April 23, 2009

Matador Baseball Continues Conference Action Against UC Riverside

April 23, 2009

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After a gutty come-from-behind effort against the Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (16-22, 4-8 BWC) will face the UC Riverside Highlanders (20-13, 2-7 BWC) this weekend in a three-game series at Matador Field. 

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Tuesday, April 21 • Northridge 9, Pepperdine 8 (11)

Friday, April 24 • Northridge vs. UC Riverside • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 3:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

Saturday, April 25 • Northridge vs. UC Riverside • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 1:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

Sunday, April 26 • Northridge vs. UC Riverside • Matador Field • Northridge, Calif. • 1:00 p.m. PDT • Gametracker/Radio

On The Mound

Friday • RHP Ryan Juarez (4-3, 4.69)  vs. LHP Paul Bargas (4-3, 4.70)

Saturday • RHP Justen Gorski (1-2, 4.01) vs. RHP Matt Andriese (3-2, 3.60)

Sunday • RHP Billy Ott (1-2, 6.19) vs. LHP Paul Applebee (5-2, 4.70)

 

LAST TIME OUT

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Cal State Northridge (17-22) second baseman Tommy Simis drove in the tying and game-winning runs with his single to centerfield to propel the Matadors to a 9-8 victory over the Pepperdine Waves Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field.

With the victory, the Matadors split the season series with the Waves as each team won their two games played at their respective fields, with Pepperdine still looking for their first win at Northridge since March 7, 2000. Having pitched the final 3.2 innings of the game, Brian Slover recorded his second win of the season.

Northridge started the day's scoring spree in the second inning When Ryan Pineda reached home on a single by Jason Dabbs that screamed through the left side of the infield to drive in the first of three runs from the bat of the Matador second baseman in the game.

CSUN would extend their lead with a two-run performance in the bottom of the fourth inning when Dabbs took to the plate with Matadors on each corner of the infield.

His single to right field would score Pineda once again, shortly followed by a sacrifice bunt laid by Simis to stretch the Matador lead to 3-0.

After a five-run sixth-inning performance by the Waves, the Matadors would chip away at the newly-created 5-3 Pepperdine advantage when Dabbs drove in Pineda, who originally lead-off the inning with a double down the left field line, for the third time in the game to decrease the Pepperdine lead to one run.

The run scored by CSUN in the sixth would soon disappear as Pepperdine responded the very next inning with another run of their own to stretch their lead back to two runs.

Down by two runs, with only six at-bats remaining in the game, Northridge started their first come-from-behind effort to regain the lead with their set of at-bats in the eighth inning. Dabbs led off that scoring opportunity with a double down the left field line, his fourth double hit this season, before scoring on a Simis single to right-centerfield.

Simis would then score on a single down the right field line from the bat of Richard Cates, with Pruitt soon joining him in the dugout after scoring himself thanks to a single down the left field line from the bat of Chris Hannick.

Pepperdine would refuse to roll over and just hand the win over to CSUN, as they scored the tying run of the game in their final set of at-bats to force extra innings.

After evening the game at 7-7 with their run in the ninth, Pepperdine would take over the lead once again when they scored one run in the eleventh to force Northridge into a pressure-packed situation.

Pineda led off the eleventh with a single through the left side of the infield, followed by a single hit by John Parham, this time through the opposite side of the diamond. With runners on first and second, C.J. Belanger came through with a clutch sacrifice bunt to advance both the runners, and place the tying run only 90 feet away. Having learned their lesson during his first five at-bats, Pepperdine then intentionally walked Dabbs to load the bases for Simis. 

With the count at 1-1, Simis ensured that no Matador would have to face another pitch thrown by a Wave for the rest of the season as he hit a sharp line-drive that split the Pepperdine shortstop and second baseman into centerfield to score Pineda, who was originally at third base, and Parham who hustled his way around the latter half of the diamond for the winning run.

OH, WHAT A NIGHT!

Both Jason Dabbs and Tommy Simis turned in their best performances as a Matador last Tuesday in CSUN's come-from-behind 11th-inning victory over the Pepperdine Waves. Dabbs finished the day with a 5-for-5 performance as he hit his fourth double of the season, drove in three runs, and scored once in the process. Dabbs would have had an opportunity to tie the Matador single game record for hits, a mark held by Alberto Quintana and Adam Kennedy had the Waves not intentionally walked the shortstop in the bottom of the eleventh. 

