SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Cal State Northridge freshman left-hander Jerry Keel again helped the Matadors salvage a weekend series.
A week Keel limited No. 13 Cal State Fullerton to help Northridge take one game of the weekend set, he did in UC Santa Barbara with six solid innings as CSUN won 4-2 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
UCSB, which has won its first two Big West Conference weekend series, was trying for a sweep at the hands of the Matadors and certainly had chances throughout Saturday's game. The Gauchos, 16-14 overall and 4-2 in the Big West, left 10 runners on base against Keel and two relievers.
UCSB had two runners on in both the seventh and ninth innings but were unable to push a run across against either Harley Holt of Louis Cohen, who recorded his third save of the year. In the seventh Lance Roenicke and Brandon Trinkwon each singled with two outs but Bryce Tafelski's groundout ended the threat.
In the ninth Luke Swenson singled with one out and Brett Vertigan followed with a base hit to put runners on first and second. But flyouts by Roenicke and Trinkwon ended the Gauchos' chance of a comeback.
UCSB scored first on Greg Mahle's sacrifice fly which brought in Vertigan in the first inning. Some stellar pitching from Zak Edgington kept the Gauchos' lead at 1-0 as he worked out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the second by striking two batters out. Edgington allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in 5.1 innings with three strikeouts.
Northridge (13-18, 2-4) tied the game with a run in the fourth but UCSB re-took the lead in the fifth on Trinkwon's double, which scored Steven Moon.
However in the top of the sixth, CSUN broke through. A throwing error by Ryan Palermo, who made three other terrific defensive plays in the game, scored a run and with the bases loaded and one out, Edgington's (1-2) day was done.
Matt Vedo entered and his second pitch went to the backstop to score a run and Chester Pak's groundout brought in another run to give CSUN its 4-2 lead.
The Gauchos outhit CSUN, 9-7, and outscored the Matadors 21-9 in the series.
Vertigan went 5-for-13 with five runs scored in the series while Trinkwon was 6-for-10 with three RBI and three runs scored. Moon went 5-for-11 with four runs scored and three RBI and Swenson was 5-for-8 with three runs scored and three RBI.
The Gauchos will host Cal Poly in a nonconference game on Tuesday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, to finish off a nine-game homestand. UCSB then travels to Long Beach State for a weekend series beginning next Friday. Tickets to all UCSB home events are available by clicking here.
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