The Cal State Northridge baseball team fell short against UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday afternoon, losing 6-5 in a non-conference game at Matador Field.
The Matadors got off to a rough start, falling behind in the first inning 2-0, with the Gauchos expanding their lead to 5-0 in the fourth. CSUN rallied in the fifth and scored four runs to close the gap to 5-4. But, Santa Barbara scored again in the sixth and although the Matadors were able to get one more run in the eighth, they were unable to catch the Gauchos.
Matador second baseman T.S Reed had two hits and two RBIs in the game and junior Richard Cates had one hit for two RBIs. Sophomore C.J. Belanger was 2-for-3 in the game and sophomore Billy Swanson was 2-for-4.
For the Gauchos, senior Chris Fox was 2-for-5 with four RBIs and junior shortstop Shane Carlson was 3-for-5. Junior center fielder Brian Gump hit 2-for-4, as did freshman right fielder Mark Haddow and sophomore Gunnar Terhune.
Senior righty Eric Billings took the loss for the Matadors, throwing just 1.2 innings and surrendering four hits and two runs. Northridge used six pitchers in the game. Freshman Peter Mendez threw 1.2 innings, giving up four hits and three runs and Mark Haderlein pitched 1.2 innings, scattering just two hits and no runs. Bryce Schoening pitched two innings and gave up two hits and one run. Sophomore Billy Ott made a short appearance, giving up one hit before being replaced by junior Edwin Quirarte, who pitched the final two innings without surrendering a hit or run.
UCSB also put six different pitchers on the mound, with sophomore left-hander Anthony Martin getting the win. He gave up six hits and four runs in 4.2 innings. Junior Jason Roenicke got the save, pitching the last inning.
Gump, the leadoff batter for Santa Barbara started the game off with a single to right field. He stole second, then advanced to third on a throwing error. Gump scored on a ground out by Fox, then junior Eric Oliver and senior Mike Zuanich hit singles to load the bases. Carlson hit a single that scored Oliver for a 2-0 lead.
Santa Barbara extended its lead in the fourth inning, with Haddow starting a Gaucho rally with a single to right field. Terhune hit a single, advancing Haddow. A throwing error by Parham on a steal attempt scored Haddow. Gump reached base on a fielder’s choice and Fox smacked a double to score Terhune and Gump.
Northridge finally got on the board in the fifth with Belanger starting things off with a single. Freshman Justin DeMarco advanced Belanger with a sacrifice bunt and Reed hit a single up the middle, scoring Belanger. Swanson singled and junior catcher John Parham walked to load the bases for Cates, who hit a single, scoring Reed and Swanson. Freshman Chris Hannick hit a single that scored Parham and closed the Gaucho lead to 5-4.
Santa Barbara got another run in the next frame after Gump hit a triple, then scored on a single by Fox.
The Matadors scored again in the eighth, with freshman Ryan Pineda starting the inning with a single and then advancing on a single by Belanger. DeMarco walked to load the bases and Reed hit a fielder’s choice, scoring Pineda. Unfortunately, Northridge stopped short of the tie or win.
CSUN will head to Cal State Fullerton this weekend for a three-game conference series against the Titans. The first game is Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. game on Saturday and wrapping up with a game on Sunday at 1 p.m.