The CSUN baseball team split their doubleheader against St. Mary’s at Louis Gusto Field on Saturday. The Matadors won in the opener, 6-0, and fell 2-1 in the nightcap to move to 10-3 on the season, while the Gaels record now stands at 7-4.
CSUN starter Jerry Keel was in command from the very beginning on Saturday morning in Moraga, as he tossed over eight innings of scoreless ball to earn his second win of the season.
Matadors scored in the first three innings of the game, putting up one run in each inning to take a 3-0 advantage.
Left fielder Nick Blaser drove in the first one of the ball game, hitting an RBI single to right field scoring designated hitter Dylan Alexander on the play.
In the second inning, right fielder Chester Pak hit an RBI sac fly to center field to score center fielder Justin Toerner for the second run of the game.
Blaser drove in his second run of the game in the third inning after he hit an RBI single to right field, scoring short stop Yusuke Akitoshi on the play.
Blaser, Toerner and Akitoshi combined for six hits, four runs and two RBIs on the day.
The Matadors offense went quiet for the next four innings. Third baseman William Colantono hit a two-run double to left center to score Toerner and pinch runner Elias Orona, extending the lead to 5-0 in the eighth inning.
Colantono went two for four with two RBIs and Pak left with two walks, an RBI and a run scored.
Matadors scored their final run of the game in the ninth inning, thanks to an RBI single by catcher Nick Murphy to score Akitoshi on the play, putting the game away for good.
Second baseman Ryan Raslowsky had his 11 game hitting streak snapped, as he went dry all game.
Keel worked into the ninth inning, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out five. Relief pitcher Louis Cohen came in for Keel and recorded the final two outs, earning his first save of the season.
The pitching remained solid in game two, but the bats went cold, as CSUN suffered a 2-1 loss to the Gaels.
Starting pitcher Rayne Raven received his first loss of the season while pitching 6.2 innings and allowed only two runs (one earned), while striking out five.
The unearned run by the Gaels came in the bottom of the sixth, when the St. Mary’s batter swung through the pitch and the ball popped out of catcher Nick Murphy’s glove and ricocheted away. The runner on third base had great awareness, as he dashed for home plate and slid in safely ahead of the throw to put the Gaels ahead 2-1, which proved to be the difference.
From that point on, both offenses were shutout for the rest of the game, as both bullpens came in and did their jobs.
The CSUN offense had an opportunity to tie the game and potentially go ahead in the top of the seventh inning when they had runners at the corner with one out, but first baseman Nolan Flashman struck out and pinch runner Elias Orona was tagged out trying to score at home off a infield grounder by third baseman William Colantono.
The CSUN offense went down 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings.
Center fielder Justin Toerner bat remained hot for the Matadors offense, as he went 2-for-2 with a walk. Toerner is now 7-for-13, with three runs and two RBIs in the series.
Short stop Yusuke Akitoshi, second baseman Ryan Raslowsky and designated hitter Albie Weiss each recorded a hit.
CSUN will conclude its four-game series with Saint Mary’s College Sunday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field with a 1 p.m. start time.