Matadors Take On Aggies In Final Home Series Before Visiting Roadrunners
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge Matadors host the UC Davis Aggies at Matador Field this week for the final three-game series at home in 2012. The teams, separated by just a game in the Big West Conference standings, will kick off the series on Friday, May 18 at 3 p.m. Following Saturday's game at 1 p.m., the teams will play on Sunday, May 20, also at 1 p.m. Before Sunday's game, the Matadors will honor the five senior members of the team in an on-field ceremony. Matthew Moreno, Steven Keller, Todd Eskelin, Vincent Roberts and Justen Gorski will be recognized before their final home game at CSUN. Then on Tuesday, May 22, the Matadors will head to CSU Bakersfield for a single game beginning at 6 p.m. The meeting with the Roadrunners will be Northridge's final non-conference game on the 2012 slate. All games this week will feature radio and live stats coverage available at GoMatadors.com.
GAMES #47-49: Northridge Matadors (22-24, 9-9 Big West) vs. UC Davis Aggies (22-28, 8-10 Big West)
Friday, May 18 - 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 19 - 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 20 - 1 p.m. - Senior Day (All Fans Wearing CSUN Gear Receive $2 Admission)
Matador Field (1,000) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: Link Available at GoMatadors.com
Audio: Kevin Strauss, Ryan McEachern - Play-By-Play
In-game Twitter Updates: @CSUNBaseball
Northridge Matadors at CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (20-27)
Tuesday, May 22 - 6 p.m.
Hardt Field (500+) - Bakersfield, Calif.
Live Stats: Link Available at GoMatadors.com
Audio: Kevin Strauss - Play-By-Play
In-game Twitter Updates: @CSUNBaseball
Can't Make it Out to the Field?
Follow the Matadors online all season long at GoMatadors.com on your computer or smartphone. A majority of this season's games will feature an Internet radio broadcast provided by Stretch Internet that can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection, including tablet computers, Android products and the Apple iPhone. If you miss a game, you can access the broadcasts on demand for free by clicking the "On Demand" tab in the CSUN audio portal. All games this season will have live stats coverage with links available on GoMatadors.com.
Results from Last Week
The Matadors won their second consecutive Big West series last weekend, taking two of three games from the UC Irvine Anteaters. A late rally on Friday led the Anteaters to a win in the opening game 5-3. Northridge held a 3-1 lead midway through the afternoon on RBIs by Kyle Attl, Michael Livingston and Ryan Raslowsky in the third inning. The Matadors rebounded on Saturday to win their first game against UC Irvine since 2008. Nathan Ring's two-run double in the bottom of the fifth broke open the game for Northridge and put starter Jerry Keel ahead 5-1. Keel struck out six batters to match a career high in 7.2 innings of work for his sixth win and Louis Cohen worked the final 1.1 innings while allowing just one hit for his fifth save. Attl, Livingston and Marty Bowen also recorded RBIs for the Matadors as the team added three stolen bases on the day.
In the series finale on Sunday, Northridge fell behind 4-0 early following eight UC Irvine hits through the first two innings. The Matadors were able to settle down and respond, however, and did not allow another hit until a leadoff single in the top of the ninth. During that stretch, Northridge began chipping away at the lead and scored twice in the third and fifth innings to tie the game at four runs apiece. Cal Vogelsang had a pair of RBIs on a single and Steven Keller added one while Ring also had a sac fly. It was Ring who sent the fans home happy when his walkoff single with two outs in the ninth scored Raslowsky to give CSUN its first series victory over UC Irvine since 2004.
A Closer Look at UC Davis
The UC Davis Aggies enter the weekend at Matador Field with a record of 22-28 and a mark of 8-10 in the Big West Conference. The Aggies defeated the University of Hawaii and San Jose State in midweek games after taking two out of three against Long Beach State last weekend in Davis. The last conference series that UC Davis lost came back in the last week of April at UC Santa Barbara.
The Aggies have four starters that are currently hitting above .300. Nick Lynch leads the way with a .326 average and has seven doubles, a triple, four home runs and 25 RBIs. Paul Politi is the team leader with 29 RBIs and also has 11 doubles. David Popkins is batting .293 and leads the way with five home runs on the year. The power has been divided in conference play, however, with Popkins, Lynch and Scott Kalush all collecting three homers.
