March 1, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After overpowering the Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-4) for the first two games of the series, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-3) needed two runs in the ninth to complete a three-game sweep by a score of 3-2 Sunday afternoon.
Down by a run to start the ninth, Matador left fielder Richard Cates provided the first blow by driving in center fielder Jeff Pruitt with his double to left field with two outs in the ninth. Next, third basemen Ryan Pineda would provide the winning blow as he raked a single to right field bringing in catcher John Parham with the winning run.
"I made a slight adjustment from the last time I was up," said Cates. "That last at bat I was looking for a fastball."
Pineda's game-winning hit brought his RBI total for the year at eleven, a team-high in that category.
The Matadors' three runs were enough for the afternoon due to the outstanding performance of their pitching staff which did not allow an earned run the entire game.
Starting pitcher Bryan Harper continued his stellar 2009 campaign, negating a number of Red Raider scoring opportunities during his 6.1 innings pitched for CSUN.
"Bryan competes well. He was able to keep the innings small and minimize the damage," said Matador Head Coach Steve Rousey.
Six Red Raider base-runners were left stranded during Harper's time on the mound, as his performance kept his team in the game, finished the day by only allowing five hits, and lowered his ERA on the season to 0.77.
(1-2) received the win by striking out six batters in relief during his 2.2 innings pitched, and did not allow Texas Tech to extend their lead over the final innings of the game.
Down by one run, with their final at-bats of the game in front of them, second baseman Jason Dabbs was hit by a pitch from Red Raider reliever Brian Cloud to leadoff the ninth.
Northridge failed to move Dabbs to second on a bunt attempt by shortstop TS Reed, who reached first base on a fielder's choice. Once Pruitt reach base on a fielder's choice, the Matadors were down to their final out when John Parham took to the batter's box.
Thanks to a miscue in the field by Red Raider third baseman Justin Berry, Parham ended up on base; what looked like an inning-ending ground ball morphed into a scoring opportunity that CSUN would eventually take full advantage of.
The next two Matador batters would be the last ones of the afternoon as Cates' double drove home the tying run, with Pineda driving in the winning tally only moments later on his single to left field. "We didn't play well but we will take what we can get," said Rousey shortly after the game ended. "That's Division I baseball. To sweep a series like that make it special."
Next up for the Matadors is a two game series with the Evansville Purple Aces starting Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2 PM.