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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Northridge defeated by UC Santa Barbara in conference opener

The first Big West Conference series did not go the way the CSUN Matador baseball team would’ve liked.

The Matadors showed plenty of fight in its weekend series against the host UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, though Santa Barbara still had enough in its tank to win all three games at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium by scores of 9-5, 8-7, and 10-6.

?”The try hard factor was very good, (but) we didn’t play with our heads very well,” head coach Steve Rousey said.

?After losing the first two games, the Matadors looked to avoid the sweep on Sunday. Freshman second baseman T.S. Reed led off the game with a single, stole second base, moved to third on a single by junior catcher John Parham. Junior first baseman Richard Cates brought Reed home when he singled to center field.

Santa Barbara quickly evened the game in its half of the first, when senior center fielder Chris Fox homered with one out, then in the second inning, with two runners on base, the Gauchos took the lead when sophomore designated hitter Matt Valaika scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by senior catcher Matt McCoglan. The Gauchos added another run later in the inning, as junior right fielder Matt Gump singled to score senior third baseman Patrick Rose.

?Santa Barbara widened its lead in the fourth inning courtesy of home runs by Gump and junior second baseman Steve Cook. The Gauchos scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Northridge, meanwhile, didn’t cross home plate until the eighth inning, when sophomore Dominic DeAnna hit a two-run home run to right field.

Santa Barbara got both runs back in its half of the eighth, but Northridge did make things interesting in the top of the ninth, scoring three runs and putting two runners on base with two outs, but Gaucho junior pitcher Zachary Samuels got sophomore left fielder Billy Swanson to fly out to the pitcher to end the game.

The Matadors actually out-hit the Gauchos 12-9 in the series finale, but were unable to find an answer for Gaucho senior left-hander Chuck Huggins, who struck out 11 in seven innings of work.

“We had more hits on the scoreboard, but offensively, they (UCSB) did a better job than we did,” Rousey said.

??Sunday’s loss resembled Friday’s game, where the Matadors fell behind early, giving up five runs in the first inning and one in the second and third innings respectively. The Matadors tried to come back, but the Gaucho lead was eventually too big to overcome. Saturday’s loss was a little more agonizing. After giving up a run in the first inning, Northridge exploded in the third inning, scoring five runs. Santa Barbara slowly came back, scoring twice in the fourth, once in the fifth to tie the game and three times in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead. The Matadors tied the game with two runs in the eighth inning, but the Gauchos won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Down to its last out, Santa Barbara put two runners on base and Fox singled to center to score Cook.

??The Matadors open up the home portion of its Big West Conference schedule this weekend, as the host the Cal Poly Mustangs for three games, starting on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s games will start at 1 p.m.

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