Northridge Gains Share of Title, 9-7
As if it hadn’t seen enough of him already, Cal State Los Angeles got a frustratingly long look at Scott Sharts on Saturday night at the Golden Eagles home field.
Sharts, who hit three home runs for Cal State Northridge in the first two games of the series against Los Angeles, was shown an appropriate measure of respect in the regular-season finale for both teams.
He was walked in three of his five plate appearances.
Which is not to say he didn’t find a way to cause extensive damage.
The power-hitting first baseman-turned-pitcher caged the Golden Eagles in the early going then withstood a late-inning rally to help Northridge claim a 9-7 victory and a share of the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championship.
The Matadors (34-20, 21-9 in CCAA play), advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs beginning Friday at a site to be determined.
Northridge received the CCAA’s automatic postseason berth by virtue of its 3-2 edge over co-champion UC Riverside in head-to-head competition.
This is only the second time since 1984, when the Matadors won the Division II title, that CSUN has made the playoffs. In 1987, Northridge was eliminated by Cal State Dominguez Hills in the West regional.
The Matadors won all five games this season against Los Angeles, which finished 19-36, 9-21 in CCAA games.
Sharts cruised in the early going but struggled to finish, allowing three runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Kevin Day tripled in Los Angeles’ first run of the inning, then scored on a single by Terry Reichert.
Reichert then scored on a triple by Ed Velazquez before Sharts retired pinch-hitter Greg Reid on a fly to right.
Sharts (4-2) struck out eight, walked three and required 146 pitches for his third complete game of the season. The 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed five extra-base hits and three infield singles.
Northridge scored twice without a hit in the first inning, added two runs on a home run by Craig Clayton (No. 11) in the second, then took command with a four-run third.
Freshman Scott Richardson delivered the key hit of the inning while avoiding the embarrassment of striking out in three consecutive at-bats.
Richardson came up with the bases loaded and, with the runners going on a full-count pitch, lined a three-run single up the middle.
Northridge led, 8-1, after three innings and Sharts had allowed only two hits--both to Kwodwo Brannigan. Brannigan led off the first inning with a home run.
Northridge pushed over its final run in the sixth when a single by Mike Solar scored Sharts.