Matadors can’t hold late lead, drop series to Aggies

    Milam is tagged out just as he slides onto the base
    Saint Mary infielder Kevin Milam is tagged out after a perfect throw from Northridge catcher Albee Weiss. Photo credit: Nate Graham

    Kevin Riley launched a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth-inning, but the Matador bullpen was not able to hold onto the lead as they dropped the third game of the series to the UC Davis Aggies by a score of 7-5.

    The Aggies grabbed an early advantage in the first inning when shortstop Jacob Thomas led off with a single and scored on a wild pitch two batters later.

    After a scoreless top of the second from the Matadors, a solo home run from Ignacio Diaz in the bottom half of the inning extended the UC Davis lead to 2-0.

    While the CSUN bats were kept at bay, Matador pitcher Andrew Weston kept them in the game, allowing only those two runs through his first five innings before getting into trouble in the sixth.

    Matador right fielder Nick Sablock led off the top of the sixth with a double and scored on an error a few batters later. Kevin Riley took full advantage of the mistake, launching a two-run bomb to give CSUN their first lead of the game at 3-2.

    The excitement was short lived, however, as the Aggies loaded the bases against Andrew Weston with nobody out in the bottom-half of the inning. A ground ball to shortstop resulted in a throwing error and two runs being scored, as UC Davis jumped back on top 4-3.

    The Matadors would not go away quietly. In the seventh, a single and stolen base set up a runner on second and one out situation for Sablock. The right-fielder came up clutch once again, lining another double to center field and tying the game at four a piece.

    CSUN would recapture the lead in the eighth, as second baseman Alvaro Rubalcaba’s two-out RBI single gave the Matadors their second lead of the game at 5-4.

    In the bottom of the eighth, the game unraveled. Relief pitchers Justin Toerner and Connor O’Neil struggled to get through the frame, as a walk, three singles and an error allowed three runs to score. The 7-5 deficit would be too much to overcome, as the Matadors were unable to mount a rally in the ninth.

    The defeat gives UC Davis a 2-1 series win after their opening victory on Friday night. The loss is the Matador’s seventh in their past nine games.

    They will look to bounce back on Tuesday, as a previously suspended matchup with Pepperdine will be resumed at 2 p.m. at Matador Field.