Anthony Kupbens and Tom Briner figure to start on the mound for UC Davis in the first two games. Kupbens has a 3-4 record and a 3.06 ERA while Briner is 3-6 with a 4.13 ERA and is fresh off of a complete game shutout over Long Beach State last weekend. A third starter, Dayne Quist, leads the way at 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA but did not pitch last week.
A Closer Look at CSU Bakersfield
The CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners have an overall record of 20-27 and are coming off of a pair of midweek losses to Cal Poly and New Mexico State in Bakersfield. In fact, the Roadrunners have dropped four of their last five, including a three-game series against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo this past weekend. Northridge is looking for the season sweep of CSUB after taking the first two at Matador Field earlier this year.
Oscar Sanay leads the way with a .322 batting average and has collected three doubles and 19 RBIs on the season. Frank Martinez has a .293 average in 28 games and has three home runs while Cael Brockmeyer is the team leader with five homers and 27 RBIs. Brockmeyer also ranks first on the team with a .392 on-base percentage and has scored a team high 26 runs.
Jeff McKenzie has made 13 starts this season, which rank him first on the team. He is 5-4 with a 2.31 ERA and has pitched four complete games. Hayden Carter has made 16 appearances, mostly out of the bullpen, and has two saves in relief for the Roadrunners.
With two weeks left in the conference season, the Matadors are staking their claim in numerous Top 10 lists. As a team, Cal State Northridge has a combined batting average of .262. The Matadors have hit the fifth most doubles (73) and are tied for second in the league with 19 home runs. The 401 hits collected are ninth in the conference standings. The team ranks second in the conference with 53 sacrifice bunts as well. The pitching staff ranks tied for third in the Big West with 11 saves on the year and tied for fifth with three complete games.
Junior Brett Balkan has been hit by a pitch 12 times, which rank him tied for fourth in the conference. Senior Steven Keller checks in 11th with three home runs. Freshman catcher Alexis Mercado ranks 11th in the league as he has caught six runners attempting to steal. Junior Kyle Attl is tied for third in the conference as he has helped turn 31 double plays this season and he is also tied for sixth with four home runs and eighth with eight sac bunts.
Individually, junior Marty Bowen ranks seventh with eight runners caught stealing. Freshman Ryan Raslowsky ties with Attl at eighth with six sacrifices. Sophomore outfielder Miles Williams is second in the league with six home runs. He has also drawn 16 walks and his 26 runs scored put him on the cusp of the Big West standings.
A group of Matador pitchers find themselves in the conference rankings as well. Junior Alex Muren is 10th in the conference with 79.0 innings pitched and ties for 12th in the league with five wins on the season. Freshmen Louis Cohen ties for fifth with five saves. Harley Holt has three saves, good for a tie for ninth. Cohen is seventh as he has finished 15 games on the mound for the Matadors and is also tied for second in the league with 24 appearances in 2012. With seven wins, Cohen ties for third in the Big West. Another freshman, Jerry Keel, is second in the league among starting pitchers with a 2.12 ERA, which puts him 48th in the nation. Keel also has six wins, good for a tie for sixth. All Big West statistics are current as of May 15.
Bad Moon Rising
Junior right-hander Alex Muren pitched a one-hitter in CSUN's win over Northwestern in the first game of a doubleheader on Feb. 25. He struck out three in seven innings and retired the final 12 hitters after allowing a single in the fourth. He earned his first victory of the season in Northridge's 6-4 Opening Day win over the Sacramento State Hornets. Against San Diego at the SDSU Aztec Invitational on Mar. 3, he struck out five batters in five innings of work. Muren then went 7.0 innings with three strikeouts in a win over Indiana on Mar. 10. He threw his first nine-inning complete game in a victory over St. Mary's on Mar. 23, striking out a career-high six hitters. Muren has pitched a team-high 79.0 innings and has 40 strikeouts and a 4.90 ERA. He is currently third on the pitching staff with five victories on the year.
Where There's a Williams, There's a Way
Sophomore Miles Williams currently has a .274 batting average and leads the squad with 26 runs scored and 24 RBIs. In the finale at Sacramento State, Williams blasted a three-run home run off the third story of the parking structure adjacent to John Smith Field. Against #22 UCLA, Williams threw out a runner at the plate trying to score in the second inning. In the final game of the SDSU Aztec Invitational at San Diego State, he hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth. At LMU on Mar. 20, Williams drove in two runs and now has seven multi-RBI games. He also hit a two-run home run at #13 Cal State Fullerton and a three-run shot in a win over CSU Bakersfield on April 10. Williams led the team with a 3-for-6 day against Long Beach State, driving in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth on April 28.
