NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge Matadors continue their season-long 10-game road trip this week with six games against teams from the Pac-12 Conference. Northridge will first head to Pullman, Wash. for a four-game series at Washington State. The Matadors will then turn right around and travel down to Eugene, Ore. for two games against the No. 6 Oregon Ducks. By the end of the week, Northridge will have played six games in six days. All six games will feature live stats coverage and the two games at Oregon will also have a video broadcast online through the Pac-12 Network.
GAMES #8-11: Northridge Matadors (4-3) at Washington State Cougars (5-2)
Thursday, February 28 - 6 p.m.
Friday, March 1 - 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 - 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 3 - 12 p.m.
Bailey-Brayton Field (3,500) - Pullman, Wash.
Live Stats: Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
In-game Twitter Updates: @CSUNBaseball
GAMES #12-13: Northridge Matadors at No. 6 Oregon Ducks (6-1)
Monday, March 4 - 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5 - 12 p.m.
PK Park (4,000) - Eugene, Ore.
Live Stats: Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
Audio: Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
Video: Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
In-game Twitter Updates: @CSUNBaseball
Follow Your Matadors Online
All home games this season will include live stats coverage and selected contests will also feature a free audio broadcast on GoMatadors.com. For road games, related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the game on the baseball schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) and the baseball-specific feed (@CSUNBaseball) for updates of games in progress and news and notes throughout the week.
Cal State Northridge played a split three-game series against the USC Trojans last weekend, with two games at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles and the other at Matador Field. Northridge opened the series with an extra-inning victory on Friday night before falling in 10 innings on Saturday and dropping Sunday's finale.
On Friday, centerfielder Cal Vogelsang drove in a career-high four runs, including two in the seventh inning that helped the Matadors rally to tie the game at 4-4. He brought home two more in a five-run 11th inning to give CSUN the 9-4 win on the road. Joshua Goossen-Brown pitched three scoreless innings in relief in his first appearance on the mound since 2011 to get the win.
The Matadors rallied again to force extra innings on Saturday, erasing a four-run deficit with four in the seventh. The team scored a run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game before falling in 10. Northridge also dropped the finale at USC 4-2, but came away from the weekend with its first win against a Pac-12 team since 2009.
A Closer Look at Washington State
The Washington State Cougars enter the week with a record of 5-2 after completing a four-game sweep against Eastern Michigan last weekend in Pullman, Wash. In fact, after dropping the first two games of the season at Western Carolina, the Cougars have rattled off five straight victories. The Matadors are 8-11 all-time against WSU but are 2-1 on the road in the series, taking two out of three back in 2000.
Nick Tanielu leads the way for the Cougars among regular starters with a .467 batting average through seven games. He leads the team with four doubles and two triples and also has a home run. His nine RBIs tie for first on the squad and his 11 runs scored are three more than anyone else on the team. Yale Rosen is second with a .407 batting average and is one of three players with two home runs on the year.
Eight Cougars have at least a .300 batting average and the team as a whole is hitting at an even .300 clip. They have outscored opponents 53-40 this year and have collected nine stolen bases in 14 attempts.
Left-handed pitcher Joe Pistorese is slated to get the start on Thursday night for Washington State. He is 0-1 on the year after two starts but has a 0.00 ERA. None of his seven runs allowed have been earned and he has recorded six strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched. Right-handers Tanner Chleborad (1-1, 9.28 ERA), Scott Simon (0-0, 2.45 ERA) and Kyle Swannack (1-0, 1.93 ERA) are scheduled to start this weekend for the Cougars as well.
A Closer Look at No. 6 Oregon
The sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks are currently 6-1 on the season. They opened the year with a four-game sweep at Hawai'i before taking two out of three at home last weekend against Loyola Marymount. This week, the Ducks host Portland and travel to Cal State Fullerton for three games before welcoming the Matadors to PK Park on Monday and Tuesday.
The Ducks are coming off of their best season in program history after advancing to the Super Regionals for the first time. They are predicted to finish fourth in the Pac-12 this year behind Stanford, UCLA and Oregon State.
Currently, J.J. Altobelli leads the charge for the Ducks with a .474 batting average (9-for-19). He has a pair of doubles, four RBIs and seven runs scored. Ryon Healy already has a Pac-12 Player of the Week award under his belt and is hitting .360 with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs.
Scott Heineman is the third regular Oregon starter hitting above .300 with a .308 average in seven starts. Brett Thomas is batting .179 but is second on the team with five runs batted in.
Jimmie Sherfy, a junior relief pitcher, is on the Golden Spikes Award watch list after winning All-America honors from multiple organizations last season. Sherfy has allowed just one unearned run in five appearances so far in 2013 and has four strikeouts in five innings of work.
Matadors in the Big West Top Ten
After going 4-3 to open up the 2013 season, the Cal State Northridge Matadors rank among the statistical leaders in the Big West Conference's second standings release of the year. Northridge currently has the fourth highest team batting average (.282) and is sixth with a .361 slugging percentage. The Matadors rank fourth in the conference with 43 runs scored and are seventh with 64 hits recorded. Northridge has the fourth-best on base percentage (.375) and is fifth with 35 runs batted in. The Matadors are third in the league with 12 doubles and are tied for fourth with two home runs.
