Despite having their five-game winning streak snapped on Friday, the Matadors (16-7) took two of three games against Sacramento State (7-13-1) at Matador Field. The Matador offense continued their stellar play, as they were able to put up 36 runs in the three-game series.
CSUN got off to a fast start in Friday’s 13-12 loss taking a 7-0 lead after three innings of play. Thanks to two errors by the Hornets and RBI doubles by freshman Nate Ring and Junior Justin DeMarco, the Matadors had a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
With the Matadors up 8-5 in the sixth, the Hornets tied the game on a three-run homer by Hornets infielder Kirby Young. The Hornets added four runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to take a 13-8 lead.
Northridge scored two runs in the eighth thanks to a Hornets error and an RBI double by first baseman Dominic D’Anna making the score 13-10.
The Matadors were down to their last out and trailing by one run with runners on first and third, when Brad Decater was robbed of extra bases on a diving catch by Hornets left fielder Jake Chilton, which ended the game.
The Matadors were able to put the loss on Friday behind them and rebounded well with a 14-2 win on Saturday. Pitcher Paul Tremlin pitched seven innings for the Matadors and struck out eight batters. Tremlin picked up his fifth win of the season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second, the Matadors responded with four runs in the bottom of the second. The Matadors extended their lead to 9-2 in the fourth inning on junior Ryan Pineda’s three-run home run.
Senior Jason Dabbs concluded the Matadors’ scoring on Saturday with a two-run home run in the eighth. The home run was Dabbs’ first of the season.
The Matadors concluded the series with a 10-6 victory on Sunday. Matador starting pitcher Shawn Wilyman struggled mightily lasting a third of an inning and giving up two walks to the first two batters he faced, a three-run home run by Hornets infielder Trevor Paine, and a stand up double by outfielder Trevor Bloom as the Hornets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Billy Ott, who got his second win of the season, was brought in to relieve Wilyman. Ott pitched 5 1/3 innings and struck out six batters.
“The ball had a lot of movement today so I sort of struggled a bit with command,” Ott said. “I kept the team in it, I think that’s all that matters.”
“Billy Ott came in and calmed the waters after a tough day for Shawn Wilyman,” head coach Steve Rousey said. “You got to credit (catcher) Dominic Piazza for being part of that too. It wasn’t pretty but he grinded it out.”
The Matadors responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. After Hornets starting pitcher Mike Guglielmo walked the first two batters, Pineada tied the game with a three-run home run, his eighth home run of the season.
“I think a couple of guys in their (Sacramento State) dugout popped off to our players, and our guys got mad,” Rousey said. “I think they made a mistake. They should have kept their mouths shut.”
The Matadors were able to score another four runs in the second inning. The first came on a RBI sacrifice fly by Pineda. The Matadors added another run thanks to a wild pitch by the Hornets. D’Anna hit an RBI single, and outfielder CJ Belanger, who went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, had an RBI double, giving the Matadors a lead that they would not relinquish. Junior Dominic Piazza, who went 2-for-5 on the afternoon hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the third.
“What the offense is doing is they are playing aggressively with intelligence,” Rousey said. “I think they are having fun with that.”