June 5, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge third basemen Ryan Pineda added Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Honors to his list of postseason accolades, Collegiate Baseball announced Wednesday. The Big West Freshman of the Year finished 2008 with a .325 batting average, 17 doubles and 32 RBIs and also was named an All-Big West Honorable Mention.
Originally from Las Vegas, Nev., Pineda appeared in 54 games for the Matadors in his rookie season, making 44 starts at third base. He is the first Matador to claim Big West Freshman of the Year honor since Northridge joined the Big West in 2001 and is the Matadors' first All-American since Eric Verbryke, who received the distinction following the 2002 season.
Northridge head coach Steve Rousey added his congratulations for Pineda's dynamic rookie campaign.
"Ryan quickly established himself as not only a top freshmen, but as one of the top offensive and defensive players in Division I baseball," said Rousey. "The future bodes well for Matador Baseball as Ryan drew support from 24 freshmen and sophomore teammates."
Part of one of the largest freshmen classes in Matador baseball history and the biggest in the nation in 2008, Pineda added two triples, six home runs and 38 runs to his final stat line and finished second on the team with 101 total bases. His .396 on-base percentage ranked third on the team, while his .529 slugging percentage led all Northridge players in 2008.
Pineda's season peaked with a 5-for-5 performance against Pacific, a day in which he smacked homers in his first two at bats and finished with three RBI and three runs scored. The production spilled over into the following day, when he reached base in his first four plate appearances; he was on base a staggering nine consecutive times between the two games.
He was also responsible for arguably the most exciting moment of the 2008 season. Leading off the bottom of the ninth with his team tied 5-5 with UC Davis, Pineda sent the first pitch he saw deep into the trees beyond the left field wall for a walk-off home run.
This summer, Pineda will be playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League, patrolling the hot corner for the Wareham Gatemen.