October 31, 2008

Fall 'Ball at the 'Ridge - A Periodic Update of Matador Baseball

Oct. 31, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

We Like This Team! Our pitching staff is filled with good arms: half of them are new, the other half are returning. There are a lot of live fastballs, sharp breaking balls, and deceptive change-ups on our staff. Keep an eye out for how well the guys locate their fastballs and consistently work down in the zone with their secondary pitches early in the spring. This will be the indicator of how well Matador pitchers perform in '09.

Our hitters will hit! We have a good mixture of speed, power, experience, and athleticism. Early on, watch to see how well we execute the team concept of moving runners, making opposing pitchers work hard each at-bat, and pressure defenses on the base-paths. Big things will come if we work these fundamentals "one pitch at a time."

Our defenders are either experienced, athletic, or both. How consistently the Matadors are at making the routine play will determine our level of success. We will make our share of great plays, so no worries there. The Matador way is "pitching and defense first," so the first two hours of practice is devoted to that every day.

Our Future Looks Bright - With nine freshmen on our roster and 14 sophomores, most of which started or played considerably last season, we will continue to improve each day, week, month, and year. The freshman class received a Top-40 ranking in Collegiate Baseball's recent Division I Baseball's recruiting class poll.

The NCAA prohibits us from releasing information on current recruits until they are able to sign "National Letters of Intent," but watch for the press release in mid-to-late November. We've got some very talented players set to sign on as Matadors next month!

Alumni and Fans - Please understand that NCAA legislation and scheduling challenges have made Alumni Games impossible to hold (for us and other D-1's). You'll notice by looking at the schedules of other D-I baseball programs, they do not list an Alumni Game either. We are taking a shot this winter at compensating for these rules by hosting an Alumni B-B-Q on Saturday, January 31. Please join us! It will be fun! We will eat, reminisce, and have a home-run contest... 1970's and earlier (275 ft. fence) vs. 1980's (300 ft. fence) vs. 1990's and later (regular fence).

Please check the event link on our website and RSVP. Spread the word to your Matador teammates. Also, please update your contact information on our "Calling All Matadors" link. We now have new, talented, and hard-working staff members in the Athletic Department to support us in our efforts to support you! These are resources we have not formally had and we want to utilize them to support all of you. But we need your help in updating our contact list and in acting as "missionaries" to spread the word.

Also, please join us on Saturday, Feb. 28 as we celebrate and honor the 1970 Matador National Championship Team! The honoring will take place prior to the 1 p.m. game against Texas Tech at Matador Field. I'm sure these guys have something good "cooked up" for after the game too! 1984 National Champs... you're next! We'll start working on a special day for you too!