September 5, 2007

Matador Baseball Releases 2008 Schedule


Matador Baseball Releases 2008 Schedule
Northridge, Calif. -- The Matadors unveiled their 2008 schedule Wednesday, revealing Cal State Northridge's plan for compliance with the NCAA's new schedule restrictions. The Matadors will meet members of the Conference USA, Big East, Mountain West, and Pac-10 Conferences in '08.

New restrictions from the NCAA meant to level the competitive balance of the baseball season have pushed the start of the year back nearly a month to the end of February. Thus, teams have been forced to use unorthodox means to schedule an entire slate in the allotted season, which maintains the traditional mid-June bookend.

The 2008 Cal State Northridge schedule is evidence of that.

The Matadors have scheduled three doubleheaders and feature 14 contests that fall outside of the traditional three-game weekend series model. Northridge has four two-game series, including home-and-home two-game sets with UNLV, and they will host Portland for a Monday-Tuesday two-game set. A four-game non-conference series with UC Santa Barbara has been split into four individual contests, with two to be hosted at each school's venue.

Another trend for this campaign is "local". In contrast to 2007, when the Matadors played three series out-of-state and went north of Santa Barbara for two non-conference series, the Matadors will stay in Southern California for all but three series in 2008.

Still, Cal State Northridge will meet some daunting opponents. For the first weekend of the year, CSUN will play host to Northwestern from February 22-24 and opens the record books against La Salle with the first meeting between those schools just a week later. St. John's comes to Northridge after that, completing a 12-game opening stretch that features 11 home contests.

The Matadors' first road series of the season will be the University of Southern Mississippi's spring tourney, where Northridge will meet the host Golden Eagles twice and Liberty twice.

The Matadors will have a short break after their return from the south; just two days after they return they will open a four-game series with Loyola Marymount that features away games on Tuesday and Thursday and culminates with a Saturday doubleheader at Matador Field.

The next weekend, March 18-30, marks the start of Big West Conference play at UC Santa Barbara. Conference play continues with a visit from Cal Poly on the following weekend and with a trip to Cal State Fullerton after that from April 11-13.

Northridge is home against Long Beach State from April 18-20 and is at UC Riverside from April 25-27, and hosts UNLV for a two-game midweek series before welcoming 2006 College World Series participant UC Irvine from May 2-4.

Two-game sets with USC, POrtland, and UNLV provide a brief respite from conference play, and the Matadors round out the season with a trip to Stockton for a BWC showdown with Pacific and a home series against first-year Big West member UC Davis to close the year.

NCAA Regional and Super Regional play will be held at host sites nationwide. The College World Series will be hosted in Omaha, Nebraska from June 13-23.

In total, 32 of the teams' 56 contests will be leveled at Matador field, nine more than in 2007.