CSUN goes 2-1 against the Sacramento State Hornets

Ignacio Marquez


STRETCHED OUT: Matador Drew Muren races to first base but not in time to be called safe at Matador Field Friday. Photo Credit:Simon Gambaryan / contributing photographer

Northridge errors were the big problem a week ago, but CSUN came back this weekend committing only three errors against the Sacramento State Hornets.

“We emphasized it this week in practice; we did some team defensive drills and did individual groundball drills. Our defense, for the most part, did a good job,” coach Matt Curtis said.

The Matadors have moved past that and started raining in the hits after collecting 27 in back-to-back games against the Hornets.

In a series shifted to Matador Field from Northern California due to weather, the Cal State Northridge baseball team (13-8, 0-0 Big West) continued its hot hitting as it ravaged a 5-16 Hornets team that has lost nine of 10 games before coming South.

After exploding for 13 runs on 14 hits en route to defeating the Hornets 13-7 on the second game of the double-header Friday, CSUN continued the attack in Saturday’s series finale winning 10-5.

The Matadors recorded 10 runs on 13 hits, but failed to score first as Sac State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. CSUN pitcher Justen Gorski was shaky since the start, as he walked leadoff batter Eli Davis and gave up a single to Derrick Chung.

The damage was made by Hornets Kirby Young’s double that scored Davis and Andrew Ayers as he recorded a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 2-0.

Northridge roared back in the bottom half as they scored two runs of its own after Josh Goossen-Brown singled in Drew Muren and Kyle Attl to record his fourth and fifth RBIs of the season.

Goossen-Brown, who came into the finale hitting .500 with 13 hits in 10 games, was humble in describing his role in the team’s potent offense.

“I don’t know how much I’m doing, but I’m just trying to do what I can and whatever Coach (Curtis) asks of me,” Goossen-Brown said. “If he needs me to pitch I’ll pitch, if he needs me to play first I’ll play first, even catcher. I’m just trying to do whatever I can.”

The Matadors broke the game wide open in the fourth by scoring three runs. Infielder Tommy Simis singled to give CSUN the lead for good and outfielder Muren battled the Hornets’ pitcher to single in two runs.

CSUN scored again in the sixth as it tallied four more runs to put the game away at 9-2.

Senior second baseman TS Reed led the Matadors in Friday’s second game by recording five RBIs on four at-bats. Reed hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the eighth inning.

Reed downplayed his early season struggles, but is happy to see the bats coming alive.

“Sometimes we have some down games, but I think all of us are swinging the bats really well and with offense, especially in baseball, it’ll come so we’re just waiting,” said Reed, who was hitting .276 coming into Saturday.

Friday’s first game saw domination on part of the pitchers. Northridge starter Vincent Roberts pitched six innings and gave up three runs. Sac State starter James Chamberlin bested him by pitching five innings of one-run ball.

The Hornets scored three runs to CSUN’s two, to defeat the Matadors 3-1.

Curtis was upset the team gave away the first game, especially after working practice to build consistency and eliminating lapses of complacency.

“We definitely didn’t come out ready to compete. We didn’t necessarily do much wrong per se in the first game, but we didn’t do much right,” Curtis said. “We had a couple opportunities to move runners around, but we didn’t quite execute.”

Despite the loss, Curtis said  it was great to see the team answer back right and take the second game, putting good at-bats and taking care of business on the mound.