Baseball Takes Series Opener at Northridge, 7-3
March 11, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Senior Matt Fenster drove in two runs and the bullpen tossed 2.2 hitless innings to lead the Lafayette baseball team to a 7-3 win at Cal State Northridge on Friday. Junior southpaw Jack Rems got the win in relief and senior right-hander Jeff Snell earned the save as the Leopards took game one of a four-game set with the Matadors.
With the victory, Lafayette improves to 3-5 in the 2011 season. Northridge drops to 8-6 in defeat.
Fenster went 2-for-4 with a double - the Leopards' lone extra-base hit - and two RBI. Senior Rob Froio and juniors Brian Davila and Bobby Fargnoli also had two hits apiece for the Leopards. Sophomore Kevin Casey picked up an RBI and a stolen base in the victory.
Senior right-hander Zach Fritz got the start and tossed the first 6.1 innings for Lafayette. He allowed six hits and three runs (all earned) while striking out four batters and walking two. Rems (1-0) got the last two outs of the seventh inning and was spelled by Snell, who retired all five batters he faced to record his first save.
Ryan Juarez (2-3) took the loss out of the bullpen, allowing four hits and four runs (three earned) in 1.1 innings of work. Vincent Roberts allowed only five hits in his seven innings of action, but the Leopards pushed three unearned runs across the plate against the Matadors' starter.
After a solo home run from Drew Muren gave Northridge an early 1-0 lead, the Leopards responded with three tallies in the top of the third inning. Fargnoli started the offense with a one-out single and advanced to third as Davila followed with a base-hit through the right side. Matadors' third baseman Tommy Simis was unable to handle a groundball from Froio as Fargnoli scored the tying run. The ball stayed live as left fielder Adam Berry's throw got away and allowed Davila to come all the way around to score. A third Northridge error brought Froio home and gave the Leopards a 3-0 lead.
Fritz and Roberts traded zeroes until the bottom of the seventh inning, when back-to-back singles followed by a balk put runners in scoring position with none out from the Matadors. Fritz got the first out on a strikeout, but then surrendered a single to T.S. Reed that ran the score to 3-2. Rems then came out of the bullpen and stopped the bleeding, though a fly-out did result in a sacrifice fly that knotted the game at 3-3.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as the Matadors did not get the same effectiveness from their bullpen. Juarez relieved Roberts to start the top of the eighth frame and promptly allowed a single to Froio. Senior Alex Bechta bunted the Leopards' centerfielder into scoring position, and a groundout by Scott Kelleher pushed the go-ahead run another 90 feet. Senior catcher A.J. Miller was intentionally walked, and Fenster made Northridge pay by ripping the first pitch he saw down the right field line to drive in Froio. Another intentional walk loaded the bases for Casey, whose infield single scored Miller and gave the Leopards a 5-3 lead.
After Snell - with the aid of a 6-4-3 double play - retired the Matadors in the eighth, Lafayette added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. An error by the left fielder scored Froio, who had singled for the second straight inning, and Fenster delivered after another intentional walk to Miller with a sacrifice fly that ran the score to 7-3.
The 7-3 tally would hold up as Snell tossed a perfect ninth inning to close the door on the Leopards' third win of the season.
Lafayette and Northridge continue their four-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET). The series concludes with a single game back in Northridge on Sunday.
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