In that same game, Simis went 2-for-4, but drove in four RBI's, nearly half of the Matador offense. The second baseman is the second Matador to drive in four runs this season as first baseman Dominic D'Anna has also accomplished the feat on two separate occasions vs. UNLV (4/1) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (4/21) to set the individual game high mark in this category.

MATADORS VS. UC RIVERSIDE

Coming off a come-from-behind victory against the Pepperdine Waves last Tuesday, the Matadors will host the UC Riverside Highlanders for a three-game series this upcoming weekend at Matador Field. With the teams currently occupying seventh (CSUN) and eighth (UCR) place in the conference, games take on an added level of importance as both teams continue to jockey for position at the mid-way point of the season. 

Northridge holds a 103-78-1 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, but were defeated in their last meeting that took place on April 27th at Riverside last season by a score of 4-3. In their previous series at Matador Field that took place in 2007, Northridge was swept by the Highlanders, something the current crop of Matadors would like to inflict on their visitors from the Inland Empire starting this Friday.

After opening up the season with a 19-6 non-conference record, the Highlanders briefly cracked the top-25 before dropping out of the polls. Since Big West Conference play began, Riverside has gone 2-7 picking up one win against both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.

Riverside had lost five consecutive games before breaking the streak last Tuesday with a 17-6 effort against the visiting UCLA Bruins.

Outfielder Michael Hur, catcher Robert Brantly, and outfielder Carl Uhl currently lead the Highanders at the plate with their respective batting averages of .367, .349, and .336 respectively, with outfielder Tony Nix coming up just short of the top-three with his .333 average. Infielder Ryan Goetz currently leads his team with 30 RBI's as he is one of six players on the team who have driven in 20 or more runs this season.

On the mound for Riverside, RHP Joseph Kelley will look to his team-leading six saves if the Highanders possess a lead going into the latter innings, with RHP Matt Montgomery possessing the lowest ERA on staff at 2.66.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

With the Big West season nearing the mid-way point of the season, a number of Matadors find themselves within the top ten marks amongst their peers, with the team itself ranked in the top-half of the conference in a variety of categories as noted below as of April 20.

Team Hits: 358 - 5th

Team Walks Drawn: 137 - 2nd

Hit-By-Pitch: 64 - 2nd

Stolen Bases: 42 - 4th

Batters Struck Out: 256 - 3rd

Saves: 9 - 3rd

Runners Picked Off: 22 - 1st

Putouts: 1029 - 1st

Assists: 432 - 1st

Caught Stealing By: 18 - T-4th

Individual Batting

Batting Average: Richard Cates, .383 - 4th

Slugging Percentage: Dominic D'Anna, .580 - 8th

On-Base Percentage: Richard Cates, .455 - 8th

Hits: Richard Cates, 59 - 2nd

Runs Batted In: Ryan Pineda, 32 - T-7th; Dominic D'Anna, 32 - T-7th

Doubles: Dominic D'Anna, 13 - T-4th

Triples: Jeff Pruitt, 3 - T-3rd

Home Runs: Ryan Pineda, 8 - 3rd; Dominic D'Anna, 7 - T-4th

Total Bases: Dominic D'Anna, 80 - T-4th; Ryan Pineda, 74 - 10th

Walks: Jeff Pruitt, 21 - T-3rd; Ryan Pineda, 18 - T-7th

Hit-By-Pitch: John Parham, 10 - 2nd

Stolen Bases: Jeff Pruitt, 22 - 1st

Individual Pitching

Saves: Brian Slover, 5 - 4th

Appearances: Brian Slover, 18 - T-5th; Jimmy Jolicoeur, 17 - T-8th

Games Finished: Brian Slover, 17 - 2nd

Runners Picked Off: Ryan McCarney, 9 - 1st

GOOD FROM START TO FINISH

In the Matador's game on April 17th at Long Beach State, RHP Ryan Juarez picked up CSUN's first complete game of the season with this 8.0 inning performance against the 49ers. In that game, Juarez only allowed six hits and zero earned runs, picking up the team's first complete game effort since Edwin Quirarte's effort at UC Santa Barbara on April 30, 2006.

NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T

On April 18th at Long Beach State, Matador centerfielder Jeff Pruitt stole two bases, bring his overall total on the season to a Big West Conference league-leading 23. That game also marked the seventh occasion of the season where Pruitt stole multiple bases in one game. Even more remarkable about his total, Pruitt has only been caught stealing on two occasions which took place on March 1st at home against the Texas Tech Red Raiders and at Long Beach State on April 19th. The Matador single-season record for most stolen bases in a season is held by Bob Slater when he stole 31 bases during the 1976 season. 

DON'T BE LATE

The Cal State Northridge Matadors have been able to shrink a nine inning game into a four frame affair as they are undefeated when leading after four innings. CSUN is 10-1 on the season whenever they possess the lead after four innings, and hold a 8-3 record when leading after the third.

IN CASE YOU ARE...

Whenever the Matadors possess the lead, after three innings of play, opposing teams have had little success digging themselves out the their own deficit as Northridge has created the following records this season when leading after...

four innings: 11-1

five innings: 11-3

six innings: 11-1

seven innings: 11-1

eight innings: 13-0

THE YING AND YANG OF A BALLGAME

In their game on 4/21 at home against Pepperdine, the Cal State Northridge Matadors came-from-behind to defeat the Waves in the 11th inning by a score of 9-8. Even more remarkable about the Matador's performance was the fact that they committed eight errors, a new school record in the process besting the previous mark of six that took place on six different occasions, most recently at UC Irvine on March 7, 2007.

HOT BATS = HAPPY FANS 

On fifteen occasions this season, the Cal State Northridge Matadors have out-hit their opponents, winning thirteen times for a .866 winning percentage.

GOTCHA!

With 39 games in the books, the Matadors have picked-off 23 runners this season, the highest number of pickoffs thrown this decade. Currently leading the team with nine pickoffs, RHP Ryan "China" McCarney has caught more runners from the mound than any other Matador pitcher this decade, and has more pickoffs in his first eight appearances than the team leaders during the last two years combined. 

Season    Total     Leader 

2009       18        Ryan McCarney, 9

2008       7          Phillip Hann, 2

2007       10        Joe Rocchio, 4

2006       16        Steve Lemmon, 3

2005       11        Jimmy Brett, 3

2004       17        Jimmy Brett, 2

2003       10        Kyle Jean, 3

2002       10        Andy Davidson, 5

2001       16        Craig Mosher, 5

2000       8         Andy Davidson, 3

READY TO GO

Of the 203 runs scored by the Cal State Northridge Matadors this season as of 4/23, over 20 percent (24.1%) of their offense has taken place in the first two innings this season. CSUN currently has a record of 6-3 when leading after the first inning, and 9-3 when leading after two frames, but only a 2-8 and 2-13 mark when trailing after the first and second innings respectively. 

SNAP GOES THE STREAKS

With their two wins over UCSB in their three-game series last weekend, the Matadors took a weekend series from their beach-dwelling rivals for the first time since 2002. In the process, the Gauchos lost their first series of the 2009 season after giving up the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth in the rubber match on March 29 at Matador Field.

IT'S A HIT!

On March 28th against UCSB, Ryan Pineda's four-hit performance by was the 11th time this season that Pineda had a multiple-hit game, and only the second Matador on the season to record four hits in one afternoon. Richard Cates, the team leader in multi-hit games with 12, went 4-for-5 in CSUN's 8-4 victory against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on February 27th; both four-hit occasions have taken place at Matador Field this season. First baseman Dominic D'Anna is the only Matadors with a double-digit total of multiple hit games with 10 so far this season.

THREE FOR FREE = THANK YOU!  

Matador baseball fans were given an opportunity to receive free admission to the final game against the UCSB Gauchos March 29th by donating three canned food or non-perishable items for a canned food drive to benefit the Children's Hunger Fund, and responded in-kind by donating nearly a quarter-of-a-ton of food in conjunction with the Matador softball team who provided the same opportunity in their game against Pacific. The Cal State Northridge Athletic Department and baseball team would like to thank all fans who donated to help out children in need. For additional information about the Children's Hunger Fund visit their website at www.chfus.org. 

