May 8, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cal State Northridge scored seven runs and had six of its 10 stolen bases in the fifth inning to break open a tight pitcher's battle on Saturday en route to an 11-4 Big West Conference win at UC Santa Barbara.
The Matadors (24-19 overall, 6-8 in the Big West), who took a 2-0 lead over the Gauchos (19-22, 5-9) in the third inning on a two-run home run by C.J. Belanger, really broke things open in the fifth.
Ridge Carpenter opened the inning against starter Nick Capito with a ground ball into the hole between first and second. UCSB first baseman Trevor Whyte made the play, but Carpenter beat the underhand toss to Capito. After Carpenter was forced at second on a fielder's choice by TS Reed, Drew Muren singled to right field with Reed stopping at second.
With Belanger at the plate, Reed and Muren executed a double-steal to put runners on second and third. Belanger singled to right, scoring Reed with Muren stopping at third. Belanger moved to second on the throw in and Ryan Pineda followed with a two-run single to center field.
Pineda stole second and third as Dominic Dana struck out looking. Capito then walked Justin DeMarco and was replaced on the mound by Greg Davis.
The first batter Davis faced, Brad Decater, singled on the infield, scoring Pineda and advancing DeMarco to second. Pinch hitter Dominic Piazza drilled a single down the left field line to score DeMarco and move Decater to third. Piazza then went to second on a wild pitch and when Bryce Tafelski's throw got away at second base, Decater scored.
Carpenter, who opened the inning with a base hit, singled to right field scoring Piazza. Carpenter stole second but stopped at third when Reed singled to left. Reed stole second, but both runners were stranded when Drew Muren grouned out to Sean Williams.
The Gauchos got one run back in the bottom of the fifth when Whyte was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Ben Edelstein who started the rally with a two-out single.
The Matadors scored two more in the seventh inning, and UCSB got three on a three-run home run by pinch hitter Lance Roenicke in the bottom of the ninth, but the game had long-since been decided.
Starter Justen Gorski, who was on a hard pitch count, went 4.2 innings allowing just four hits and no earned runs to improve to 4-1. Billy Ott, who went 4.1 innings and allowed four hits, earned the save. Capito was tagged with the loss and dropped to 4-5.
Offensively, the Gauchos were led by Ben Edelstein who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
UCSB and Northridge will complete their Big West series on Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. Mother's Day game. All mothers in attendance will receive a free gift.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.