Feb. 26, 2012
Site: Northridge, Calif. (Matador Field)
Score: Cal State Northridge 8, Northwestern 7
Records: NU (1-5), Cal State Northridge (5-2)
Next NU Event: Friday, March 2 -- vs. Western Michigan (Port Charlotte, Fla.), 2 p.m. CT
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Northwestern rallied to trim a six-run deficit to one but came up just short in the end, dropping its series finale at Cal State Northridge 8-7 Sunday afternoon at Matador Field.
Trailing 7-1 after four innings, the Wildcats chipped away at the Matadors' lead. Kyle Ruchim started the rally with a two-out home run, his first of the season, in the top of the fifth. A single by Zach Morton and a walk to Paul Snieder put two aboard for Jack Havey who delivered an RBI double to make it 7-3. However, NU would strand a pair of runners in scoring position.
After Cal State Northridge got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, the 'Cats scored three times in the top of the seventh to get within 8-6. A single by Morton and a walk by Snieder preceded Havey being hit by a pitch to load the bases with one away. Following a strikeout, Geoff Rowan delivered a two-run double. Havey would get Northwestern within two when he came home on a passed ball.
Northwestern mounted a rally in the eighth that nearly gave them the lead. After the first two batters were retired, Ruchim doubled to right-center and scored on Morton's third hit of the day. The Matadors caught a huge break when Snieder hit a ground-rule double, forcing Morton to stop at third. Havey was intentionally walked to load the bases, but pitcher Justen Gorski got out of trouble by recording a flyout to deep center to end the threat.
NU had one final chance in the ninth as pinch hitter Reid Hunter was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Louis Cohen got a strikeout and a groundout to strand another runner in scoring position to earn the save.
got the start for the Wildcats and took the loss, while Michael Jahns
allowed only one hit and one run over four innings of relief.
Northwestern scored first in the top of the second thanks to a pair of errors. However, Cal State Northridge scored twice in the home half the inning as well as once in the third and four times in the fourth to surge in front as the hosts gave themselves just enough cushion to hold on for the win on getaway day.
The Wildcats had 11 hits in the contest paced by three from Morton while Rowan, Ruchim and Snieder added two apiece.
Northwestern returns to action Friday as it opens play at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., by taking on Western Michigan.
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