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Pinsak Stops CSUN Slide With Homer

If the Cal State Northridge baseball team comes back to salvage its season, the Matadors may remember Wednesday afternoon as a turning point.

Chris Pinsak hit a solo home run to lead off the ninth inning to give CSUN a 13-12 victory over Chapman College in a California Collegiate Athletic Assn. game played at Northridge.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for Northridge, which improved to 11-15 overall, 4-6 in conference. Chapman falls to 11-18 and 3-4 in conference.

Even with the win, the Matadors still trail Cal State Dominguez Hills and UC Riverside by five games in the conference loss column.

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But their comeback hopes have a start.

“We needed it,” Northridge Coach Terry Craven said. “The way things have been going, we have to take anything like this as a positive sign.”

But it’s still a long road back for the Matadors.

“It’s nice to win one again,” shortstop Gary Williams said. “But we have to kick ourselves in the butt and get something going right now.”

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On Wednesday, Northridge got going only after Chapman opened an 8-2 lead in the fourth inning behind three wind-blown home runs. But with Matador Diamond resembling a wind tunnel more than a baseball field, CSUN was still in the game.

“I’ve played here for two years, and when the wind is blowing like that, the game is never over,” Williams said.

Sure enough, after the teams had combined for six home runs and 29 hits, Northridge had survived.

The comeback from the 8-2 deficit began in the fourth inning. Dan Muzzey walked and Todd Mustin, Jim Vatcher, Williams and Pinsak followed with base hits to cut the Chapman lead to 8-6.

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Chapman’s Robby Glisson came on to relieve Steve Dunn, of Chaminade High, and quickly got a pair of strikeouts. But then Craig Burns reached base on an error, and Muzzey followed with a grand slam to give Northridge a 10-8 lead.

Northridge then fell behind 12-10 before Williams hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to tie the score at 12-12, setting up Pinsak’s blast in the ninth.

Chapman Coach Mike Weathers said the wind changed the complexion of the game, but said his team had opportunities to win.

“We had the same chances, but they put the ball in the air more than we did,” Weathers said. “It was there for us. We just made some mistakes.”

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Craven offered no excuses for the wind.

“You cringe on a day like this just being out here,” he said. “You know balls are going to be misplayed and that routine fly balls are going to be out of here.

“You just have to stay in there because, mentally, it gets frustrating.”

CHAPMAN--Dunn, Glisson (5) and Austin, Flatten (5).

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CS NORTHRIDGE--LaRosa, Estrada (4), Cina (6), Palomarez (6) and Muzzey.

WP--Palomarez (1-1); LP--Glisson (4-4).


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