Baseball: CSUN evens series with Hoosiers with 12-5 romping

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Baseball: CSUN evens series with Hoosiers with 12-5 romping

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Alonso Tacanga

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First baseman Tommy Simis runs to first base during a game against Indiana Friday afternoon at Matador Field. On Saturday, Simis had a hit and a run during CSUN's 12-5 win. Photo credit: Mariela Molina / Photo editor

Following a 7-3 Friday loss in which the Matadors gave up seven consecutive unanswered runs, CSUN head coach Matt Curtis had a lengthy chat with his team, particularly about defensive mistakes.

The Matadors had only one error on the day, but also recorded six wild pitches, making their comeback attempt an all-afternoon uphill battle they eventually lost.

“We had a pretty big talk about (the mistakes),” CSUN left fielder Nate Ring said.

Curtis’ words evidently drove the defensive message home about as much as CSUN drove in runs during its 12-5 dismantling of the Hoosiers Saturday afternoon at Matador Field to even the series. CSUN (7-7) took advantage of multiple Indiana mistakes and avoided committing them itself to take the easy win.

CSUN pitcher Alex Muren gave up three hits and two runs in the first inning, but settled down after and only allowed six more hits and another run through the next six. He had three strikeouts.

The Matadors had a double play in each of the first three innings. In the following two defensive innings, CSUN retired batter after batter in order.

Despite Indiana’s 11 hits on the day, the Matadors’ fielding and pitching quietly stifled the Hoosiers.

“They got a few hits early, but our defense just played well all game,” Muren said. “Sound defense.”

Ring said: “We didn’t really kick it around much, didn’t give up any free bases, kept it clean behind the plate and the outfield, everyone did their jobs.”

The roles were totally reversed from Friday to Saturday. Aided by a string of fielding gaffes from Indiana, the Matadors – who only had one error – scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and turned a 2-2 game into a rout.

The inning started with CSUN first baseman Tommy Simis bunting to the left infield. Indiana third baseman Sam Travis, who had four errors on the day, picked it up but overthrew the out at first base, sending Simis to second. One out later, CSUN shortstop Kyle Attl hit a linedrive right to where Simis was, but another fielding error allowed him to reach second base while Simis scored.

The inning continued with Indiana pitcher Drew Leininger hitting Ryan Raslowsky and walking Ring, moving Attl to third and loading the bases. Designated pitcher Adam Barry scored Raslowsky and Attl in with a single and – one out later – Barry and Ring were brought in courtesy of a double by right fielder Miles Williams.

“We had a lot of energy even though we got down early,” said Ring, who had two hits and a RBI. “But then we came back and stormed ahead and we hadn’t really been able to do that lately.

Aided by more defensive mistakes from Indiana, CSUN added three more runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth as its lead ballooned to 12-3.

Curtis was pleased with his team’s defense and ability to take advantage of the Hoosiers’ tough outing, but was quick to recognize it’s not typical for an opponent to have that rough a day defensively.

“We’ve got to more work to do offensively because what we got today was largely due to some of the struggles (Indiana) had defensively,” Curtis said.

Indeed, Indiana out-hit the Matadors 11-9, but CSUN only gave up one walk in contrast to the Hoosiers’ seven.

“We just capitalized on their mistakes,” Muren said.