Northridge Returns To Matador Field for Four-Game Homestand

April 8, 2009

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Tuesday, April 7 • Northridge 7, USC 8

Thursday, April 9 • Northridge vs. #6 Cal State Fullerton • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 3:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

Friday, April 10 • Northridge vs. #6 Cal State Fullerton • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 3:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

Saturday, April 11 • Northridge vs. #6 Cal State Fullerton • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 1:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

ON THE MOUND

Friday • RHP Ryan Juarez (4-2, 5.80)  vs. RHP Daniel Renken (4-2, 2.45)

Saturday • RHP Billy Ott (1-1, 6.43) vs. RHP Noe Ramirez (3-1, 2.51)

Sunday • RHP Justen Gorski (1-1, 3.21) vs. RHP Tyler Pill (5-0, 3.43)

 

Last Time Out

A two-run eighth inning by the Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-18) fueled a late-inning, come-from-behind effort against the USC Trojans (14-14) Tuesday evening, but the Matadors would fall short in the ninth as they suffered an 8-7 defeat at Dedeaux Field to wrap-up their four-game road trip. 

For the fourth consecutive game, the Cal State Northridge Matadors took an early 1-0 lead after their inaugural at-bats. That lead would be short lived, however, as the Trojans put three on the scoreboard in their half of the first inning to take the lead away from the Matadors.

No sooner had Northridge whittled down the Trojan advantage when USC responded with another two runs in their half of the second to actually stretch their original two-run lead to three.

The 5-2 lead for USC shrank to only one run in the Matador's half of the fourth as a leadoff bunt by TS Reed jump-started the comeback effort for Northridge.

What looked to be a double play off the bat of John Parham evolved into the Matador's initial scoring opportunity of the frame as Trojan pitcher Kevin Couture's throwing error allowed Reed to advance to third, and Parham to reach first on a fielder's choice.

Richard Cates' single to left field brought in the first run of the inning, followed by a Dominic D'Anna hit-by-pitch to load the bases for Northridge followed by a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield from the bat of third baseman Jason Dabbs brought home Parham for the second run of the inning, decreasing the USC advantage to 5-4.

That advantage would dissipate the following inning due to a combination of aggressive base-running and Trojan throwing errors. With the score all-squared at five apiece, the Trojans regained the lead once they took to the plate in the bottom of the fifth as a leadoff double was immediately followed by a two-run home run to give the home team the lead once again at 7-5.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans would score another run to increase their lead to an 8-5 margin before Reed scored on a ground-rule double by pinch hitter Todd Eskelin to bring the score to 8-6.

CSUN lit up the scoreboard once again as Eskelin sprinted around the left-half of the diamond to score the second run of the inning on a Dabbs single to left field to keep the Matadors within striking distance with one set of at-bats left in the game.

But the comeback would fall just short as the Matadors were retired in-order to close off their road trip at USC before heading home to open up a four-game homestand against Cal State Fullerton Thursday-Saturday and Cal State Bakersfield on April 14.

Matadors vs. Fullerton

After being ranked as high as #1 earlier in the season by Baseball America, the #6 Cal State Fullerton Titans will travel to Northridge to battle the Matadors in a three-game series from Thursday-Saturday. The first two games will begin at 3:00 p.m., with the series finale taking place at 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon due to Easter Sunday.

Last season, Fullerton took two of three games from the Matadors as Northridge traveled to Goodwin Field in Fullerton, lost the first game by a score of 12-0, rebounded to win the second game 4-2, and ended up losing an offensive slug-fest in game three by a score of 17-15.

In the series finale, the Matadors set a number of (2008) season-high marks in a variety of categories including at-bats (50), hits (22), doubles (6), home runs (3), total bases (37), and a number of individual season-high marks set by John Parham as he scored four runs and finished with five hits, and Chris Hannick who finished the game with nine RBI's, 14 total bases, and three home runs.

Fullerton's two victories over Northridge last season helped them extend their overall series record against the Matadors to 41-15.

Having lost four of their last five games as well, including their game against Loyola Marymount where CSUF lost last Tuesday by a score of 8-3, the Titans will also look to rebound from losing their first home conference series since May 25-27, 2007 during this key conference match-up.

