After losing game one, the Cal State Northridge baseball team bounced back and took the next two games to win the series against the UC Davis Aggies May 5-7 at Matador Field.
The Matadors record is now 21-23 overall and 3-8 in the Big West.
In game one, CSUN avoided a shutout in the ninth inning when first baseman Jorge Andrade Jr. sent a base hit up the middle with bases loaded to score CSUN’s only run of the game.
Singles by pinch hitters Johnny Coit, Kris Kasarjian and Erik Hagstrom loaded the bases and set up Andrade but CSUN did not score any runs and the Aggies defeated the Matadors 12-1.
Craig Baker started on the mound while coming into the series with a 3.20 ERA and a 5-6 record. Michael Potter started for the Aggies with a 3.14 ERA and a 2-3 record.
UC Davis took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. First baseman Lukas Kirby doubled to left to start things off. Back-to-back singles by right fielder Aaron Hanke and left fielder Michael Hernandez scored Kirby and a groundout by Kevin James brought in the second run of the game.
No more runs were scored until the eighth inning, when the Aggies scored three to give them a 5-0 advantage.
Any chance of a Matador comeback diminished in the ninth inning when the Aggies scored seven runs off seven hits and two Matador errors to give them a commanding 12-0 lead.
Baker received his seventh loss of the season. He allowed five runs and five hits in 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts.
The Matador bullpen struggled as six relief pitchers were used in 1.1 innings of work. The final seven Aggie runs were scored against the bullpen.
“They’re a good group of pitchers that are currently struggling,” head coach Steve Rousey said. “If you track their history this season, they’ve done well for the most part. They’ll bounce back, they just need to keep pitching.”
UC Davis 5
In game two, the Matadors returned the favor as they defeated the Aggies 18-5.
“Wins are good, but the joy of winning does not exceed the pain of losing,” Rousey said. “I’m happy that we bounced back, I’m happy for the kids but at the same time there’s more work to be done this weekend. Quite frankly, even if we win tomorrow we should have swept the series.”
Chuckie Fick started on the mound taking on Brent Nichols. Fick came into the game with a 4.90 ERA and a 3-6 record. Nichols came in with a 0-4 record and a 6.80 ERA.
Fick had an impressive outing as he did not allow a single hit until the seventh inning when Daniel Descalso doubled to deep left center. The Aggies tied the game in the seventh, scoring three runs off two hits and two Matador errors in the inning.
The Matadors regained the lead in their half of the inning, scoring three runs on four hits and three Aggie errors helped CSUN regain a 6-3 lead.
The Aggies cut the Matador lead as they scored two runs in the eighth inning to make it 6-5. The Matadors, however, quickly responded putting the game away scoring 12 runs off eight hits in their half of the inning.
Scott finished the game going 3-for-4 falling shy of a home run to complete the cycle. Scott was replaced by a pinch-hitter in his final at-bat of the game. He recorded two runs in the game.
“It’s an interesting thing but the home run is definitely the hardest one to get,” Scott said. “I was happy to be 3-for-4. I was happy that we won and I was happy to get everybody involved.”
The Matadors recorded 21 hits in the game as eight players finished with a multi-hit game. Scott Lyons went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored. Kasarjian went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Andrade recorded three runs and two RBI’s as well, finishing the day 2-for-4.
Fick received his fourth win of the year as he allowed only three earned runs and four hits in eight innings of work with seven strikeouts.
“The guy was throwing a no-hitter through six innings, that’s phenomenal in Division I baseball,” Rousey said. “His performance was outstanding. The best thing that he did today was he dealt with the errors and the adversity with great poise and that’s why he won the game.”
UC Davis 2
In game three, Edwin Quirarte started on the mound with a 4.76 ERA and a 3-5 record on the season. Bryan Evans started for the Aggies with a 3.67 ERA and a 3-7 record.
The Aggies scored quickly in the first inning. Descalso singled to right and eventually scored off two Matador errors to give them a 1-0 lead. It would be the only lead the Aggies had in the game.
The Matadors responded in their half of the inning. With bases loaded, Andrade singled to right to score two runs and give the Matadors a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the second inning, Raymond Ravago reached base after he was hit by a pitch. Coit singled to left and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Sakurai. Kasarjian was also hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lyons singled two score to runs and give the Matadors a 4-1 lead.
The Matadors went on to score three runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth to give them an 8-1 lead.
The Aggies scored their second and final run in the sixth inning off a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Kevin James.
Quirarte got the win, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings of work. The Matador bullpen provided solid relief as three pitchers combined for three innings of work. Jimmy Brettl, Bobby Paschal and Matt Gaylord allowed only two hits in three innings.
Lyons finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Scott had another impressive outing going 3-for-5 with two RBIs of his own. Andrade and Coit finished with two hits and one run scored each. Andrade put up two RBIs as well.
“It would have been a lot better to win Friday also,” Scott said. “For us to turn it around and win these last two games are big as far as momentum going back into conference play for this weekend.”
The Matadors will host San Diego State and Long Beach State today at 3 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m. before resuming conference play next weekend against UC Riverside.
Victor Flores can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.