Matadors pick up a pair of walk-off wins

Angel Gutierrez

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Sundial File photo

The Cal State Northridge baseball team defeated Pepperdine at home in dramatic fashion twice over the weekend, with a pair of walk-off game winning hits.

On Friday third baseman Justin DeMarco had the game winning RBI in the bottom of the 12th which gave the Matadors a 3-2 win in their 2010 home opener. After Saturday’s game at Pepperdine was cancelled, the Matadors picked up a dramatic win over the Waves on Sunday thanks to Ryan Pineda’s two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth giving CSUN (4-2) a 7-6 victory.

It has now been 10 years since Pepperdine has earned a victory over Northridge at Matador Field.

“It was obviously a spectacular finish to the game for us,” said Matador head coach Steve Rousey after Sunday’s game. “These games are great experiences for our ball club to play excellent teams like this and come out on the winning end.”

After the Matadors racked up 39 runs in their first four games, they were finally involved in a low scoring affair on Friday. The Matadors starting pitcher, Ryan Juarez, pitched nine innings and struck out eight, while giving up five hits and two earned runs. However, just as effective was the Waves starting pitcher Cole Cook, who went seven innings and matched Juarez’s hits and earned run numbers.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 12th inning, and with Pineda at second, DeMarco delivered a game winning single to center field. Had the Matadors been unable to score in the 12th, the game would have been postponed due to darkness.

The second game between the Matadors and the Waves was scheduled to be played at Pepperdine, however, it was cancelled due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.

On Sunday, it looked like the Waves would finally get that elusive win at Northridge, as they took a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning thanks to an RBI blooper to centerfield by first baseman Torrey Jacoby, one of his two RBI’s.

The Matadors led off the bottom of the eighth with Ridge Carpenter drawing a walk, and back to back singles by Andrew Muren and Pineda, which loaded the bases with no outs. Dominic D’ Anna delivered a clutch single that drove in two runs. The Matadors were able to add one more run in the eighth, cutting the Waves lead to 5-4.
The Waves added a run in the ninth, and had the bases loaded with two outs, but Matador pitcher Jimmy Jolicoeur was able to get them out of the inning.

“The biggest thing really was keeping it at one in the last inning,” Rousey said. “Anytime you’re within three, you are still in the game.”

The bottom of the ninth began with a single from right fielder C.J. Belanger, who went 4-for-4 in the afternoon. Belanger was able to reach second base thanks to a wild pitch from Waves pitcher Robert Dickman. After getting two outs, Dickman gave up an RBI single to Andrew Muren, making the score 6-5.

This set up Pineda’s game winning homer to left center.

“Honestly, I was trying to hit one out,” said Pineda. “I had a good count so I figured I’d take a shot and I got lucky. It feels good.”

In an exhibition game Monday afternoon, the Matadors defeated Waseda University and now move on to a four-game home series against Connecticut starting on Friday.