Leading the way for Fullerton is outfielder Josh Fellhauer with his .400 batting average and infielder Christian Colon with his league-leading 33 runs scored. Their team ERA of 3.59 and batting average of .325 are the top and second-ranked figures respectively amongst all Big West schools.

Now You See Him, Now You Don't

After going six games without stealing a base, centerfielder Jeff Pruitt stole four bases in the Matador's three games played at Cal Poly last weekend. Pruitt's two stolen bases last Saturday were sandwiched between two games last Friday and Sunday where the redshirt-sophomore swiped one bag against Mustang pitchers.

The stealing spree continued in the Matador's final game of their road trip as he stole another two bases against the USC Trojans to bring his overall total on the season to a Big West Conference league-leading 19. Even more remarkable about his total, Pruitt has only been caught stealing on one occasion which took place on March 1st at home against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Matador single-season record for most stolen bases in a season is held by Bob Slater when he stole 31 bases during the 1976 season. 

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Fans of 'Ridge baseball should keep their eyes on Todd Eskelin and TS Reed as each have performed well during the Matador's recent set of games.

Eskelin has already gone above and beyond compared to his performance last season; in 2008 the sophomore hit .143, collected four hits, and drove in two runs in the 23 games he participated in.

In the seventeen games he has played in so far this season, Eskelin leads the team with a .425 batting average, more than quadrupled his output of last season with 17 hits, and has already hit four doubles, two triples, and two home runs. Eskelin has hit safely in the last nine games his has participated in, and had slugged a multi-base hit (double, triple, home run) on six of those occasions.

Working on a four-game hit streak of his own, Reed has collected nine hits in CSUN's last four games played during their road trip at Cal Poly and USC. In addition to hitting .428 during the last week, Reed has only committed one error at shortstop in the last 41 balls that have traveled in his direction throughout the last ten games played. 

Eskelin is not the only Matador working on a hitting streak of his own as left-fielder Richard Cates has hit safely in his last seven games, along with catcher John Parham and Reed who both possess a four-game streak, with centerfielder Jeff Pruitt looking to add to a three-game streak of his own this weekend.

Snap Goes The Streak

With their two wins over UCSB in their three-game series last weekend, the Matadors took a weekend series from their beach-dwelling rivals for the first time since 2002. In the process, the Gauchos lost their first series of the 2009 season after giving up the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth in the rubber match on March 29 at Matador Field.

GOTCHA!

With 30 games in the books, the Matadors have picked-off 17 runners this season, an effort that has already matched the amount of runners picked-off in the entire 2004 season, the highest number of pickoffs thrown this decade. Currently leading the team with seven pickoffs, RHP Ryan "China" McCarney has caught more runners from the mound than any other Matador pitcher this decade, and has more pickoffs in his first eight appearances than the team leaders during the last two years combined. 

Season Total     Leader 

2009     17        Ryan McCarney, 7

2008     7         Phillip Hann, 2

2007     10        Joe Rocchio, 4

2006     16       Steve Lemmon, 3

2005     11       Jimmy Brett, 3

2004     17       Jimmy Brett, 2

2003     10       Kyle Jean, 3

2002     10       Andy Davidson, 5

2001     16       Craig Mosher, 5

2000     8        Andy Davidson, 3

A Closer Look At The Numbers

Amongst their Big West Conference counterparts, the Cal State Northridge Matadors rank at or near the top in a variety of statistical categories for all games played up to April 8th. 

CSUN's 310 total hits ranks them third behind the nationally-ranked teams from Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton respectively, and have drawn the second-highest amount of walks this season with 120. The lineup from CSUF is the only one who has been hit-by-a-pitch (58) more that Northridge (54) this season, as the Matadors are also tied for second with Long Beach State and UC Riverside for the second-highest amount of saves, only two behind UC Irvine and their nine saves earned so far this season. Northridge has as pickoffs this season as the next three teams ranked behind them combined (UCSB has six with Long Beach State and UC Irvine tied with five each), and have caught the third-highest amount of runners stealing with 16. 

