Everyone will need to set their clocks ahead one hour this Sunday morning in observance of Daylight Savings. Make sure you make the necessary adjustments on your clocks before you go to sleep this Saturday night so you are not late for the Matador-Lions series finale at Matador Field. Sunday's first pitch is 1 p.m. PDT.
All three games this weekend will be available on GameTracker for those Matador baseball fans who cannot make it out to the ballpark to witness all the action in-person. Fans can also listen to all three games on internet radio via Loyola Marymount's internet radio feed. Both options are available at www.GoMatadors.com.
I'VE GOTTA SAY IT WAS A GOOD DAY
During last week's action against Connecticut and ECU, two Matadors either set or tied their career highs wil their respective performances. Third baseman Justin DeMarco
added another four hits to his total against Connecticut on March 7th, setting a new career high. Teammate Billy Ott
was another Matador who performed solidly; againt ECU the right-hander fanned seven Pirates to tie his career high.
MAKING THE MOST OF A FIRST IMPRESSION
Last Sunday in the Matadors' game vs. Connecticut, freshman catcher Marty Bowen
definitely made a strong first impression on the CSUN faithful as he not only made his first career start, but also hit a home run in the same game. Onyl two individuals during the Steve Rousey
era have earned this accomplishment as former outfielder Brett Blumenthal hit a home run in his first career start as a Matador when CSUN traveled to Tempe to face Arizona State on January 27, 2006.
BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For his efforts at #18 San Diego and vs. Pepperdine during the last week of February, Cal State Northridge's Ryan Pineda
and Long Beach State's Steve Tinoco earned Big West Baseball Co-Field Player of the Week honors.
Pineda led the Matadors to three wins against West Coast Conference teams by hitting 6-for-15 (.400) with four runs scored and three RBI's. He added four stolen bases in the three contests.
His biggest hit was a two-run walk-off home run in Sunday's 7-6 come-from-behind win over Pepperdine as the Las Vegas, Nev. native went 3-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases in the game.
Tinoco had a huge effort at the dish in three games, helping Long Beach State to a 2-1 record. He hit 8-for-10 (.800) with three runs scored and five RBI's. Tinoco had six hits in eight at bats in a road sweep of Arizona as the 49ers won 8-7 and 10-3.
ALL EYES ARE ON HIM NOW
Even though the 2010 season is only a few weeks old, junior transfer Dominic Piazza
has already made a deep impression as he has been nominated to the official watch list for the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza.
Organized and announced by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission earlier this week, fifty-three catchers were nominated for the award given to the top Division-I collegiate catcher. Additional candidates can be added to the list until May 5, 2010 when the watch list will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010.
At that time, ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of the regular season in May for a vote to determine three finalists; the trio will be announced on June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series, all finalists will then travel to Wichita and attend the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010 where the winner will be announced.
Named after the former Cincinnati Reds catcher, he was the first ballplayer to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back to protect it from foul tips.
Bench's career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast.
SUCCEEDING WHEN IT COUNTS
With his performance on the road against #18 San Diego, and in two games against Pepperdine, third baseman Justin DeMarco
becomes the second Matador in as many days to receive accolades as the junior was named to CollegeBaseball360.com's Week #2 Primetime Player of the Week Honor Roll.
A website dedicated solely to college baseball and the performances taking place within, CollegeBaseball360.com compiled its list of clutch performers from the first full week of collegiate baseball action that took place last week.
DeMarco batted 5-for-12, hit a double, drove in two RBI's, drew three walks, stole a base, and scored three times in CSUN's victories over #18 San Diego and Pepperdine. Not found in the box scores was the third baseman's performance at the plate when leading-off the inning during his team's at-bats. On six occasions last week DeMarco was the first Matador batter in his team's respective half of the inning and found a way to reach base everytime.
In San Diego, the junior went 3-for-4, and was an instrumental contributor in CSUN's first of three come-from-behind victories that week.
DeMarco was one of four third baseman of the 21 honorees selected, and one of eight individuals from California to receive recognition.
All six victories that the Matadors have earned this season have been come-from-behind efforts. Last season, the Matadors only won ten games out of the 33 occasions when their opponent scored first. This season, CSUN is batting a perfect 1.000 as they erased a four run deficit to defeat Bethune-Cookman, spotted San Diego one run before scoring seven unanswered runs of their own to win on the road, and enabled Pepperdine to score first in both of their games played at Matador Field last week.
After Pepperdine took an early led, CSUN battled back and scored the decisive run in the bottom of the twelfth inning last Friday. In Sunday's game, Northridge erased a four run Wave lead by scoring three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings before Ryan Pineda
sent the Matador fans home with a smile on their face thanks to his walk-off home run.
The last two victories took place at the end of a six-game homestand against Connecticut and East Carolina when the men in red fell behind early, but battled back to defeat each team bya score of 5-3.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS OFF THE FIELD AS WELL
With 18 student-athletes earning a spot on the 2009 Fall semester Honor Roll, the Cal State Northridge Baseball team compiled one of the most successful team GPA's in the history of the program.
Eighteen ballplayers earned a 3.0 average (GPA) or higher, with five individuals finishing the semester with a 3.5 average or above.
Senior RHP Bryan Longpre
finished with the highest grades on the team as he earned "A's" in all five of his classes. Even though Longpre contracted the swine flu at one point in the semester, the senior refused to let his athletic or academic endeavors decline. Not only was Longpre proactive in his efforts to maintain the highest grades possible, but he also pitched in each and every one of his scheduled appearances during the recent fall workouts.
