May 7, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Nick Capito pitched into the eighth inning, allowing a pair of two-run home runs and that was enough for Cal State Northridge as UC Santa Barbara managed two runs on six hits while leaving six men on base in a 4-2 defeat on Saturday at Matador Field.
The defeat marked the second straight Big West series the Gauchos have lost. UCSB falls to 19-21 overall and 5-9 in the Big West. CSUN won its first conference series of the season and improves to 20-25, 3-11.
It looked like UCSB was going to blow the game open early as leadoff hitter Derek Eligio bunted to Tremlin, who threw errantly in to right field and allowed Eligio to move up to third. Sean Williams followed with an RBI single to center field to give the Gauchos a 1-0 with no outs. Mark Haddow then walked to give UCSB runners on first and second.
The Matadors caught a break, however, as a ground ball provided a double play and Williams was forced to remain at second due to a runner's interference call on Haddow. Tremlin got the next hitter to foul out to end the inning with minimal damage.
UC Santa Barbara nearly scored again in the top of the third after Eligio reached on a fielding error and advanced to second on a ground out. The next ball was hit deep in the hole at shortstop to Kyle Attl, who was able to throw behind Eligio rounding third to begin a rundown that resulted in Eligio being caught between third and home for the second out. A flyout ended the inning with no runs scored.
Marty Bowen's two-run home run in the fourth inning gave CSUN a 2-1 lead, which they held until the seventh inning.
UCSB loaded the bases with one out in the seventh on a walk, single and fielder's choice that did not result in an out. Eligio (2-for-4, one RBI) then singled through the left side of the infield to tie the game before Williams grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Northridge took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth on yet another long ball, this time by Steven Keller, who hails from Santa Barbara City College. Senior Ridge Carpenter led off the inning with a double off the right center field wall and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. A sharp ground ball by Drew Muren was picked by Trevor Whyte and Carpenter had to stay at third with two outs. Then, on a 2-1 breaking pitch, Keller drove a ball well over the left field fence for a two-run home run, his second of the season. The runs gave the Matadors a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Eligio, Williams and Bryce Tafelski all had multiple hits and accounted for all six Gaucho hits.
The series will concluded with an afternoon game on Sunday at Matador Field. The game will be played as "Strike Out Cancer Day," with Northridge players wearing pink shoes, eye black and shoe laces. All fans wearing pink will receive free admission.
The game will be broadcast live on AM 1290 and online here.
UCSB does not return home until May 13 vs. UC Irvine. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or online by clicking here.