Wildcats Drop Cal State Northridge Finale, 2-0
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Locked in another defensive chess match to close out the finale of the three-game series with Cal State Northridge, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats failed to convert on offensive opportunities and fell to the Matadors, 2-0, on Sunday (Feb. 16) at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
“It was a close game,” Head Coach Jascon Beverlin said. “We did a lot of good things this weekend, and the defense was excellent today and all weekend. We had runners on today, but we just couldn’t come up with that big hit in some big situations.”
As expected, pitching and defense was the emphasis for both teams in Sunday’s rubber match, with scoreless action continuing through five complete innings. Starter Scott Garner maintained a no-hitter through those five frames, but the Matadors broke through with a three-hit inning in the top of the sixth. Using the spark, CSN put up runs in consecutive innings, using RBI from first baseman Alexis Mercado and shortstop Brett Balkan to take a 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats were not without opportunities, with 10 runners left on base, including bases-loaded situations in the bottom of the third and seventh, but couldn’t convevert to bring the score back to even.
With the loss, CSN takes the series and B-CU falls to 1-2 on the year. However, the two losses came by a combined three runs.
Garner takes the loss, pitching 6.1 innings with four hits, two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
For Cal State Northridge, starter Jordan Johnson (1-0) earned the win, throwing 5.1 innings with five strikeouts. Reliever Michael Coates picked up his first save for his appearance in the ninth.
Offensively, left fielder Bryant Munoz went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Wildcats.
The Wildcats return to action next weekend, Feb. 21-23, at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, in a three-game series with Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles (3-1) completed a four-game weekend series on Sunday, topping Rhode Island in the finale, 4-3.