NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –
An early-season tournament in San Diego and the first-ever meetings with Indiana and Rhode Island at Matador Field highlight the 2012 Cal State Northridge baseball schedule, head coach Matt Curtis announced Friday. The Matadors will play 55 games in the regular season, including 26 at home.
Curtis, beginning his second season at the helm of the program, recently added pitching coach Dennis Machado and volunteer assistant Matt Wilson to his staff. Assistant coach Shaun Larkin returns for his second year and Tom Hutchison begins his sixth season as the Director of Baseball Operations.
Returning field players for the Matadors this season include Marty Bowen, who hit for the highest average on the team last year and Adam Barry, who made Perfect Game's Summer Collegiate All-American Team. Players returning to the mound for Northridge include starter Vincent Roberts and reliever Chris DeBoo, who finished first and second on the staff in earned run average respectively.
Northridge begins the new campaign with a three-game trip to the state capital when they take on the Sacramento State Hornets. The Matadors were scheduled to visit Sacramento State last season, but weather issues forced the series to be played at Matador Field. As such, Northridge will make a return trip in a series that dates back to 1970.
The home opener for the Matadors is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 21 against UCLA at 2 p.m. The Matadors will face the Bruins twice in 2012 and the game in Westwood will be played in April. Following the game against UCLA, CSUN will host Northwestern for a four-game set Feb. 24-26. The series will include a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Northridge will have little time to prepare for its next opponent as the Washington Huskies come to town for one game on Monday, Feb. 27. That same week, the Matadors will head south for a four-game tournament hosted by San Diego State March 1-4. CSUN will take on the University of San Diego to open the tournament and will meet the Toreros again on the third day of action.
Between those two games the Matadors will face San Francisco, a team they beat 3-2 in 10 innings last year at the YMBL Cardinal Classic hosted by Lamar University. Northridge will wrap up the weekend with an afternoon game against the host Aztecs on Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m.
Following the trip to San Diego, Northridge will return to Matador Field for five games in six days. The Matadors host the Indiana Hoosiers for the first time in program history March 9-11 and welcome the Rhode Island Rams to Northridge for the first time March 13th and 14th. The only other game against the Rams resulted in a 19-0 Northridge victory at a neutral site in 1997.
The brief home stand will give way to the longest road trip of the season when the Matadors travel to Portland University on March 16-18. After taking on the Pilots, Northridge will play one game against the Lions of Loyola Marymount on the 20th. From there, CSUN goes north for a four-game weekend at St. Mary's that features a doubleheader on Saturday, March 24.
The road trip will end with the Matadors' first conference series of the year when they go to Goodwin Field to face the Cal State Fullerton Titans from March 30th to April 1. Northridge then has a momentary break from Big West action when they host LMU on April 3 at 3 p.m.
The second conference series takes Northridge to UC Santa Barbara for three games. The Matadors will then play one of three games against CSU Bakersfield that are individually spaced throughout the remainder of the year. Northridge hosts the Roadrunners on April 10th and 24th and will travel to Bakersfield on May 22.
The team's first home conference series comes against the Cal Poly Mustangs on April 13-15. They will then play the return game at UCLA and host CSU Bakersfield before returning to Big West action when they host the Long Beach State 49ers from April 27-29.
Northridge faces UC Riverside on the road on May 4-6 before hosting UC Irvine for three games. The final home series will be played against UC Davis from May 18-20 and Senior Day is scheduled for the May 20th game against the Aggies at 1 p.m.
The Matadors close out the 2012 season on the road in Stockton, Calif. against the Pacific Tigers from May 25-27.