Defensively, Cal State Northridge's pitching staff has propelled the team to rankings among the top half in multiple categories. Northridge has the sixth-brest opposing batting average (.268) and is fifth in strikeouts with 52. The pitching staff is third in the league with 20 strikeouts looking and is tied for fifth with four wins. The Matadors rank fifth for hits allowed with 62 and are fourth with 28 runs allowed this season.
Individually, Kyle Attl ranks third in the Big West with a .474 batting average and is second with a .583 on base percentage. Miles Williams is tied for seventh with seven RBIs and is third with a home run. Cal Vogelsang is fourth with three sac bunts and first with two sac flies. He also is tied for fifth with eight RBIs and three doubles. Nathan Ring is currently the league leader with eight walks drawn. Ring is also sixth in the Big West with a .516 on base percentage. Joshua Goossen-Brown is second in the league with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 63 chances.
Pitcher Jerry Keel is tied for seventh with four strikeouts looking while teammate Calvin Copping is tied for second in that category with six. All stats are current as of February 25.
That's Gold, Jerry! Gold!
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Jerry Keel is off to a quick start for the Matadors in 2013. Keel pitched seven shutout innings on Opening Day in a 5-0 win over Saint Mary's. He set a career high with seven strikeouts and did not allow a walk. Keel, the reigning Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year, conceded just four hits all afternoon. Keel currently has a 3.00 ERA with eight strikeouts in 12.0 innings pitched.
Big Williams Style
Junior Miles Williams had a productive weekend at the plate for the Matadors in the season-opening series against Saint Mary's. In addition to hitting a home run, Williams doubled, scored twice and drove in five runs. The team's leading returner in terms of RBIs and home runs, Williams was also hit by a pitch three times to help Northridge get base runners in key situations. He drove in four runs across the two games of a doubleheader on Saturday and now has eight home runs and 37 RBIs in his career for CSUN.
Senior Cal Vogelsang is proving that he is a multi-tool player that will help the Matadors on both sides of the ball this season. After leading the team in hits last season, Vogelsang is among the leaders on the team after the first two series of the year. He has a hit in six of the seven games this year and leads the team with three doubles. In addition to getting himself aboard, he has helped CSUN runners ahead of him advance and score. In the four games against Saint Mary's, Vogelsang recorded two sacrifice bunts and two sac flies. He also stole a base, was hit by a pitch and walked once. He scored four runs in the opening series to lead all Matadors and drove in a career-high four runs in Northridge's extra-inning victory at USC on February 22.
Attl Do, Kyle, Attl Do
Senior shortstop Kyle Attl, the infield leader for CSUN, helped the team win on Opening Day against Saint Mary's with both his bat and glove. Attl recorded three defensive assists in the game and went 1-for-3 with a double and run scored as the Matadors won 5-0. He went 1-for-1 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader with a run scored, then went 2-for-4 with a run in the 8-3 victory in Sunday's finale. He is currently second on the team with a .474 batting average through seven games. Attl tied for second on the team in runs scored last season and now has 47 in his career at Northridge. He is currently third in the Big West in batting average and is second with a .583 on base percentage.
Breathing a Simis of Relief
Senior Tommy Simis started a pair of games at second base during the opening series against Saint Mary's and produced offensively for the Matadors. In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Simis went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double and followed it up with a 2-for-4 outing with a double and an RBI in the second game. He is tied for second on the team with two doubles through the first seven games and now has 17 in his career. He also went 2-for-4 with a run scored in a home loss to USC.
Not A One-Man WolfPak
Sophomore Chester Pak is transitioning nicely into his role as the team's starting right fielder and leadoff hitter. In the Opening Day win over Saint Mary's, Pak went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double, run scored and two RBIs. Late in the game, Pak also made a spectacular jumping catch to keep the hitter from certain extra bases. He had a hit in all four games of the opening series, one of two players on the team to do so. Pak recorded at least one RBI in all but one game of the series and also scored three runs and had a stolen base.
The Goose is Back
Junior Joshua Goossen-Brown put any concerns to rest with his performance in CSUN's opening-weekend series against Saint Mary's. After missing the 2012 season with an injury, Goossen-Brown returned to his familiar spot at first base and turned in a pair of three-hit games at the plate in the series. In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, he went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Then, in the series finale on Sunday, he again went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored in an 8-3 victory. Goossen-Brown matched career-highs for RBIs and hits in a game both days. In the win at USC, Goossen-Brown pitched 3.0 scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win and also drove in two runs and scored a pair of his own as the Matadors scored eight unanswered runs to win 9-4 in 11 innings. He now has 16 RBIs and 23 runs scored in his career at CSUN.
The Matadors have put together another challenging schedule and will face four programs that competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. A grueling non-conference slate includes series against cross-town rivals USC and UCLA as well as a four-game set at home against Utah Valley, a team that won 47 games and went 28-0 in conference play last season. Northridge will endure an early-season road trip that sees the team playing six games in six days at Washington State and Oregon before a day off and a weekend series at Sacramento State. The Matadors will play a home-and-home series against San Diego and will host Washington. Northridge's Big West season gets underway on March 28 at Long Beach State. Five opponents (UCLA, Oregon, San Diego, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine) are ranked in the Preseason Top 30 by Collegiate Baseball. Northridge ranked 17th for strength of schedule by Boyd's World and also has the eighth toughest non-conference schedule.