Loyola Marymount’s five-run fourth inning slammed the door on the Matadors, en route to a 10-2 win Tuesday at Matador Field.
The Matadors had a streak of six consecutive Tuesday victories, broken with the loss.
On a day when much of the staff pitched, Matt Gaylord got the start for CSUN and threw three quality innings, allowing just one run on two hits. The most notable of the hits was a third inning solo homerun over the leftfield wall by Lions senior Joe Frazee.
Gaylord exited with the lead as CSUN scored its only two runs of the game in the bottom of the third inning, all with two outs. The first two batters, shortstop Raymond Ravago and team homerun leader Michael Paulk, recorded quick outs. However, second baseman Alberto Quintana hit a sharp line drive past third base for a stand-up double.
Senior outfielder John Voita immediately followed with a deep shot through the centerfield gap, scoring Quintana and recording a double of his own.
After a walk was issued to Luke Riordan and a subsequent wild pitch advanced Voita to third, first baseman Drew Aguailar registered an RBI single, scoring Voita and giving CSUN a 2-1 lead.
It was after the Matadors’ great third inning rally that head coach Steve Rousey made his first pitching change, sending junior lefthander Kyle Jean out to the mound. The top of the fourth started off well for Jean as the first two outs were recorded without much damage.
However, the final out of the fourth inning would come some five batters later after the Lions had already scored five runs, including a monster two-run homer by Jon Oller. The homerun marked Oller’s 35th long ball of his career, sending him to No. 5 all-time in the school’s record book.
The Lions continued their two-out rally with two more hits and a walk. With the bases loaded, Frazee hit a three-run triple, his 11th of the year, to give LMU a 6-2 lead. Frazee finished the afternoon going 3 for 5 with four RBI, and fell just a double short of hitting for the cycle.
Thankfully for CSUN, the inning would come to an end, but the damage was already done. More damage occurred in the seventh inning, as Chris Pettit hit another LMU homer, and the Lions scored four more runs in the inning.
The Lion’s bullpen proved too tough for the Matadors, allowing just three hits over the final six innings. Sophomore Daniel Macias got the start for the Lions and held the Matadors to just four hits over three innings.
Regardless, relief pitcher Brad Meyer received the victory, improving his record to 4-3 on the season as he allowed only one hit in two innings of work. LMU improved to 23-24 on the year, including five straight wins.
For CSUN, Jean suffered his second loss of the season, evening his record at 2-2. Pitching just one inning, Jean’s performance was less than satisfactory, as he gave up five runs on five hits, including a walk and a strikeout. Rousey was unavailable for comment after the game.
CSUN falls to a 17-27-1 overall record on the season as they head back into conference play.
The Matadors will have a few days to work out their pitching issues before entering the weekend with a three-game conference set against Pacific, beginning Friday, May 13 at 3 p.m. at Matador Field.
The Tigers will enter the series with an overall record of 22-27 and 7-11 in conference. Pacific has won four of its last five games. This will be the first meeting of the 2005 season for the two teams.
Junior left-handed pitcher Jimmy Brettl is scheduled to make the start in the opener against the Tigers. CSUN will be looking for only their second Big West Conference win of the season.