NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
After an exhibition that was more about camaraderie than winners and losers, the 2012 Cal State Northridge Matadors exchanged handshakes and hugs with their alumni brothers at Matador Field on Saturday afternoon. The Alumni Game, now in its second edition under head coach Matt Curtis, allowed current Matadors and players of the past to reconnect on the diamond and look toward the future of the baseball program at CSUN.
"It is good to get back out here and see the guys and do what we would love to be doing everyday," said John Parham, who played with the Matadors from 2006 to 2009. Parham, who graduated with a degree in business marketing, played two years in independent baseball leagues and earned a Spring Training invitation from the Seattle Mariners since graduating from Northridge. He is now on the path to owning his own business.
Over 40 former players from nearly every era of Matador Baseball returned for the Alumni Game, bringing family and friends out to the field to support the 2012 team.
"It is good to come out and show support and it is always fun to see the guys that you used to play with and all of the other alumni," said former first baseman and outfielder Mike Paulk (2003-05). "It is fun to get together when we get the opportunity because everyone is doing their own thing nowadays." Paulk played left field for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Pacific Coast League (Class AAA).
Current Matadors and alumni alike enjoyed batting and infield practice and stories before the game, which was played in front hundreds of fans, friends and family.
"The Alumni events that we have for a number of our sports allow us to connect to our past and keep our current players involved not only with the baseball program, but with the university," said Director of Athletics Rick Mazzuto. "The alumni look forward to coming back and taking a few swings of the bat and they are role models for our current student-athletes, allowing us all to continue with the traditions of Matador Athletics."
The 2012 Matadors open the regular season with a three-game road trip at Sacramento State beginning on February 17. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.