The Horned Frog baseball team defeated Cal State Northridge by a score of 6-2 Friday night at Lupton Stadium, extending the team’s winning streak to six games as they enter the final weeks of the regular season.
Frogs second-baseman Garret Cain hit a solo home-run, his first homer of the season, and left fielder Boomer White recorded two hits in the victory over the Matadors. White has now reached base safely for 15 consecutive games.
Starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan left the game in the third inning with an apparent stiffness in his shoulder. However, the injury won’t force Finnegan to sit out for any upcoming games, according to head coach Jim Schlossnagle.
“Brandon has been evaluated and he shouldn’t miss a start,” Schlossnagle said. “His exit certainly scared everyone here in the ballpark, but he passed every test performed on him and he is expected to undergo further evaluation on Monday or Tuesday.”
Finnegan’s departure gave the Frogs’ bullpen an opportunity to shine the rest of the night. Trey Teakell relieved Finnegan for 2.1 innings, surrendering five hits and one run. Alex Young pitched the final four innings of the game. Young surrendered four hits and one run.
“Teakell stressed the bullpen but battled through it and did a great job,” Schlossnagle said. “We got ourselves in trouble at times but the infielders really came through.”
Several errors and bases-loaded jams gave the Frogs multiple scares during the evening, but they were able to limit the damage each time. Third baseman Garret Odell made a spectacular throw to home plate during a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, getting the force out and preventing what would have been a game-tying run.
“There was one out so I was reading whichever way the ball takes me,” Odell said. “If it’s a slow chopper, I’m going home. They had a fast runner on third base but I had a great stretch and we got him. I’m not sure if I could throw the ball harder than that.”
The team highlighted the fact that they have been recovering from mistakes and winning games even when they haven’t had their best outings, attributing it to their improvement from last’s years disappointing season in which they had their lowest winning percentage since 2002.
“It’s always great to win when you don’t always play your best,” said Schlossnagle. “Last year we would have lost this game. Tonight’s win is the sign of a great team.”
The Frogs were able to capitalize on several errors made by the Matadors, including a passed ball that allowed Boomer White to score in the first inning and then on an errant throw by Northridge right-fielder Chester Pak in the seventh inning that ended up in the Frogs’ dugout, allowing two more runs to score.
“After a meeting we had about a month ago we turned the tables,” said Young. “We are lights out right now. We always find a way out and that’s why we are successful.”
The victory propelled the frogs to 28-13 this season and 13-1 in the month of April, their best single-month record since 2011. The team will return to action Saturday when the play the Matadors in the second game of a three game series. Game time is set for 4 p.m.