After their upset win over No. 11 East Carolina on Wednesday, the Matadors (8-6) were looking to end a five-game losing streak to Loyola Marymount (4-10) that dated back to the 2007 season.
The Matadors put an end to their losing streak against the Lions with a 12-5 victory on Friday at Page Stadium. Ryan Juarez earned the victory for CSUN pitching 7 2/3 innings and striking out eight batters, which tied his career high.
After tying the score 2-2 in the fourth inning, the Matadors had the bases loaded with two outs. Second baseman Ryan Pineda cleared the bases thanks to an error by Lions third baseman Shon Roe, who mishandled Pineda’s grounder. Dominic D’Anna drove Pineda home with a double, and Marty Bowen concluded the scoring in the fourth with an RBI single that gave the Matadors a 7-2 lead.
The Matadors built the lead to 9-2, and were cruising along thanks to the solid pitching of Juarez. The Lions were able to score three runs on Juarez in the eighth, making the score 9-5, but that was as close as they got to cutting the deficit.
Northridge had a second straight dominant pitching performance in Saturday’s 13-5 victory. Starting pitcher Paul Tremlin pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before giving up a double to Lions center fielder Ryan Hawthorne.
Tremlin struck out seven batters in seven innings and improved his record to 3-1.
The dominant performance by Tremlin overshadowed the second straight double-digit scoring by the Matador offense. Dominic D’ Anna started off the Matadors’ offense with a two-run homer in the first inning. Right fielder CJ Belanger helped increase the score 6-0 in the third by driving in two runs with a double.
The Matadors scored at least one run in six of the first seven innings on their way to building a 13-0 lead.
With the Santa Ana winds blowing out toward right field at an estimated 25 mph on Sunday at Matador Field, the Lions and the Matadors combined for 30 runs, 30 hits, and 10 home runs, as the Lions avoided a three-game sweep with a 20-10 victory.
Matador starting pitcher Shawn Wilyman fell to 0-2 on the season by giving up nine earned runs.
“LMU got a few more balls up in the air than we did,” said Matadors head coach Steve Rousey. “College boys with metal bats at Cal State Northridge, with the Santa Ana winds blowing, are just as good as big league hitters.”
Left fielder Nick Devian hit the first home run of the day in the second inning giving the Lions a lead they never relinquished.
The Lions then erupted for nine runs in the third inning. Lion’s first baseman Alex Guthrie started the inning with a solo home run. The Lions built their lead to 7-0 when Rousey replaced Wilyman with Justen Gorski. Gorski proceeded to give up a three-run homer to Lions’ third baseman Brad Bauer on his first pitch, giving the Lions a 10-0 lead.
The Matadors were able to score five runs in the fourth inning thanks to a solo home run by Dominic D’Anna and Brad Decaters three-run homer. The 11-6 deficit was the closest the Matadors got to the Lions.
“I thought we did an okay job, they just kept hitting balls into the wind,” D’Anna said. “It’s really frustrating because you are out there grinding on defense and then some questionable balls go over the fence.”
The Matadors will host UNLV on Tuesday, before heading to Seattle for a three-game series against Seattle University.