CSUN Offense tally 12 runs in win over California Baptist University
The CSUN Matadors hosted California Baptist University on Monday with both teams looking to win in this lone Monday matchup. CSUN entered the day coming off a series sweep against UC Riverside which improved their record to 17-6, 6-3 in Big West play and, as for CBU Lancers, they entered the match with a record of 14-14, 7-5 in conference play and are also coming off a series win against Utah Tech. Both teams look to grab a win against one another and as for the Lancers, they look to improve their all-time record against the matadors as CSUN leads against CBU with a record of 8-1 in the all-time series.
Right handler Ryan Wentz took the mound for the Matadors but quickly found himself in some early trouble when just in the second battle of the game Mitchel Simon homered to right center to give CBU an early 1-nothing lead. Other than letting up a homerun Wentz was able to retire the rest of the side to get his team back into the dugout. For the Lancers it was right-hander Drew Necochea who took the mound to start the game but found himself unable to contain the hot Matadors offense when letting Sakaino take a base via the walk and letting Camarillo double to left center to have runners on 2nd and 3rd with only two outs. It was then cleanup hitter Kevin Fitzer who went on to fly out to center field to score Sakaino but the scoring didn’t stop there when Ben Griffin singled to right center to bring in Camarillo to give CSUN the lead at the end of the 1st with a score of 2 to 1.
Despite Garret Ostrander getting on base via hit-by-pitch and Dusty Garcia singling to right field, Wentz was able to get out of the 2nd unscathed when generating a ground out by Josh Paino. Still a 2-1 lead for CSUN, Drew Necochea went onto the bottom of the 2nd only allowing Wilkinson to single and getting out of the inning when he was able to get Simons to strike out looking. Ryan Wentz returned for the top of the 3rd but with two outs found himself with runners on 1st and 3rd when Jake Skipworth reached on a fielding error and Mitchel Simon on third but it was Ryan Wentz who went on to take care of bruises by getting Josiah Chavez to strike out swinging to prevent any runs across for the Lancers.
Moving onto the top of the 4th it was Dusty Garcia who hit a solo home run to right field on the first pitch of the at-bat to tie the game at 2 a piece and for the second solo homerun for the night. Ryan Wentz then appeared to be shaken up when he walked McGuire but quickly recovered when he generated a fielder's choice and struck out Julian Alvarez for the second and third outs of the inning. Onto the bottom of the fourth the Matador's offense looked to be aggressive when Luke Stuka doubled to center field and Joey Kramer singled as well Stuka advanced to third and it now runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs, Leon then came up to hit and went on to fly out to the center field but was able to drive in Stuka in the process which then drove Drew Necochea out of the game when he was switched out for right-hander Seth Mattox who came on with a 11.29 earned run average and 1-2 win-loss record. Mattox then went on to face Bren Wilkinson who doubled to center field and drove in Kramer to give a 2-run lead for his Matadors. That Kramer run officially ends Necochea’s night, who finishes the day with 3 ⅓ innings pitched while allowing 4 runs, 6 hits, and 3 strikeouts. As for Mattox it went from bad to worse when Simons hit it toward the right-center who got on via a dropped ball by Alvarez to let Simmons get on. Mattox was really unable to get his footing when he hit Sakaino to let the Matadors have a bases-loaded opportunity with only one out. Mattox then went on to get the last two outs in the inning by getting Camarillo to foul out and Fitzer to hit onto a fielder's choice to only limit the damage to two.
Ryan Wentz went back out for the Matadors in the top of the 5th but he himself went on to find himself in trouble with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and with the inning looking dicey it was Chavez who came up to at-bat with a critical moment with runners at the corners but went on to swing and miss and go down swinging which then gave Garret Ostrander the responsibility of trying to tie the game but then got out via fielder's choice to waste runners at the corner opportunity for the Lancers. In the bottom of the 5th Mattox went on to generate a 1-2-3 inning and after 5 the score is a 4-2 lead for the Matadors.
In the top of the 6th Ryan Wentz’s night officially came to an end when left-hander Brayden Hiraki came on for his CSUN Matador debut, Wentz's official stat line for the night ends at 5 innings, 2 runs allowed, 6 hits, and 4 strikeouts and if the result holds on pace to get the win. Hiraki went on pitch to Garcia who doubled down the right field line but then retired McGuire for his first out of the season. Hiraki went on to strike out Paino and get Alvarez to line out despite letting up the Garcia double earlier in the 6th.
Brandon Downer who came on for his 10th appearance of the year for CBU came on for relief to take on the matador offense and has 26 innings logged while allowing 27 earned runs and 2 saves recorded. Downer didn't find any success when Sakaino was walked which then made it bases loaded opportunity for Ali Camarillo who went on to single through the left side where Leon went on to score which would be CSUN’s first run since the 4th inning. Kevin Fitzer then came on for his at-bat who went on to hit into a fielder's choice but did drive in two runs in the process due to a bad throw by Paino. The matadors finished the inning with 3 runs driven in when Griffey filed out which makes the score 7-2 going into the 7th.
In the bottom of the 7th the Matadors extended their lead and added another run when Kramer came across the home plate when Wilkinson hit a single right up the middle, later on in the 7th Leo went on to score on a wild pitch and it gets rougher for the lancers when Dean doubles to left center and record a RBI for driving in Wilkinson and CSUN pulls away with a 10-2 lead. And in a bases-loaded opportunity for the Matadors Ben Griffin drove in two with a double to left field to give his team a 10-run lead going at the end 7 innings. In the top of the 8th its Shayne Simpson who went on to hit a solo shot to make it a 12-3 ball game.
Aidan Colin the right-hander went on to close the game out for the Matadors and went on to strike out Palomino but then was switched out for Joshua Romero the very next batter who went on strike out Carpentier, then Romero went on to finish the game when he got Masciel to ground out officially finishing the game for the Matadors at the top of the 9th where CSUN won 12-3.
Ryan Wentz goes on to get the win for the Matadors and Necochea gets the loss for the Lancers, CSUN goes on to improve their record to 18-6 and 12-2 at Matador field, and looks to for their next series which is due to start for Easter weekend later on in the week. And as the Matadors prepare for their next series against Mercer in Georgia later on in the week CSUN Manager, Eddie Conejero, talked about the competition the Matadors are facing outside the conference and how it affects his team play, “We have to show we have the ability to travel a far distance and compete with other conferences.” The Lancers fall to a record of 14-15 and 6-10 away from home and now look to bounce back with a Western Athletic Conference series against New Mexico State later in the week.