TWO OF A KIND

On March 27th in a game against UC Santa Barbara, right-fielder Ryan Pineda and first baseman Dominic D'Anna hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. This was the second time this season that the Matadors have hit back-to-back home runs, with the first occasion taking place on March 21st in the second game of a doubleheader at home against Columbia from the bats of Justin DeMarco and Todd Eskelin.

2009 MIKE FRICK SCHOLARSHIP

Current Matador sophomore Justin DeMarco will join an elite list of student-athletes from the Cal State Northridge baseball program as the 2009 recipient of the Mike Frick Memorial Scholarship. DeMarco will receive scholarship funds in Mike's memory from an endowment set up by his parents, Lori and Gary Frick. Initiated in 2005, the Mike Frick Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to the player that best personifies and embodies Frick's work ethic, leadership skills, and dedication to the game of baseball as chosen by the coaching staff. Before being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, Frick pitched three seasons at Cal State Northridge for then-head coach Mike Batesole, and is still the current Matador record-holder in games pitched and total saves with 36 and 9 respectively, both set during the 2001 season. DeMarco joins a select list of Matadors that includes Drew Aguailar, Alberto Quintana, Bobby Paschal, and last year's recipient, Phil Hann.

SWEET 16

Before being held without a hit in the Matadors game vs. BYU on March 17th, third baseman Ryan Pineda hit safely in the first sixteen games of the season; a streak that still stands as the longest hitting streak of the season amongst all Matadors.

BRING OUT THE BROOMS

The Matadors completed the weekend sweep over the visiting Texas Tech Red Raiders as a two-run performance in the bottom of the ninth inning capped off the come-from-behind effort for CSUN. Matador starting pitcher Bryan Harper hand another strong performance on the bump for CSUN as he pitched 6.1 innings, allowed zero earned runs on five hits and struck out four batters for his second straight no-decision. Jimmy Jolicoeur itched 2.2 innings in relief and earned his first victory of the season as he allowed zero runs and only one hit, fanning six of the nine batters faced to help the Matadors earn their first series sweep since 2006 on the road against the Cal Poly Mustangs.

MAKING A NAME BOTH ON AND OFF THE FIELD

Matador third baseman Ryan Pineda was one of two student-athletes recognized by the Big West Conference for their success both on the diamond, and in the classroom. 

Joining Pineda was Matador Softball first baseman Jaclyn Rymer as the duo joined 16 of their peers and were honored as Big West Conference Student Athletes. Pineda burst onto the collegiate baseball scene in his first season with the Matadors, earning 2008 Big West Freshman Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors.

Heavily involved in his community, he is a church choir member and volunteer and read to kids at libraries and schools during the summer. A marketing and management major, Pineda posted the team's third-highest batting average, led the team in runs with 38 and tied for the team lead in hits with 72. He one day hopes to play professional baseball or work as an economist in business or government.

CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE BALLPARK?

Matador baseball fans who are unable to head out to Matador Field or travel with the team on the road can still follow all the action via Gametracker. Gametracker is an online program provided by CSTV and Cal State Northridge which enables fans to watch every Matador baseball game unfold on a play-by-play basis. Visit goMatadors.com and click on the `GT' logo on the schedule of events either on the main page or Baseball home page, and cheer on your Matadors. 

L.A. SPORTS MEDIA AWARDS

Matador broadcaster Dave Caldwell, the current voice of the Women's Basketball and Baseball teams was honored in the February 27th edition of the Daily News as they ranked the best and worst sports media voices in Los Angeles and the surrounding environs. The paper ranked Caldwell at #10, tied with Al Epstein, voice of the Pepperdine Waves Men's Basketball team for the last 24 years.

SOUNDS FROM THE STADIUM

A select number of Matador baseball games will broadcasted live on IBSU.net. Check out the calendar section on the baseball homepage, and click on the `Live Audio' link to hear all the action from Matador Field. Our two-man broadcast team will consist of Dave Caldwell, current play-by-play voice of the Women's Basketball team, and Cal State Northridge senior Tamer Tartir. 

 

 

 

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