The Matadors picked up their first two Big West victories of the season by taking two of three games over the Cal Poly Mustangs at Matador Field. CSUN (20-15, 2-4) won the first two games and the Mustangs won the final game of the series on Sunday.
Although the Matadors won the series, the fact that they were unable to complete the three-game sweep left some members of the team with a bittersweet feeling.
“Getting our first two conference wins was huge,” Drew Muren said after Sunday’s game. “But we couldn’t close out, and that is kind of disappointing.”
After failing to score double digits in nine straight games, the high-powered Matador offense from the start of the season returned in a 10-9 victory.
Unfortunately for the Matadors their habit of letting go of big leads also returned. After taking an 8-3 lead at the end of the fifth inning the Mustangs scored six runs over the next three innings to take a 9-8 lead in the eighth.
The Mustangs scored three runs in the eighth, two on a two-run home run by center fielder Adam Melker, and the other on an RBI sacrifice fly by right fielder Bobby Crocker.
The Matadors got the winning run in the eighth as Ridge Carpenter, who went 3-for-5 on the afternoon with three RBIs, doubled in a run.
Ryan Juarez pitched six innings for the Matadors, striking out eight. Reliever Jimmy Jolicoeur, who pitched the last two innings for the Matadors, got the victory.
The Matadors won another high scoring affair the next day with a 12-8 victory. Once again the Matadors jumped out to a big lead only to have the Mustangs come back. This time the Matadors had a 7-2 lead at the end of the fifth before the Mustangs mounted a comeback.
The score was 8-8 going into the bottom of the eighth. TS Reed started off the inning with a single and reached second on a wild pitch. Ryan Pineda brought him home with an RBI single. After loading the bases CJ Belanger cleared the base paths with a triple and extended the Matador’s lead to 12-8.
For the second straight game reliever Jimmy Jolicoeur picked up the victory.
The Matadors gave up two runs in the top of the first, and trailed the entire game in their 5-3 loss to the Mustangs.
The Mustangs stole three bases in the top of the first to set up both of their first inning runs.
“Our starting pitcher didn’t have his stuff,” Andrew Muren said. “He fought through some injuries and gave it his all. We didn’t have our A game today.”
Matador starting pitcher Alex Muren added, “All I was trying to do is throw a lot of strikes and get our offense back in the dugout. They just outplayed us today.”
The Matadors got their first run of the game on a throwing error by the Mustangs. Drew Muren then got an RBI double and Justin DeMarco followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-3. That would be as close as the Matadors would get.
“We really smelled the sweep; we really wanted it today,” Alex Muren said. “But I think just winning the series is taking a step in the right direction.”