Diamond Dawgs notch 10th straight

Right fielder Taylor Johnson threw out Brian Lake at the plate on the final play of the game to preserve the shutout as the Huskies won their 10th consecutive game with a 7-0 blanking of Cal-State Northridge at Husky Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

After Rudy Simpson grounded out to reliever David Dowling for the first out of the ninth inning, Lake doubled to left, and after Dominick Phillips lined out to second baseman Greg Isaacson, Jesse Perez hit a soft line drive to right center field that dropped between Isaacson, center fielder Simi Reynolds, and Johnson for a single.

Johnson picked up the ball and then fired a perfect strike to catcher Ben Johnson to nail Lake attempting to score from second.

With the shutout, the Huskies held the Matadors scoreless in the final 20 innings of the series, two innings in Friday night's opener, a complete game one hit gem by Jeff Petersen on Saturday, and a combined effort by Trevor Gibson and Dowling on Sunday. The Huskies also held the Matadors to just one extra base hit in the series, the double by Lake in Sunday's game.

Gibson pitched five innings to earn his second straight win and improve to 2-0 on the season, allowing only three hits and a walk while striking out four. Dowling then relieved Gibson for the final four innings, and allowed just four hits himself to record his first save of the season.

In addition to the great pitching and Taylor Johnson's throw to end the game, the Huskies also got some great defense from shortstop Tila Reynolds. In the fourth, Jared Halpert hit a blooper into shallow left that looked as if it would drop for a hit but shortstop Reynolds made a diving backhand catch to end the inning. Leo Rosales started on the mound for the Matadors and suffered the loss to drop to 1-4, allowing four Husky runs, three earned, on six hits and two walks while striking out four.

After Gibson and Rosales put up zeros for the first two and one half innings, the Huskies got on the board with a tall in the bottom of the third. Simi Reynolds lined a double off the bullpen fence in left, and after advancing to third on a fly out by Tila Reynolds, scored when Isaacson grounded a single into left.

The Huskies made it 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth when John Otness singled, stole second, and scored on a single to left by Tila Reynolds.

They added a pair of runs in the sixth with the long ball and some very sloppy Matador defense. With one out, Taylor Johnson smacked a towering fly ball deep to left for his fifth home run of the season and a 3-0 Husky lead. Then Chad Boudon walked, and Matador head coach Steve Rousey brought in right hander Jon Bierly to relieve Rosales. Bierly threw an errant pickoff attempt past first baseman Phillips, allowing Boudon to advance to second.

Then, attempting to pick off Boudon again, this time at second, Bierly threw the ball into center and the Husky runner moved to third. Boudon then scored on an infield single to shortstop by Otness, making it 4-0 in favor of the Huskies. The Huskies got a scare when the next batter Simi Reynolds lined a single which appeared destined for right field, but instead of landing in the outfield, it struck Otness on the right arm. Despite having the seams of the baseball imprinted on his arm, Otness remained in the game at third base.

The Huskies made it 7-0 with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, due mostly to inept Matador defense, primarily by third baseman Mark McCauley. Tila Reynolds led off with a routine grounder but reached safely when McCauley bounced his throw to first out of Phillips' glove. Then Isaacson walked, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Bierly. Kyle Larsen then smacked a line drive to center for a sacrifice fly, scoring Reynolds. Mike Wagner followed with a single to score Isaacson, stole second, and moved to third on another wild pitch by Bierly, this one coming on ball four to Boudon.

Wagner then scored when McCauley made another bad throw to first on a ground ball by Ben Johnson.

With the victory the Huskies improved to 14-6 overall, while Cal-State Northridge fell to 5-21.

The Huskies return to action with a three game series against the UC-Irvine Anteaters in Irvine from Friday, March 21 to Sunday, March 23. Then, after a two game series in Portland against the Pilots on March 25-26, the Huskies open Pac-10 play on the road in Palo Alto with a three game series against #6 Stanford Friday, March 28 to Sunday, March 30.

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