Feb. 15, 2011
Ryan Juarez is a redshirt senior and a right-handed pitcher for the Matador baseball team. In 2010, Juarez started 16 games and finished the year with a 3-7 record and a 5.52 ERA. He fanned 57 batters, nearly doubling his career total, and now sits at 116 strikeouts.
Juarez has thrown two complete games in his three-year career at Northridge, and has led the team in innings pitched each of the last two seasons.
Now one of four Matador seniors who have been with the program their entire career, Juarez will use his leadership to help CSUN succeed in 2011.
How has practice been going so far?
"It's been great. The coaches do a great job of bringing a practice plan together and we basically put in our own work and then come together as a team. Everything has been pretty awesome so far."
You are in your fourth full season at Northridge. How has your experience been so far?
"I take a lot of pride in the Northridge program and I have a sense of ownership for the team. My first season we were 15-41 and the progress we've made is really encouraging and it is great to be a part of it."
Despite the weather forecast for Opening Day, how are final preparations for you going?
"It is tough to have such nice weather all of the weeks leading up to the season opener and then have rain. This is not the first time this has happened, it has probably happened three out of the five years I have been at Northridge. It is tough because it interferes with how your throwing program goes and everything is all wet. It is just another obstacle that comes with the season and there will be more instances of this throughout the year. Obviously it is disappointing to have rain the first week of the season."
Looking forward to the Big West season, how do you feel the team is preparing?
"We have a lot of returners that understand the pressures of the conference schedule. Every week you are playing a top-25 team and your season hinges from week to week. Conference is like one big playoff series to us. We go week to week and try to win each series and limit the downs and stay on the ups, and I think that this team is very capable of doing it. We have guys with the experience of being in those situations before and we are teaching the younger guys how to handle it. I am looking forward to the conference season."
With the new pitchers joining the staff this season, what do you say to them to help them make their transition to Northridge?
"I think that the hardest thing for the younger guys is the frustration aspect. You get upset with practices and the coaches' decisions and you let that spiral. I believe that I have done what I can to get them ready mentally. You have to have control of yourself before you can have control of your performance and if you can't control your emotions, you will be useless on the field. The younger guys have done well so far to take care of themselves knowing that success will come on the field."