faced a new pitcher, the result remained the same from that point on as Ott struckout five batters of his own, keeping UCSB off-balanced at the plate to earn his third save of the season.
UCSB would end the shutout by scoring a run in their part of the fifth, an effort that was negated two innings later when CSUN scored another pair of runs in the seventh to stretch their lead to 11-1.
A three run home run hit by Lance Roenicke would help end the day on a more positive note for his team, the only blemish on what would become one of the most solid all-around performances crafted by the Matadors this season. But the damage created by Northridge earlier in the game was more than enough to leave Caesar Uyesaka Field with both the game and series win.
Sunday's series finale will begin at 1 p.m., an internet radio broadcast, video stream, and GameTracker will be available at GoMatadors.com.
Matadors 002 070 200 - 11 16 1
UCSB 000 010 003 - 4 8 2
Win - Gorski (4-1) Loss - Capito, N. (4-5) Save - Ott (3)
T - 3:07 A - 312