NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Stephen Ventimilia had two hits and scored a run, and Jordan Richartz and Adam Hurley both drew late-inning bases-loaded walks but it wasn’t enough as the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warrior baseball team suffered a 6-2 series-opening loss to Cal State Northridge on Thursday afternoon at Matador Field.
Matt Cooper dropped to 3-4 with the loss as the ‘Bows (14-20, 2-8 BWC) lost their eighth straight and fell to the bottom of the league standings. Cooper pitched into the seventh inning and finished with a final line of four earned runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts in six innings.
Cooper lived dangerously in the fourth and fifth innings but got timely strikeouts with Matador runners in scoring position to keep the game scoreless. He recorded his first three strikeouts with a combined four men in scoring position and each with a runner at third.
Northridge finally broke the stalemate with two runs in the sixth inning. A Jerry Kleman (0-2) error at third base gave CSUN an extra at bat which Brett Balkan (1 H, 2 RBI) capitalized on, delivering a two-RBI single to score two unearned runs and give Northridge a 2-0 lead through six innings.
The wheels came off one inning later when the Matadors (14-23, 3-7 BWC) extended the lead to 6-0. A Ryan Raslowsky (1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI) RBI triple opened the scoring and Nick Blaser (2 H, 2 R) capped the four-run inning with a two-RBI single.
Richartz and Hurley’s bases loaded walks accounted for two runs in the eighth inning, but the ‘Bows had a chance for more as Marc Flores (0-3, 1 BB) and Matt Miller (0-4) also came to the plate with the bases loaded but couldn’t produce any runs.
Brycen Rutherford (3-3) earned the win for Northridge, allowing just one unearned run on two hits in seven and one-third innings of work.
The ‘Bows and Matadors continue the series on Friday at 3:00 p.m. PT (12:00 p.m. HT).
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*