Baseball: Matadors sweep doubleheader against Utah Valley

Baseball: Matadors sweep doubleheader against Utah Valley

Joell Grager

Senior outfielder Nathan Ring readies to swing at an incoming pitch against St. Mary’s on Saturday, March 16 at Matador Field. File Photo/Daily Sundial

Winning both games in Saturday’s doubleheader against visiting Utah Valley University, the CSUN baseball team broke out of their four game losing streak, winning 4-3 and 5-4.

Striking first in the first game, the Matadors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead by the third inning with a succession of singles.

The Wolverines were able catch up to Northridge in the sixth inning. Loading the bases with one out, Utah Valley scored three runs without getting a hit once the bases were loaded as walk, a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch brought in the runs, giving CSUN a slim 4-3 lead heading into the seventh

CSUN won the game after setting down the Wolverines in the seventh, allowing just one runner to reach base on a throwing error.

“We needed a weekend to get some momentum going into conference play,” said head coach Matt Curtis. “We played a really difficult schedule.”

Going into the second game of the doubleheader, redshirt sophomore designated hitter Kyle Ferramola was the hero for CSUN.

Recently converted from a pitcher to be the team’s new designated hitter, Ferramola struck out in his first two at-bats.

In the sixth inning, however, Ferramola smashed a ball over the left field fence, giving CSUN a two run lead and himself his first career collegiate home run.

“One day coach pulled me aside and told me (to get in some batting practice and I just got in a few games ago,” Ferramola said.

For a second straight game, the Matadors struck first against the Wolverines, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the third inning on a double by sophomore second baseman Ryan Raslowsky, a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch.

Utah Valley would chip away at the CSUN lead one run at a time over the next two innings, cutting the score to 3-2 in the fifth.

Holding the Wolverines to two runs over five innings of work, junior starting pitcher Brycen Rutherford gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one.

Handing over the ball to the middle relievers, Northridge needed to use four pitchers to close out the final four innings.

“Overall the pitching was fine, (we had) quality middle relief,” Curtis said.

Sophomore pitcher Brandon Warner was handed the reins at the top of the sixth with a 4-2 lead, and he shut down the Wolverines offense over his two innings pitched, allowing only two hits.

Unable to match the performance of his pen mate, freshman pitcher Oscar Sandoval was pulled after one out. Getting roughed up for two runs, walking two batters and recording two wild pitches, Sandoval allowed Utah Valley to tie the game 4-4 before being pulled.

Freshman pitcher DJ Milam came on with a runner on first and got the next two batters out.

Already giving the Matadors a lead earlier in the game, Ferramola came up with another big hit in the bottom of the eighth. A second home run to left field gave Northridge a 5-4 lead, which it was unable to extend after loading the bases with two outs.

Redshirt junior utility player Joshua Goossen-Brown locked up his second save of the day with a 10-pitch ninth inning as the Matadors closed out.