Jeff Goodale did not have to look at the professional scouts wielding radar guns in the stands at the Riverside Sports Complex to know that Cal State Northridge pitcher Fili Martinez can be difficult to handle.
“He’s tough,” said Goodale, UC Riverside’s left fielder. “Basically, you have to look for one pitch, and if you get it, you better take advantage of it. Because if you don’t, he’s going to beat you.”
Goodale got the pitch he was looking for in the sixth inning of Saturday night’s California Collegiate Athletic Assn. game.
A fastball that Martinez intended for the outside part of the plate instead found the middle portion and Goodale deposited it over the left-field fence for a solo home run that proved to be the game-winning hit in Riverside’s 3-1 victory over Northridge.
Riverside is 9-19 overall and 5-7 in conference play. Northridge is 13-7, 5-7.
Martinez, a senior left-hander, allowed six hits, struck out nine and walked only one in dropping to 1-4.
The pitching spotlight belonged to Riverside’s Bill Jordan, who improved to 5-1 with a seven-hit, seven-strikeout, no-walks performance.
Jordan, a freshman right-hander from Norte Vista High in Riverside, pitched his first complete game and never appeared frazzled against a Matador team whose only other game under the lights was an 8-6 win over Cal State Los Angeles in the CCAA opener at Cal State L. A. on Feb. 24.
Northridge scored the game’s first run in the fifth when J. D. Haendiges singled up the middle to drive in Greg Shockey who had led off the inning with a bloop double down the left-field line.
Martinez, who pitched 10 innings against Riverside on Tuesday when the teams played to a 5-5, 11-inning tie--a game that will be replayed--issued his lone walk to Mark Saugstad to lead off the home half of the fifth and Saugstad moved to second on a bunt by John Holmes.
Brian Carricaburu followed with the Highlanders’ first hit off Martinez, a double into the gap in left-center field that drove in Saugstad and tied the score, 1-1.
“As soon as we got runs on the board I got pumped up,” Jordan said. “I wanted to get these guys.”
Riverside took the lead in the sixth when Goodale hit his sixth home run of the season.
The Highlanders added an insurance run in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Goodale and Logan Ostrander. Northridge threatened in the eighth when Ted Weisfuss singled with one out and Craig Clayton followed with an infield single.
Jordan, however, forced Clayton at second on a comebacker by Chae-Ho Chong, then induced Rusty McLain to ground out to first to end the inning and the Matadors’ final threat.
“That was a great pitching performance by Jordan,” Northridge Coach Bill Kernen said. “There’s some things that you do in those situations to try to get some momentum going and get some people on base besides just swinging the bat. We weren’t able to do those things.”
Northridge will play a nonconference game against University of the Pacific on Wednesday at Matador Field. The Matadors will resume conference play with a two-game series at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Friday.