Both Richard Cates and Ryan Pineda rank within the top-ten in a number of categories, with the former ranked #3 with a .391 batting average, and #1 with the most hits in the conference with 50, with the latter ranked #7 in slugging percentage at .595, #4 with 31 RBI's, #1 with eight home runs, and #4 with 69 total bases. First baseman Dominic D'Anna is ranked #8 with his .592 slugging percentage and 39 hits, and is tied for #3 with 12 doubles on the season. Teammate Jeff Pruitt is tied for the second-highest number of walks drawn  with 19 walks and currently leads the conference with 18 stolen bases. 

RHP Ryan "China" McCarney is ranked #1 with seven runners picked-off, RHP Ryan Juarez is tied for the fourth-highest amount of wins with four, and with RHP Brian Slover is seventh in the conference with three saves.

Ready To Go

Of the 176 runs scored by the Cal State Northridge Matadors this season as of 4/8, nearly 20 percent (18.1%) of their offense has taken place in the first inning this season. CSUN currently has a record of 5-3 when leading after the first inning, but only a 2-7 mark when trailing after the first frame. 

It's A Hit!

On March 28th against UCSB, Ryan Pineda's four-hit performance by  was the 11th time this season that Pineda had a multiple-hit game, and only the second Matador on the season to record four hits in one afternoon. Richard Cates, the team leader in multi-hit games with 12, went 4-for-5 in CSUN's 8-4 victory against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on February 27th; both four-hit occasions have taken place at Matador Field this season. First baseman Dominic D'Anna is the only Matadors with a double-digit total of multiple hit games with 10 so far this season.

Don't Be Late

The Cal State Northridge Matadors have been able to shrink a nine inning game into a four frame affair as they are undefeated when leading after four innings. CSUN is 9-1 on the season whenever they possess the lead after four innings, and hold a 8-2 record when leading after the third.

Three For Free = Thank You!   

Matador baseball fans were given an opportunity to receive free admission to the final game against the UCSB Gauchos March 29th by donating three canned food or non-perishable items for a canned food drive to benefit the Children's Hunger Fund, and responded in-kind by donating nearly a quarter-of-a-ton of food in conjunction with the Matador softball team who provided the same opportunity in their game against Pacific. The Cal State Northridge Athletic Department and baseball team would like to thank all fans who donated to help out children in need. For additional information about the Children's Hunger Fund visit their website at www.chfus.org. 

Two Of A Kind

On March 27th in a game against UC Santa Barbara, right-fielder Ryan Pineda and first baseman Dominic D'Anna hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. This was the second time this season that the Matadors have hit back-to-back home runs, with the first occasion taking place on March 21st in the second game of a doubleheader at home against Columbia from the bats of Justin DeMarco and Todd Eskelin.

2009 Mike Frick Scholarship 

Current Matador sophomore Justin DeMarco will join an elite list of student-athletes from the Cal State Northridge baseball program as the 2009 recipient of the Mike Frick Memorial Scholarship.

DeMarco will receive scholarship funds in Mike's memory from an endowment set up by his parents, Lori and Gary Frick.

Initiated in 2005, the Mike Frick Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to the player that best personifies and embodies Frick's work ethic, leadership skills, and dedication to the game of baseball as chosen by the coaching staff. 

Before being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, Frick pitched three seasons at Cal State Northridge for then-head coach Mike Batesole, and is still the current Matador record-holder in games pitched and total saves with 36 and 9 respectively, both set during the 2001 season. 

DeMarco joins a select list of Matadors that includes Drew Aguailar, Alberto Quintana, Bobby Paschal, and last year's recipient, Phil Hann.

Sweet 16

Before being held without a hit in the Matadors game vs. BYU on March 17th, third baseman Ryan Pineda hit safely in the first sixteen games of the season, a mark that still stands as the longest hitting streak of the season .

Bring Out The Brooms

The Matadors completed the weekend sweep over the visiting Texas Tech Red Raiders as a two-run performance in the bottom of the ninth inning capped off the come-from-behind effort for CSUN. Matador starting pitcher Bryan Harper hand another strong performance on the bump for CSUN as he pitched 6.1 innings, allowed zero earned runs on five hits and struck out four batters for his second straight no-decision. Jimmy Jolicoeur itched 2.2 innings in relief and earned his first victory of the season as he allowed zero runs and only one hit, fanning six of the nine batters faced to help the Matadors earn their first series sweep since 2006 when they traveled to San Luis Obispo and took three straight games against the Cal Poly Mustangs.

