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Valley / Ventura County Sports

Seven Is Anything but Lucky Again for Reeling CSUN

Baseball: Matadors allow seven runs in first inning for the second day in a row and lose to USC, 11-6.

April 04, 1999|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — For the second time in as many days, USC scored seven runs in the first inning against Cal State Northridge, this time cruising to an 11-6 victory in a nonconference baseball game on Saturday.

USC (20-16), ranked No. 25 by Baseball America, completed a three-game sweep after knocking off Northridge, 17-9 and 7-6, on Friday.

Coach Mike Batesole had nothing to say to the Matadors afterward. He bolted from the dugout right after Northridge lost for the ninth time in 11 games, skipping the team barbecue.

After watching Northridge (20-23) put up more errors, three, than hits, two, in the first six innings, Batesole's disappearing act is understandable.

The Matadors made 10 errors in the three-game series.

The Trojans, who had 17 hits against five pitchers in the first game on Friday, pounded five hits in the first inning off Jim DeBiase (7-3) on Saturday.

Seven of the first eight batters DeBiase faced scored. Six of the runs were earned.

"Going into the game, I thought he had some of his best stuff," Matador assistant Jamie Nelson said.

Helped by two errors in the first inning, USC capitalized with a two-run double by Justin Lehr and three run-scoring singles.

"When you hit balls in the gaps, you're going to score runs," Nelson said.

Seth Davidson's second hit of the inning chased DeBiase with two out.

Freshman left-hander Andy Davidson, from Hart High, replaced DeBiase and was outstanding.

Davidson, who struck out the only batter he faced in the first inning, did not allow a hit until Lehr hit a leadoff double in the sixth.

It was the only hit Davidson allowed in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Batesole summoned Daryl Grant to pitch the seventh, much to Davidson's surprise.

"I really didn't understand why he took me out," Davidson said. "I could have kept going. I felt good. All my pitches were working."

Said Nelson, Northridge's pitching coach: "We needed to get Daryl some work."

The Matadors rallied in the seventh, scoring all of their runs on three hits, two errors and two walks.

Lehr (4-1), who allowed four hits and struck out six in six-plus innings, was pulled with none out in the seventh after surrendering a bases-loaded walk to Tim Arroyo.

An error on Jason Watkins' grounder got the Matadors two runs and a two-run double by Dan Phillips pulled Northridge to within 7-6.

With Phillips at second and none out, Eric Horvat struck out and catcher Josh Persell threw out Phillips trying to steal third. Jeremy Sickles struck out to end the inning.

The Trojans tagged Grant for four hits and three earned runs in the eighth, and a home run by Brian Barre in the ninth.

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