April 9, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Nine innings and one day was not enough time to determine a winner in the first game of a three-game series between the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-18, 2-4 BWC) and #6-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans (20-8, 3-3 BWC) as the game was postponed due to darkness with the score tied at 4-4 after twelve full innings.
The postponed game will resume on Friday, April 10 at 1:30 pm, with the contest originally scheduled to take place on Friday still scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.
Baseball fans are encouraged to visit www.GoMatadors.com to find the latest, up-to-the-minute information regarding both games taking place on Friday afternoon.
For the fifth consecutive game, the Matadors were able to score in the first inning as CSUN put two runs on the scoreboard on a Richard Cates single up the middle of the infield that scored TS Reed, and a fielder's choice off the bat of Dominic D'Anna that scored Cates.
Reed was hit-by-a-pitch to open up the game by Titan starting pitcher Daniel Renkin before scoring; after reaching base with his single, Cates advanced from first to third base on a Ryan Pineda single to left field before touching home plate himself.
Unlike the alternating scoring from one inning to the next that frequently took place between teams during the Matador's recent road trip at Cal Poly and USC, Northridge held onto their 2-0 advantage for a couple of innings before the Titans scored a run in both the third and fourth innings to even up the score at two.
After leading off the third for Fullerton, second baseman Joe Scott advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third and eventually scored off of centerfielder Josh Fellhauer's single to through the middle of the infield.
In the fourth, Titan third baseman Gary Brown singled through the right side of the infield to reach base, and then proceeded to steal second and third base before catching the Matadors off-guard to steal home.
After both teams each drove in a run off respective sacrifice flies in the seventh inning, the Titans would take their first lead of the game in the ninth after right fielder Khris Davis started the inning with his double to left-centerfield to place himself in scoring position.
Advancing to third on a groundout to the Matador second baseman, Justin DeMarco, Davis would score off another sacrifice fly, this time from the bat of Tyler Pill for what looked to be the potential winning run of the game.
The Titan lead would be short-lived, however, as Northridge created a scoring opportunity of their own in their half of the ninth, with two outs already having been recorded in the inning.
Cates drew a walk to put himself, the tying run, on-base before advancing to second on a throwing error by Titans pitcher Michael Morrison, exciting both his team and the fans in attendance at Matador Field as he now stood in scoring position.
Morrison's troubles would continue as the inning progressed as Cates was able to advance to third, and eventually force extra innings from two, separate wild pitches; one was thrown while Pineda, who eventually drew a walk of his own to reach base, was batting with the other taking place while D'Anna was in the batter's box.
With the game tied at 4-4 after nine, CSUN's most dangerous scoring opportunity would take place two innings later in the 11th inning.
Reed was hit by another pitch, catcher John Parham soon joined him on base as he successfully laid down; a bunt for a single; a bunt that rolled to his desired destination in-between the pitcher, first and second baseman.
Compounding the situation for Fullerton was another wild pitch thrown, enabling Reed to advance to third, forcing the Titans to intentionally walk Cates to load the bases and create a force out on any and all bases.
The Titan's strategy would end up working in their favor as Pineda would reach first base on a fielder's choice with the first out of the inning recorded at home plate, followed by an inning-ending double play that was turned only minutes later to preserve the tie and force another inning of play.
Both teams would have another set of at-bats before the umpire crew and both head coaches convened and agreed to postpone the game due to darkness, and resume the affair the following afternoon.
Baseball fans can follow all the action of both games taking place tomorrow afternoon online at www.GoMatadors.com as both games will be broadcasted by the voices of Matador Baseball, Dave Caldwell and Tamer Tartir, and available via GameTracker as well.