Matadors Clinch Series Win at UC Davis on Mother’s Day

09 Dec 2021 | 06:57 | Baseball

DAVIS, Calif.—CSUN Baseball (16-16, 16-16 Big West) took the series finale at UC Davis 8-3 on Sunday to clinch its second consecutive series victory. Blaine Traxel won his fourth-straight road start by working seven innings, allowing two unearned runs. The Matadors pounded out 15 hits for the third consecutive game with Kai Moody and Jayson Newman each totaling three. Denzel Clarke homered for the eighth time this season while Robert Bullard legged out an inside-the-park homer.

Unlike the previous three games in the series, the Aggies struck first in the opening inning, capitalizing on a CSUN miscue to score two unearned runs. Jake Brandel opened up the scoring with an RBI double. Traxel limited the damage by retiring the final three batters of the inning but the Aggies scored one more on a groundout to lead 2-0.

CSUN quickly responded in the second inning as Newman singled to kick off the frame and Ryan Ball doubled to put runners at second and third. Two batters later, Mason Le would put the ball in play, allowing Newman to score on a groundout.

After Traxel pitched around doubles in the second and third innings, the Matadors finally broke through in the fourth with a two-out rally. Le singled to keep the inning alive then CJ Yogi worked a walk. Moments later, Brandon Bohning delivered an RBI single to tie the game up at 2-2. After Bullard walked to load the bases, a wild pitch brought in Yogi, giving the Matadors a one-run lead. Moody and Jose Ruiz each worked walks, with the second forcing in a run to put CSUN on top 4-2.

Pitching with the lead, Traxel found his rhythm on the mound. After walking J.D. Mico with two outs in the fourth, he retired eight of the next nine batters. He would have to pitch out of trouble in the seventh though as Jalen Smith walked and Cooper Morrison was hit by a pitch. However, Traxel induced a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Brandel that ended the threat.

Meanwhile, the Matadors scored their next two runs on homers but in different ways. In the fifth, Clarke clubbed a 2-0 pitch well over the left-field wall for a solo shot. An inning later, Bullard belted a pitch to deep left-center field. Morrison nearly made a leaping catch but the ball bounced off the fence and rolled into center field. Bullard never stopped running and made it home standing up for an inside-the-park home run.

CSUN added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings to help put the game away. Newman collected his sixth RBI of the series in the eighth on a single that scored Moody. Bohning also picked up an RBI single in the ninth inning, plating Blake Doremus.

The Matador bullpen took over in the eighth as Blake Sodersten and Jackson Cunningham combined to toss the final two frames to secure a CSUN win.

Traxel improved to 4-0 in road games this season. He has posted an 0.78 ERA in eight total appearances on the road and just three earned runs allowed. Traxel finished the weekend allowing no earned runs over eight innings of work, which included a shutout inning in the series opener on Friday.

The Matadors finished with a season-high 38 runs in the series on 56 hits. The trio of Newman, Clarke and Moody had nine hits apiece with Clarke homering twice and driving in a team-best seven runs. Moody has now recorded 14 multiple-hit games on the season. Clarke also extended his on-base streak to 18 games and his hit streak to 14. Newman has hit safely in 13-straight games.

“Today was a good day for our team. After losing a tough one yesterday in the nightcap of the doubleheader, our guys responded well. UC Davis jumped out on us early but our guys didn’t panic. Jayson Newman and Kai Moody spearheaded the offense with three hits apiece along with home runs from Denzel Clarke and Robbie Bullard that supported the fine seven-inning start of Blaine Traxel. Winning our second series in a row was big for our team. This team continues to improve in many areas. Most of all, they believe they have become a good team and you can see it in the way they are playing.”

The Matadors return home next weekend for their final series at Matador Field in 2021. CSUN hosts Hawai’i in the first of four games on Friday at 3 p.m. David Gascon will be on the call in the opener in an audio broadcast at