Feb. 16, 2007
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Ricardo Cates had a pair of hits, including a fourth-inning, two-run home run, to lead Cal State Northridge to a 5-3 win over Washington State in the Cougars' season-opener Friday afternoon at Matador Field.
While WSU opened its 2007 campaign Friday, the Matadors were playing their 12th game of year and improved to 8-4.
After three scoreless innings it was the Cougars who jumped on the board first. Jeff Miller opened the fourth with a single to center and following an error and a walk, WSU had the bases loaded with no outs. Jim Murphy hit into a double play, with Miller coming home with the games first run. The Matadors answered in the bottom of the frame as Cougar starter Wayne Daman Jr. retired the first two batters before allowing a double followed by Cates first home run of the season.
The Cougars regained the lead in the sixth as Miller came home on Jared Prince's fielder's choice, tying the game. After a Murphy double and a walk to Zach Borba, the Matadors replaced starter Chuck Fick with Mark Haderlein. Haderlein promptly walked Nick Hall with the bases loaded, giving WSU the 3-2 lead.
The lead was short-lived as C.J. Belanger led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right, one of three hits on the afternoon for the Matador right fielder. Two batters later, Belanger scored on Kris Kasarjian's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3. Cal State Northridge added single runs in the seventh and eighth to close out the scoring.
WSU had a chance late to tie or even go ahead as Prince led off the eighth with a double to left. Murphy was then hit by a pitch, the second time in the game he was hit, putting runners at first and second with no outs. With two outs, pinch-hitter Simi Reynolds singled to left where Anthony Reed fielded the ball and threw out Prince at home, ending the rally.
"We were a little shaky out of the bullpen today and not as sharp as we should have been," said WSU head coach Donnie Marbut. "We had some chances to score and didn't capitalize but we will be ready to play (Saturday)."
For the game the Cougars knocked out six hits, one each by Prince, Miller, Murphy, Reynolds, Paul Gran and Greg Lagreid. Daman started and went 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Michael Ratigan came on with two outs in the sixth and worked one innings, allowing an unearned run on no hits to take the hard-luck loss.
Fick matched Daman by working the first 5 and 2/3 innings for Northridge, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Haderlein worked the next 1 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball to pick up the win. Joe Rocchio worked a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
In addition to Belanger's three hits, Cates and Jorge Andrade, Jr. each added two to lead a 10-hit Matador attack.
WSU continues its series against the Matadors with a Saturday afternoon contest. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
WSU BASEBALL Washington State 000 102 000 - 3 6 1 Cal State Northridge 000 201 11x - 5 10 2 WP - Mark Haderlein (2-1). LP - Michael Ratigan (0-1). Save - Joe Rocchio (1). WSU - Wayne Daman Jr., Michael Ratigan (6), Steve Kost (7), Seth Harvey (8) and Greg Lagreid. CSUN - Chuck Fick, Mark Haderlein (6), Philip Hann (8), Joe Rocchio (9) and John Parham.
HR - Richard Cates. WSU Hits - Jeff Miller, Paul Gran, Jared Prince, Jim Murphy, Greg Lagreid, Simi Reynolds. CSUN Hits - C.J. Belanger 3, Richard Cates 2, Jorge Andrade Jr. 2, Jonathan Sakurai, Kris Kasarjian, Daniel Limbrick. E - Jeff Miller, Sakurai 2. 2B - Prince, Murphy, Belanger, Kasarjian, Andrade, Jr. 3B - None.