Kevin Reily hit a three-run home run that started a Matador rally in the eighth inning as CSUN came from a 5-1 deficit to defeat UC Irvine by a score of 6-5.
The day got off to a rough start for Matadors’ starting pitcher Tei Vanderford, as a two-run single from Anteater third baseman, Parker Coss, put Irvine up 2-0 in the first inning. Vanderford was able to recover by tossing the next four innings scoreless, as CSUN mounted a comeback.
The Matadors closed the gap when two singles and an error brought home a run in the fifth, but three Anteater hits and a walk in the bottom of the sixth scored three more runs and extended their lead to 5-1.
Vanderford’s outing came to an end the following inning, as his day was finished after tossing seven innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits.
CSUN entered the eighth inning down four runs against Irvine starter Louis Raymond, who had allowed just one man to cross the plate all night. Second baseman Alvaro Rubalcaba, started the rally after he reached on an error to lead off the inning. Fred Smith followed with a single.
Raymond was able to retire the next two batters, but not left-fielder Riley, who promptly unloaded a three-run bomb to left that narrowed the deficit to just 5-4.
Justin Toerner followed with a double that knocked Raymond out of the game, and Nolan Bumstead then tied the game with an RBI single.
The shell-shocked Anteaters were unable to score in the eighth or ninth, sending the game into extra innings.
In the tenth, the Matadors loaded the bases with two outs for Rubalcaba. Irvine reliever Calvin Faucher hit him with the pitch, scoring the go-ahead and eventually winning run.
The victory comes off a series loss to Hawaii and improves their record to 22-24 on the season. They will play game two on Saturday at 2 p.m.