Cook Socks It to Cal Poly SLO : College baseball: His double in seventh helps Northridge to 5-3 victory.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Keyaan Cook used the term ugly. How appropriate.

Cook showed up for Cal State Northridge's game Tuesday wearing his socks a la Delino DeShields.

Pants high. Socks low. His reasoning: At-bats high. Knocks low.

"Dave Winfield wears his socks like this when he's going bad," Cook said. "When he's playing ugly."

Cook's bloop double to right field in the seventh inning also was an ugly-finder, but it was fetching enough to help Northridge to a 5-3 victory in a nonconference game against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at Matador Field.

"A win is a win is a win," Northridge Coach Bill Kernen said. "That's Shakespeare, I believe."

For Cal Poly, it was a Comedy of Errors. Northridge (25-26) opened 1994 with three losses to Cal Poly (28-21) and has committed a slew of homely plays since.

Tuesday, everything went their way, partly because of Mustang right fielder Kevin Tucker. Everything came his way. When it's crunch time, balls always seem to find the shaky fielders. Ugly-finders, in dugout lingo.

With the score tied, 3-3, in the seventh, Eric Gillespie singled to right and Tucker kicked the ball, allowing Gillespie to take second. Joey Arnold singled to put runners on the corners.

After Jason Shanahan smashed a single to center to drive home Gillespie for a 4-3 lead, Cook sent an opposite-field looper down the line in right. Tucker, a senior, wrestled with a couple of balls earlier, but neither resulted in an error before Gillespie's hit.

This time, Tucker froze, took a step forward, then bolted to his left and Cook's blooper landed at his feet to give Northridge a 5-3 lead.

"He had a tough day out there," Arnold said. "He was lost. But that outfield is brutal. There's holes, lumps, places with no grass, weeds. . . ."

Tucker's major? Horticulture, but it didn't help.

Northridge entered the game with one victory in seven games. The threadbare pitching staff, however, held up against Cal Poly, ranked 23rd in NCAA Division II. Jason Vargas allowed one run in five innings and Aaron D'Aoust pitched two innings to record the Matadors' second save in 51 games.

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