April 13, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The current four-game home-stand for the Cal State Northridge Matadors (14-20) will come to an end Tuesday afternoon when the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (8-23) make their first-ever trip to Matador Field.
Making his third start of the season for Northridge is RHP Paul Tremlin (3-1, 5.48) as he will face RHP Brandon Van Dam (0-1, 9.42) in a matinee match-up scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.
After emerging with a win after a 15 inning marathon spread out over two days last Thursday and Friday against the #6-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans, the Matadors were narrowly defeated 7-5 last Friday before dropping their rubber match the following day.
Having the last two days to rest, recuperate, and prepare for the `Runners, the Matadors will look to finish their set of home games on a winning note before resuming Big West action this weekend at Long Beach State.
Capping off a brutal set of eight games spread out over only nine days, Cal State Bakersfield would like nothing more that to follow up their 9-7 victory against UC Riverside last Saturday with another win against Big West competition in as many games.
Tuesday's contest will also double as a homecoming for two members of the Roadrunner's coaching staff as Bakersfield Head Coach Bill Kernen and Assistant Coach Jody Robinson will return to Matador Field for the first time since 1995.
From 1989-1995, Kernen was the head coach at Northridge, compiling a 240-154-3 (.608) overall record and a conference mark of 76-59-1 (.563) while reaching the post-season in four of his seven seasons at the helm.
In 1990, Kernen earned West Region Coach of the Year as he helped lead the Matadors to their first conference title in eight years, and a spot in the College World Series championship game.
The very next season, Robinson joined Kernen's staff in their inaugural year at the Division-I level, going 44-18 en route towards a top-10 ranking and spot in the post-season, ending as runners-up in the West Region.
Having zero seniors or sophomores on the roster in the inaugural season of their baseball program, Cal State Bakersfield will travel with a team consisting of 13 freshmen and 11 juniors, a blend of potential and experience that has carried the team to an 8-23 mark on the season so far.
Leading the way for CSUB is junior RHP/OF Jason Kudlock as his .340 batting average is currently the highest mark on the squad this season. After going 4-for-5 with two runs in a victorious effort earlier in the season against St. Louis, his two-run walk-off home run in the 15th inning against UC Riverside last Saturday helped his team collect their third win in their last five games played.
Also finding success at the plate for the `Runners are C/3B Jeremy Rodriguez, outfielder Ryan McIntyre, and infielder Brandon Boren as only one one-thousandth of a percentage point separates each player from one another starting with Rodriguez' .303 average.
Making his first start of the season against Big West-rival Cal Poly, Van Dam will start the second game of his career at Matador Field Tuesday afternoon. The freshman carries with him a 9.42 ERA crafted in his four overall appearances throughout the 2009 campaign having struck out 14 batters along the way.
Baseball fans should not judge Van Dam strictly off of his record and ERA since he has only allowed 14 hits to opposing batters in his 14.1 innings pitched, highlighted by a nine-strikeout performance against Fresno State last Wednesday.
The voice of Matador Baseball, Dave Caldwell will announce Tuesday's game live at Matador Field starting at 3:00 p.m. as fans can visit www.GoMatadors.com to listen to his broadcast or follow all the action online on GameTracker.