Baseball, Men's Sports

Dirtbags rally comes up short after starting pitching unravels

The Dirtbags suffered a tough 12-6 loss to the Matadors “the best offense in the conference numbers-wise” Friday night on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.

The Matadors came out swinging and recorded 12 runs on 18 hits en route to their win showcasing an impressive display of hitting.

“I don’t care if we lost 100-0 or 3-2; a loss is a loss and we just learn from it and move forward,” head coach Eric Valenzuela said.

Freshman infielder Ty Borgogno had a solo home run taken off the board in the second inning after failing to touch second during his trot around the bases, which kept the score at 2-0 instead of 3-0 in the Dirtbags favor. The mistake gave CSUN all the momentum it needed to take control. It would have been the first home run of the season for Borgogno.

Graham Osman did not have his best stuff, allowing nine runs on 11 hits and two walks in 4.2 IP.

The Matadors scored 11 of their 12 runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.

Heading into the 6th inning in an 11-2 ballgame, it was crucial for the bullpen to minimize the damage and keep the Dirtbags somewhat in the game.

“I thought Jake Rons really did a good job of that, and not having to go to too many guys in one of these games,” Valenzuela said as he assessed the bullpen for the remainder of the series.

Rons a junior right-handed pitcher worked through four innings allowing a single run and striking out eight CSUN batters, six of them consecutively and half of the hitters caught looking.

Valenzuela hopes the performance will provide a boost in confidence for Rons and establish himself as the “go-to guy” in the later innings.

Junior outfielder Rocco Peppi led off the bottom of the ninth inning with an opposite-field double that kick-started a rally for the Dirtbags.

With the bases loaded in the inning, senior outfielder Joey Walls Jr. was inches away from a grand slam to left-center field, but the ball kicked off the wall and he settled in at second with a two-run double.

Four runs in the 9th inning had the fans hopeful of a comeback, but the effort was too little, too late, and the game ended 12-6.

LBSU sits in 4th place in the Big West standings behind CSUN, Fullerton, and conference leaders UC San Diego.

The Dirtbags will hope to bounce back on Saturday with Nico Zeglin set to start game two of the series at 6 p.m. on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.

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