CSUN third baseman Ryan Pineda extended his hitting streak to 16 games Sunday at Matador Diamond, but the Matadors dropped the second of three weekend games against San Jose State, 6-1.
‘I just think about trying to get a hit every time,’ Pineda said. ‘I don’t try to put too much pressure on myself.’
Pineda has had success this year at the plate, but other batters haven’t been at their best for the Matadors (6-10).’ ‘
In the first game of the series on Friday, the Spartans (11-3) jumped out to a lead in the fourth inning before the Matadors came back and tied the score at 3-3 following a run from shortstop TS Reed.
After belting a triple, Jeff Pruitt reached on a fielder’s choice in the eleventh inning and advanced Reed to third base for a potential go-ahead run.
Catcher John Parham came to the plate and was clutch, dropping a walk off base hit for the 4-3 CSUN win.
The victory went to junior relieving pitcher Jimmy Jolicoeur (2-2), who struck out two batters in two innings of work.
‘We need to throw more strikes, try to get the hitters to put the ball in play and get our walks down,’ Jolicoeur said.’
Saturday’s game proved to be dramatic as well. Sophomore pitcher Ryan Juarez pitched for seven innings and gave up six earned runs on nine hits as CSUN fell to San Jose State 6-5.
Juarez gave up a two-run blast in the seventh inning to Spartan third baseman Tyler Heil.
CSUN scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning as outfielder Richard Cates hit a sacrifice fly to score first baseman Dominic D’Anna, cutting into the Spartans’ lead.
The Matadors made a final charge after back-to-back Pineda home runs in the eighth and ninth inning cut the lead to 6-5. However, Anthony Vega was able to strike out catcher Chris Hannick and gave SJSU the win. It was Vegas’ sixth save of the season.
The final game on Sunday was the worst game of the series for the Matadors as their only run came in the seventh inning. Pineda had a base hit and Cates ran it in.
‘We need to stick with our plans,’ Cates said.’ ‘A lot of people are getting away from their plans and trying to do too much. When teams struggle, a lot of guys tend to do more than they need to and I think that’s what’s happening to our team right now.’
In a bright spot for the Matadors, Jolicoeur struck out two batters in the fifth inning to retire the side after he entered the game with loaded bases.
Sunday’s losing pitcher was freshman left-handed pitcher Bryan Harper (0-2), who pitched for three innings and gave up four earned runs. Spartans right fielder John Shaffer had three RBIs as San Jose State went on to win 6-1. CSUN gets back to the field today as BYU visits Matador Diamond. Game is set for a 2 p.m. start.