Matadors Welcome Cal Poly for First Conference Home Series

April 1, 2008

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THIS WEEK IN NORTHRIDGE BASEBALL

Fri., Apr 4 • Cal Poly at Northridge • Matador Field • 3 p.m.
Sat., Apr 5 • Cal Poly at Northridge • Matador field • 1 p.m.
Sun., Apr 6 • Cal Poly at Northridge • Matador field • 1 p.m.

MATADORS SWEPT AT UCSB The Matadors got a taste of the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a non-conference loss earlier this season at Matador Field. The loss proved a harbinger of the upcoming Big West series between the rivals.

In Friday's game one, Jimmy Jolicoeur got the start and put the Matadors into a deep hole. Jolicoeur got roughed up for five runs in the first frame and was chased after just three and one third innings of work, having surrendered eight runs on ten hits. The bullpen did an excellent job, with Paul Tremlin, P.J. Rousey, and Ryan Juarez combining for four and two thirds innings of four hit, one-run baseball. Tremlin carried the bulk of the load, tossing 3.1 innings and scattering a pair of hits.

The Northridge offense found its gear in the fourth with a couple of scores and adding another in the fifth. A run in the seventh and another in the ninth closed the book on a 9-5 Gaucho win.

Game two played out as a see-saw battle with both sides committing costly fielding and other mental miscues. Northridge held a 5-1 advantage after three and fought to keep the Gauchos at bay, but the home team clawed back into a 7-5 lead. Despite losing the lead, the Matadors got back into the game when Richard Cates tied the game with an RBI bunt single. UCSB, however, scored in the bottom of the ninth to take the win.

In game three, Northridge scored in the top of the first but from then on, the Matadors were behind the eight ball. The Gauchos opened an 8-1 lead and held off a Matador comeback bid, snuffing out a ninth-inning rally to win 10-6.

PARHAM MAKES IT FIVE John Parham knocked his fifth home run of the season over the weekend, unloading a solo shot in the ninth inning of Friday's 9-5 Northridge loss. The dinger expanded on the junior catcher's already-career year. Parham now has five homers and 21 RBI to go with a .395 batting average and five doubles. His RBI total leaves him just four RBI short of his previous season-high, set in his sophomore 2007 campaign. He has also surpassed his previous career-best with 11 walks and 22 runs scored, and is threatening previous career-bests of .243 (batting average) and 35 hits.

DOMINIC AFFECT Dominic D'Anna notched his first career home run on Sunday, making him the fourth Northridge freshman to go yard this season. D'Anna homered in just his seventh career appearance and in just his 13th at bat, making him the quickest Northridge freshman to homer this season, in terms of at bats.

RECORD WATCH Freshman infielder Justin DeMarco is narrowing on a Northridge record. With his eighth sacrifice bunt of the year, DeMarco rose into a tie for eighth on the all-time single-season list and is trailing the all-time mark by three. If he can attain the record, he would be the first Matador to attain an offensive record outright since 1997, when Adam Kennedy broke Northridge records for batting average, hits, runs, doubles, and runs batted in in a single season.

PITCHING POINTS Paul Tremlin gets his first start of the season Friday after posting an impressive start to his freshman campaign. Tremlin has, despite an inflated ERA, been a reliable option for head coach Steve Rousey. Tremlin is also the hot hand, having tossed a 3.1 inning relief gem over the weekend and throwing a hitless inning against Loyola Marymount in the previous series.

On Saturday, Phil Hann will climb the bump in hopes of continuing a nice start of his own. Hann has an unimpressive record (1-3) but owns a 3.47 ERA that is tops among Northridge starters. Hann has given up ten hits in each of his last two starts but is just two starts removed from a 5.2 inning, no earned run performance vs. Southern Miss and just fours starts removed from his six-inning 11 strikeout performance against LaSalle.

Davin Tate gets the Sunday nod after question marks following a minor injury resulting from being struck by a line drive against Loyola Marymount kept him out of the starting rotation against UCSB.

SERIES SUMMARY Northridge and Cal Poly will be facing off for the 197th, 198th, and 199th times this weekend, easily the most between Northridge and any other opponent (CSUN has faced UC Riverside 179 times, the next-most). Northridge owns the all-time record, 108-88, and last season was dispatched to the tune of a 2-1 Cal Poly series win. Northridge took the series opener and took the Mustangs into the 11th inning on Saturday only to lose 9-8. Cal Poly took a narrow two-run win on Sunday to claim the series win.

SCOUTING THE... Mustangs: Cal Poly enters this weekend set after dropping two of three to UC Irvine over the weekend at their own Baggett Stadium. They currently sit at 9-14 overall after playing a tough non-conference schedule.

Luke Yoder is the unquestioned offensive leader, topping the Mustangs with a .381 batting average and six home runs. Yoder is one of three Mustangs with 20+ RBI, joining Logan Schaefer (23) and Brent Morel (24). Each of their top five hitters are holdovers from their 2007 squad.

Pitchers Eric Massingham, Derrick Saito, and Steve Fischback comprise the weekend rotation. Massingham made a start vs. Northridge in 2007 and did not fare well, surrendering four runs on four hits in just 1.2 innings of work. Saito, a relief ace in `07, surrendered four runs (one earned) in five innings of relief but logged nine strikeouts as well. Fischback was on the squad but did not appear against the Matadors.