Baseball: Matadors late rally takes game in pitching duel

Casey Delich

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The Matadors (13-14, 1-2 Big West) faced CSU Bakersfield (19-10) Monday afternoon and played a makeup game at Matadors Field that turned out to be a pitching duel throughout, with CSUN winning 2-1.

Unable to get anything going until the eighth inning, CSUN finally broke through with a bit of clutch hitting.

Coming up with runners on first and second with one out after a botched double play by the Roadrunners, redshirt junior first baseman Joshua Goossen-Brown hit a double down the left field line, scoring Northridge’s only two runs of the game.

“Their pitcher was doing a good job of getting us out but our pitchers did a good job of keeping us in the ball game,” said Goossen-Brown in an interview with www.gomatadors.com. “I knew the pitcher was going to come after me with a slider [in the eighth]. I got it and was ready for it and got a hit and Nate [Ring] did a good job of coming around first to score the go-ahead run.”

Goossen-Brown’s double was only the Matadors third hit as they were held without a hit until the seventh inning. The Roadrunners issued seven walks throughout the first six innings, including loading the bases in the sixth inning, but Northridge was unable to capitalize on it.

Junior pitcher Brycen Rutherford kept CSUN in the game through his 4.2 innings of work, striking out a career-high five batters and only allowing two runners past second base. Replaced in the fifth inning by junior pitcher John Salas with the go-ahead run on second base after a leadoff ground rule double, CSUN worked out of the jam with runners at first and third.

The Roadrunners were not done threatening though, and lead off the sixth inning with a single. A wild pitch, sacrifice fly and walk put a runner at first and third with two outs. Head coach Matt Curtis once again went to the bullpen, calling on freshman pitcher Anthony Cortez to get the Matadors out of the bind. A full count strikeout to pinch hitter redshirt junior Allen Gwynn kept the score tied going to the seventh inning.

Bakersfield struck for the first run in the eighth inning. Back-to-back singles and a fielder’s choice put a runners on first and third for Bakersfield for the third time since the fifth inning.  A walk loaded up the bases, and Gwynn reached first base on a throwing error by freshman third baseman Nicolas Osuna, scoring the first run.

After driving in two in the bottom of the eighth, Goossen-Brown’s day was not done. Coming out for the save, Goossen-Brown set the Roadrunners down in order to clinch the victory.