The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors open 2008 season

The Cal State Northridge baseball team got its first win of 2008 in the opening series against Northwestern over the weekend. The Matadors took Sunday’s game 17-9, to prevent a sweep after losing on Friday 13-7 and Saturday, 3-2.

Junior Richard Cates led the offensive effort in the series, hitting .667 for the weekend with four hits in six at-bats, including his first homerun of the season. Freshman Matt Warr hit 3-for-6 for a .500 average and senior C.J. Belanger hit 5-for-11 for a .455 average. Junior John Parham also hit a homerun in the series.

The Matadors opened their season on Friday after a 35-minute rain delay, with Jimmy Jolicoeur on the mound. Northwestern got on the board in the second inning, scoring two runs on three hits. The Wildcats did serious damage in the third, scoring nine runs on five hits to lead 11-0.

The Matadors scored four runs on four hits in the third. Jason Dabbs started things off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Justin DeMarco walked and John Parham hit a single to left field, advancing Dabbs and DeMarco. Cates hit a RBI single, scoring Dabbs. Freshman Ryan Pineda made his debut by smashing a triple to center field, bringing home Cates, Parham and DeMarco.

Northridge scored again in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 11-5. Muren and DeMarco both reached base on singles, with both advancing on a throwing error. Belanger hit a sacrifice fly that scored Muren.

Northwestern scored another run in the sixth on three hits. Northridge scored two runs on one hit in the seventh after Cates walked and senior Jowen-James Murray-Thornton singled and a series of errors by the Wildcats sent both Matadors across the plate. Northwestern scored its final run on a homer by Jake Goebbert.

Jolicoeur pitched 2.1 innings and gave up eight hits and 10 runs before being relieved by Taylor Austin, who threw for 4.2 innings and surrendered six hits and two runs. Eric Billings pitched the last two innings, giving up two hits and one run.

Belanger was 2-for-4, Cates was 2-for-3 and Muren was 2-for-4 on the day.

In Saturday’s game, the Matadors were quickly down after the Wildcats scored two runs on two hits at their first at-bat. CSUN got on the board in the sixth, scoring two runs on two hits. Belanger singled, advanced to second on DeMarcos’ sacrifice bunt, then stole third base. Murray-Thornton walked and advanced when Parham reached base on a fielding error, with Belanger scoring. Murray-Thornton scored on a RBI single by freshman Todd Eskelin.

Northwestern scored the final run in the ninth and the Matadors were unable catch the Wildcats, who won the game 3-2.

Senior Phil Hann pitched seven innings, giving up five hits and two runs. Edwin Quirarte took the loss, surrendering two hits and one run in two innings.

Belanger hit 3-for-4 for the game, while Eskelin and Warr got one hit each.

On Sunday, it looked like more of the same as the Matadors fell behind early, with Northwestern scoring one run in the first and four more in the third to take a 5-0 lead.

The Matadors started their offensive attack in the third, with Parham pinch hitting and reaching base on a throwing error and advancing to third on a double by Warr. Freshman Jeff Pruitt hit a single and a throwing error advanced all, scoring Parham. Murray-Thornton singled to score Pruitt and close the gap 5-3.

In the fourth, Pineda reached first after being hit by a pitch. Parham stepped up and hit his first homerun of the season to tie the game 5-5.

Northwestern jumped back ahead in the sixth, scoring three runs on three hits, including a homerun by Chad Noble.

The Matadors responded by scoring 12 runs, the most in an inning since 2006. Muren and Pineda walked and Parham hit a RBI single, scoring Muren. With freshman T.S. Reed running for Parham, Warr singled. Sophomore Billy Swanson came in to run for Warr and Cates pinch-hit forPruitt. Cates delivered with a triple down the right field line, scoring Swanson and Reed. Belanger walked and DeMarco got on base on a fielding error, which advanced Belanger and scored Cates. Murray-Thornton advanced DeMarco and brought Belanger home with a single. Freshman Chris Hannick hit a sacrifice fly, scoring DeMarco and Pineda doubled to left, scoring Murray-Thornton. Freshman Matthew Carvutto singled, then advanced on a wild pitch. Swanson reached base after being hit by a pitch and Cates slammed a homer for a 17-8 lead.

Northwestern scored one more run in the seventh and the game was called complete to accommodate Northwestern’s travel plans.

Davin Tate was the starter for CSUN, pitching three innings and giving up five runs and six hits. P.J. Rousey threw two innings of relief, allowing one hit. Bryce Schoening came in during the sixth and got the win for the Matadors. Brian Roberts took the loss for Northwestern.

Murray-Thornton, Parham, Cates, Warr and Pruitt each had two hits for the game. Cates also had five RBIs, while Parham had three.

The Matadors played UCLA at Matador Field on Tuesday, but the game was suspended in the eighth due to darkness with the Bruins leading 22-2. The game is expected to be completed prior to their April 15th rematch.

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