CSUN Sweeps Doubleheader to Clinch Series Win

09 Dec 2021 | 03:23 | Baseball

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—CSUN Baseball (12-15, 12-15 Big West) pounded out a combined 24 hits in a doubleheader sweep of CSU Bakersfield (14-12, 11-8 Big West) on Saturday at Hardt Field. The Matadors won 8-5 and 10-2, clinching the team’s first series win of the season. Denzel Clarke finished with four hits on the day while Jayson Newman drove in five runs and homered twice. Brandon Bohning added three hits and a homer. On the mound, Jeremy Hassel earned his second-straight win in game two, tossing a career-high six innings and allowing one run on three hits.

CSUN led by five runs early in game one only to see the Roadrunners tie the game in the sixth. However, much like Friday, Newman delivered another go-ahead three-run homer to put the Matadors on top for good.

CSUN began the game with three consecutive hits including an RBI single from Kai Moody. Newman doubled the lead with a sacrifice fly to right, his first of four RBI in the game. Ryan Ball added to the hit parade with a triple down the right-field line to plate Jose Ruiz. Clarke collected the Matadors’ fifth hit of the inning with an RBI single to make it a 4-0 game.

The Matadors picked up another run in the second after a pair of two-out hits. Moody kept the inning alive with a single before Ruiz stroked an RBI double to put CSUN ahead 5-0.

It seemed as though the five-run cushion would be enough for CSUN starter Gavin Lizik who frustrated the CSUB bats throughout most of his outing. Lizik tossed a clean first inning and worked out of trouble in the second, escaping a bases-loaded, nobody out jam with only one run scoring.

After walking Nick Grossman in the second inning, Lizik retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced and allowed no hits over that span. He also received quality defense behind him as the Matadors turned double plays in the second and the fourth inning while catcher CJ Yogi threw out Nick Salas attempting to steal second base in the third.

Lizik cruised along until the sixth inning when the CSUB bats came alive. Bakersfield recorded three-straight hits with one out, capped by a Jacen Roberson RBI double to cut the lead to 5-3. Lizik retired Evan Berkey before exiting the game with two outs in the frame. Zuko Tillman came out of the bullpen and was greeted unkindly with a two-run homer from Tyler Jorgensen that squared the game at 5-5.

Unfazed, the Matadors went back to work in the seventh inning where they received another timely hit. Robert Bullard and Ruiz worked walks in the inning setting the table for Newman who belted a three-run home run over the right-center field fence to put the Matadors back on top 8-5.

CSUN’s bullpen would nail down the victory with strong pitching over the last three innings. After giving up the home run in the sixth, Tillman retired six of the next seven batters. Blaine Traxel entered the fray in the bottom of the eighth and pitched around a hit batsman and an error on the infield to keep the Roadrunners off the scoreboard in the inning. Traxel would surrender a two-out hit in the ninth before securing the victory and the save.

Hassel excelled on the mound for CSUN in game two while the Matadors scored eight runs over the first four innings en route to the win.

The first two Roadrunners reached on singles to start the first inning, eventually leading to a sacrifice fly by Berkey. However, it would be the only blemish against Hassel in the contest. The right-hander went on to retire 17 of 20 batters after the two early singles with only one of the Roadrunner batters reaching via a hit.

Meanwhile, the Matador bats exploded in the second inning to give Hassel early run support. After loading the bases with one out, Dalton Vanhille stroked a two-run single. A third run would score on the play due to an error. Moments later, Moody drove in Vanhille on a sacrifice fly then Newman followed with a solo home run to give the Matadors a 4-0 lead.

The Matadors would be far from done though as Jason Ajamian picked up an RBI single in the third and Bohning added another with an RBI hit of his own an inning later. Ajamian collected his second RBI on a sacrifice fly, making it an 8-1 game after four innings.

Bohning joined the home run parade with a solo blast in the sixth inning and the Matadors added to their lead on a sacrifice fly from Sean Skelly to go up 10-1 in the eighth.

CSUN’s bullpen combined to work the final three innings, only allowing a run on four hits. Elias Jauregui tossed a shutout seventh inning while Kyle Hoskins pitched the final two frames, yielding a run in the ninth.

Newman has homered in each game in the series and four times over his last five games. He has driven in an RBI in eight-straight games for a total of 16 over that span.

Moody collected his 11th multiple-hit game of the season in game one while Ruiz notched his eighth. Bullard had a hit in each game to extend his on-base streak to 15-straight games. Clarke has also reached base safely in 13 consecutive games. Mason Le played in game one of the doubleheader and extended his hit streak to 11-straight games.

Tillman earned his first career win in game one while Traxel registered his second save of the season.

“Today was the most complete Saturday we have played this season. The offense performed very well today in both games with many guys contributing and some having big days. In game two, the bottom part of the lineup went 10-for-19, yet I don’t want the starting pitching of Gavin Lizik and Jeremy Hassel to go unnoticed. Their first-pitch strikes were phenomenal along with the guys out of the bullpen, which makes success easier. Plus the fact they either went into the sixth or in Hassel’s case, completed the six, which helps on these doubleheader days. I’m very proud of how this team is coming together and the type of baseball they are playing at this stage. We need to come out just as hungry tomorrow.”

The Matadors finish their weekend series with CSU Bakersfield on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will stream live on ESPN3.