Making A Name Both On And Off The Field

Matador third baseman Ryan Pineda was one of two student-athletes recognized by the Big West Conference for their success both on the diamond, and in the classroom. 

Joining Pineda was Matador Softball first baseman Jaclyn Rymer as the duo joined 16 of their peers and were honored as Big West Conference Student Athletes. Pineda burst onto the collegiate baseball scene in his first season with the Matadors, earning 2008 Big West Freshman Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.

Heavily involved in his community, he is a church choir member and volunteer and read to kids at libraries and schools during the summer. A marketing and management major, Pineda posted the team's third-highest batting average, led the team in runs with 38 and tied for the team lead in hits with 72. He one day hopes to play professional baseball or work as an economist in business or government.

Can't Make It To The Ballpark?

Matador baseball fans who are unable to head out to Matador Field or travel with the team on the road can still follow all the action via Gametracker. Gametracker is an online program provided by CSTV and Cal State Northridge which enables fans to watch every Matador baseball game unfold on a play-by-play basis. Visit goMatadors.com and click on the `GT' logo on the schedule of events either on the main page or Baseball home page, and cheer on your Matadors. 

Los Angeles Sports Media Awards

Matador broadcaster Dave Caldwell, the current voice of the Women's Basketball and Baseball teams was honored in the February 27th edition of the Daily News as they ranked the best and worst sports media voices in Los Angeles and the surrounding environs. The paper ranked Caldwell at #10, tied with Al Epstein, voice of the Pepperdine Waves Men's Basketball team for the last 24 years.

Sounds From The Stadium

A select number of Matador baseball games will broadcasted live on IBSU.net. Check out the calendar section on the baseball homepage, and click on the `Live Audio' link to hear all the action from Matador Field. Our two-man broadcast team will consist of Dave Caldwell, current play-by-play voice of the Women's Basketball team, and Cal State Northridge senior Tamer Tartir. 

Matador Players Join Elite List Of Student-Athletes

Academic accolades continue to make their way to Matador Field as infielder Ryan Pineda and second baseman T.S. Reed were named to Ping! Baseball's All-Freshman Team.

The two were chosen out of approximately 9,000 student-athletes to join the prestigious list of award winners. Nearly 100 players from across the country were recognized for their performances last season, collection of talent that represents the top 1% of college baseball players today.

Pineda hit .325 and drove in 32 RBI last season for Head Coach Steve Rousey, numbers that earned him both Big West Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.

He led the team in home runs and doubles with six and 17 respectively, and his 62 hits was the third-highest total amongst all Matadors last season.

Like Pineda, Reed also earned All-Big West honors last season for his solid, all-around performance both at the plate and on the field. Reed started in 44 of the 52 games he played in, hit .311, and collected 27 RBI in his inaugural season with the Matadors.

Reed's talents were not just limited to the plate, as he posed a constant threat to opposing pitchers once he reached base. Responsible for almost one-half of the team's total stolen bases last season, his 16 steals were the tenth-highest collection of bases within the Big West.

To view the complete list of athletes recognized by Ping! Baseball, visit http://www.pingbaseball.com/allping08_freshman.php

Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

Known for competing in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, the Cal State Northridge Matadors have the 24th-toughest overall schedule in the nation, and 38th-toughest non-conference schedule out of the 302 baseball programs competing at the Division I level. 

The 2009 schedule also includes ten games against opposition that is currently ranked in Baseball America's Top-25 Preseason Poll. The Matadors open the season with a three game home-and-home series against #17-ranked Pepperdine before facing the Waves for a fourth and final time this season on April 21st at Matador Field. CSUN also faces #5-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans at home April 9-11, and travels south to battle the #9-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters on May 1-3. 

A complete strength of schedule ranking on all 302 programs can be viewed at: http://www.boydsworld.com/baseball/sos/sos2009.htm 

 

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