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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Dyt Delivers for Resurgent Matadors

Baseball: Senior's three-run home run in ninth caps comeback for Northridge over Loyola Marymount, 11-10.

January 28, 1998|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — For a team that rose from ashes simply to take the field, it was a remarkable comeback.

A three-run home run by Darren Dyt--a comeback kid in his own right--completed a turnaround from an eight-run deficit and gave the Cal State Northridge baseball team an 11-10 victory over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday in the Matadors' home opener.

For one day, the collection of rejects, misfits and nobodies patched together to form the Northridge team in the aftermath of the program being cut and reinstated in a matter of months last summer proved worthy of the uniforms worn by players that compiled a 94-38 record the past two seasons.

"If this team continues to do a good job of playing all 27 outs, we have a chance to win some games," Coach Mike Batesole said. "This victory goes a long way toward a bunch of guys learning how to win."

Dyt, a senior who transferred from Fresno State because he was disappointed in his lack of playing time, is a prime example of this year's Matador model. Northridge (2-4) struggled on its season-opening road trip and Dyt, who whiffed 11 times, led off each game with a strikeout.

Dyt did not start against the Lions, but entered as a pinch-hitter in the third inning and proceeded to go three for five with five runs batted in. Dyt's two-run double in the sixth against freshman right-hander Chris Gray of Chaminade High began a comeback from a 9-1 deficit.

A single by Jeremy Sickles scored Dyt, cutting the Lions' lead to 9-4. Still, a Northridge victory appeared improbable.

However, another believer was right-hander Tim Baron, who replaced left-hander Carey Novits with one out in the fifth and Loyola Marymount leading, 8-1, on the strength of four unearned runs.

Baron, a sophomore transfer from Cal State Fullerton who attended Thousand Oaks High, allowed an unearned run in the sixth, then shut out the Lions until giving way to Brad Foss with one out in the ninth, providing his teammates with time to rally.

"I wasn't worried about what the scoreboard read," Baron said. "We felt we could win this game the whole time."

Second baseman Kevin Patrick hit a two-run home run in the seventh, and a double by Nakia Hill scored two more in the eighth, cutting the margin to 9-8.

The Lions added a run in the ninth on a two-strike squeeze by Oscar Martinez, but Marco Estrada opened the bottom of the inning with a bunt single and pinch-hitter Jamie Hay followed with a walk. One out later, the left-handed hitting Dyt lofted a high fly that barely carried over the fence in left.

The heroics took a potential victory away from Mike Schultz, a freshman from Cleveland High who pitched the third and fourth innings and allowed only a home run by Eric Horvat.

Schultz, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, was set to attend Northridge until baseball was cut. By the time the sport was reinstated, Schultz had enrolled at Loyola Marymount and is one of 16 freshmen in Coach Frank Cruz's rebuilding plan.

The victory was Northridge's 10th in a row over the Lions.

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