CSUN Baseball Narrowly Lose Final Midweek of the Season against the Pepperdine Waves 10-7

Joey Kramer’s 3-run home run in the 8th inning is not enough for CSUN Baseball as the Matadors drop their final midweek match against the Pepperdine Waves.

The Matadors hosted Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon for the first of a seven-game homestand. CSUN baseball, which sits at 27-14, concluded their non-conference schedule with Pepperdine visiting Northridge. Prior to the midweek game, the Matadors traveled for a road series win at UC San Diego this past weekend. The Pepperdine Waves, on the other hand, picked up their first action since May 3rd when they defeated Cal Poly and Hawaii last week. They entered this midweek match against Northridge with a season record of 17-25.

Right-hander Ryan Wentz took the mound for the Matadors with a 2-1 record and 5.53 ERA and his counterpart for the Waves was right-hander Bobby Charity with a 1-0 record and 6.10 ERA.

The Matadors were the first to score when in the second inning, they went up 2-0 after a Kamau Neighbors single drove in Kramer and Kevin Fitzer hit a home run to left field. But that early 2-0 Matador lead was short-lived when the Waves put up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, topped off when Grant Schoenberg broke the scoring open for the Waves with a single to drive in Jack Baseer.

Bobby Christy would only go on to pitch 2 innings as he was taken out early from Manager Rick Hirtiensteiner for Nick Bonn. Christy’s final stat line would read 2 innings pitched, 2 runs allowed, and 3 hits with no strikeouts. Ryan Wentz would last until the 5th inning before also being replaced. Right-hander Hayden Cody came on in relief to end Wentz's afternoon at 4.2 innings, 3 runs earned, 6 hits allowed, and 1 strikeout.

The Waves blew open the game with 6 runs in the 6th inning thanks to a few Matador errors in the infield. Connor Bradshaw would reach on an error by Cody, which would also allow Charles Masino to score. Luke Pemberton would also reach on a throwing error by second baseman Neighbors, which would allow Basseer to score. John Peck would complete the scoring when he hit a 3-run home run to right field for a 10-2 Pepperdine lead.

Looking for one last comeback the Matadors rallied behind Fitzer, who would single to center field to drive in Jakob Simons. Ben Griffin hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Brandon Leon. With two outs and CSUN looking for more runs, Joey Kramer homered to left center to drive in three runs to cut the Wave's lead 10-7. The Matadors would be unable to finish the comeback when right-hander Jack Baird closed out the game with a Leon pop-out to finish the game and earn the save and seal the win for Pepperdine.

“The message we always emphasized is that if you’re not staring then you have to work harder than the starter’’ said CSUN Manager, Eddie Cornejo about the need for players to take advantage of their at-bats at the end of the season,“If you’re an everyday starter we don’t emphasize base hits, although it may feel that way, we just want quality at-bats.” He went on to add, “if you’re not getting quality at-bats then we will just go to the next guy and give him a shot.”

CSUN Baseball dropped to 27-15 and finished their non-conference action for the season with a loss and now look to bounce back with a weekend series at home against UC Irvine. For Pepperdine, the win brings their season record to 18-25, and the Waves look to continue their winning streak with a home series against Loyola Marymount University.

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