Fall RBI leader Ryan Pineda
, batting champion Dominic Piazza
(.408), defensive most valuable player Dominic D'Anna
, ERA champion Billy Ott
(1.20 ERA), and strike-throwing champion Chris DeBoo
exhibited the necessary leadership skills both on and off the diamond as each complimented their on-field awards and accomplishments with a spot on the honor roll as well.
Matadors who earned a spot on the Fall, 2009 Honor Roll include Marty Bowen
(C, Fr.), Patrick Castillo
(C, Jr.), Dominic D'Anna
(1B, Jr.), Chris DeBoo
(RHP, So.), Todd Eskelin
(OF, Jr.), Jimmy Jolicoeur
(RHP, Sr.), Ryan Juarez
(RHP, Jr.), Bryan Longpre
(RHP, Sr.), Alex Muren
(RHP/OF, Fr.), Billy Ott
(RHP, Sr.), Dominic Piazza
(C, Jr.), Ryan Pineda
(INF, Jr.), TS Reed
(INF, Jr.), Nate Ring
(UTL, Fr.), Matt Sanchez
(SS, Fr.), Billy Swanson
(OF, Sr.), and Paul Tremlin
THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME?
Five members of the 2010 team - Ridge Carpenter
(Honolulu, Hawaii), Brad Decater
(Sammamish, Wash.), Dominic Piazza
(Scottsdale, Ariz.), Ryan Pineda
(Las Vegas, Nev.), and Nathan Ring
(Litchfield, Ariz.) - comprise the group of student-athletes who are not from California. Shawn Wilyman
(Regina, Sask.) is the only student-athlete who is from another country as he moved from Canada to the United States to compete at the collegiate level.
TAKE ANOTHER LOOK
Junior outfielder Todd Eskelin
recently grew out his hair for donation to the Locks of Love organization. A non-profit charity that creates hairpieces for financially challenged children ages 18 and below, Eskelin donated his hair as a show of support to both his mother and stepmother; the former is currently undergoing treatment in her battle with breast cancer while the latter was victorious in her battle against the same disease.
After growing out his hair throughout the 2009 season, Eskelin reached the predetermined length needed to donate, and received his first haircut in months this past summer. Additional information about Eskelin's story is available by clicking here
SO HOW WAS YOUR SUMMER?
This past summer, a number of Matadors continued to hone their skills as members of a variety of teams this summer. In addition to infielder Ryan Pineda
, who spent his vacation competing in the prestigious Cape Cod League on the roster of the Wareham Gatemen, two members of the pitching staff pieced together a successful summer of their own.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Chris DeBoo
was named the Horizon Air Summer Series Pitcher of the Year in 2008 for his performance on the mound for the Humboldt Crabs, becoming the second consecutive pitcher from the same team to receive the award. DeBoo was also one of two Crabs named to the fifteen-member Horizon Air First Team.
Helping his team earn the inaugural West Coast League (WCL) Tri-State title, DeBoo pitched a total of 45.1 innings in the 16 games he appeared in, finished with an unblemished 9-0 record, and possessed a miniscule 0.60 ERA, the lowest average of any pitcher in the WCL. DeBoo allowed four runs to his opposition throughout the entire summer, struckout 27 batters, walked only six batters, and earned two saves during his time in Humboldt.
Senior right-handed pitcher Bryan Longpre
was a member of the Palm Springs Power Southern California baseball team this past summer and was chosen to participate in the Collegiate Baseball Association All-Star team. In that game, he pitched one inning and struck out two batters to eradicate a potential Pacific West scoring opportunity to earn the win.
During his tenure as a member of the Power pitching staff, he was the only one to finish with a 0.00 ERA (min. three innings pitched), finished with a perfect 3-0 record, and led the team with four saves. In his 22 games and 30 innings pitched, Longpre struckout 33 batters, allowed only 13 hits and seven walks.
MATADOR BASEBALL PINCH-HITS FOR HAITI
Even with a daily schedule full of classes, workouts, and practices the student-athletes and coaching staff of the Cal State Northridge realize the importance of paying it forward.
In conjunction with the Red Cross, student-athletes and coaches from college baseball teams have pledged to donate at least one dollar to assist the efforts of volunteers and professionals in Haiti who are assisting with the relief and rebuilding efforts. Every Matador has signed up with the Red Cross and received a unique identification number that was e-mailed to any and every student-athlete, family member, friend and student known. Cal State Northridge is one of four schools from California who are participating in this program.
Those individuals, in-turn, then had an opportunity to donate additional funds in any amount to the Red Cross.
Every NCAA Division-I, II, and III baseball team has been contacted about the "Pinch Hit for Haiti" program; while individual donations may not be grand in scale, when combined with the efforts of every other baseball student-athlete and coach from every school across the nation, the overall amount of funds raised is limitless.
Originally organized by the Elon University baseball team, baseball student-athletes from that school wanted to find a way to help out the residents of Haiti despite being confined to his campus due to preseason workouts.
EIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH
The Cal State Northridge baseball team received 19 votes for an eighth place finish in the 2010 Preseason Coaches Poll as released by the Big West Conference.
With seven first-place votes and 79 overall points, Cal State Fullerton was predicted to finish atop the Big West standings in 2010 as chosen by the nine head coaches in the conference.
UC Irvine received the other two first-place (71 total points) votes and finished in second place behind Fullerton with Cal Poly (60 points), Long Beach State (50 points), and UC Riverside (48 points) rounding out the top half of the poll.
The top three teams in this year's poll were also the three conference representatives in the NCAA post-season tournament in '09.
Finishing ahead of Northridge were UC Santa Barbara (36 points) and Pacific (30) in sixth and seventh place respectively, with UC Davis (12 points) finishing in ninth place.