Junior Cal Vogelsang has found his rythym on both sides of the ball and has climbed the leaderboard in the clubhouse offensively as he now has a .292 batting average. Vogelsang, who has seen time in both the outfield and at first and second base, leads the squad with 49 hits this season and has Northridge's only triple. He has one home run and 17 RBIs on the year in 45 games played. Vogelsang had at one point a 12 game hitting streak, the longest this season for CSUN, and has the most multiple hit games on the team (14), including three hits on five occasions. In the series at UC Riverside Vogelsang had four hits, three of which were doubles, and added two hits and two RBIs in the finale against UC Irvine.
Junior shortstop Kyle Attl is hitting .239 going into the final stretch of the year. In addition to eight sacrifice bunts, which tie for the team lead, Attl leads with 10 doubles and has 22 RBIs while scoring 24 runs. He drove in his first run of the campaign with an RBI single against then-#22 UCLA in the team's home opener. Attl also had a double in the win against San Diego on Mar. 1 at the SDSU Aztec Invitational. In the Mar. 10 win over Indiana, he went 2-for-5 at the plate and scored four runs, two shy of tying the all-time mark for a single game in Northridge history. Attl went 2-for-3 at LMU on Mar. 20 and drove in a run while scoring two in the 12-1 victory. He hit a three-run homer at UC Santa Barbara on Apr. 6 to lead the Northridge attack and added home runs in the series finale win against No. 27 Cal Poly and against CSU Bakersfield on April 24. Attl had a pair of doubles and two RBIs in the series with UC Irvine and is second on the team with four homers.
The Keel Deal
Freshman left-hander Jerry Keel made a positive impact in his first career appearance over the opening weekend at Sacramento State. Coming in as a reliever, Keel pitched six innings and allowed one run while striking out four hitters. Although he gave up nine hits, Keel consistently worked out of trouble and forced the Hornets to strand nine runners on base. Keel pitched 5.0 innings in the finale against Northwestern on Feb. 26 and allowed one earned run with three strikeouts for the first win of his collegiate career. He pitched his first complete game for CSUN in a victory over then-No. 13 Cal State Fullerton on April 1, scattering nine hits and not allowing a run after the bottom of the first. For his work in the game, Keel was named as a Primetime Performer of the week by Collegiate Baseball 360, one of 16 players in the nation to earn the recognition. He also pitched in relief and picked up a win over CSU Bakersfield on April 24 and threw 7.0 innings in a no-decision against Long Beach State. Keel followed it up with an 8.0 inning, six strikeout game in a win at UC Riverside on May 5 and a 7.2 inning, six strikeout day in a win over UC Irvine on May 12. The Matadors have won all six of Keel's starts in Big West play this season. Keel is 6-1 and has a team-best 2.12 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 2012.
Junior Adam Barry is building on the productive summer season he had last year, as he owns a .292 batting average with eight doubles and 20 RBIs. After leading his team to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League championship last summer and setting numerous individual league hitting records in the process, Barry was selected as a Third Team Summer Collegiate All-American Team by Perfect Game USA. In the series against Indiana (Mar. 9-11), Barry went 5-for-9 with four RBIs and two runs scored. He went 3-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the win at LMU on Mar. 20. Barry cracked his first two career home runs in the span of a week in wins over Long Beach State (4/28) and UC Riverside (5/4).
Freshman Ryan Raslowsky and redshirt freshman Chester Pak have played key roles in nearly all of Northridge's walkoff victories this season. On February 25th against Northwestern, Raslowsky singled in the bottom of the 11th to move the winning run into scoring position before Pak singled to win the game. On April 10 against CSU Bakersfield, Northridge won in the bottom of the ninth as Raslowsky reached on a fielding error that scored Pak. In CSUN's next game, Raslowsky was again at the bat with Pak on third when he chopped a single over the head of the third baseman in the bottom of the 11th as Northridge beat No. 27 Cal Poly in the first game of a doubleheader on April 14. Nathan Ring stole third base and came around to score on an errant throw in the bottom of the 12th to give CSUN the win over Long Beach State on April 28. Ring then scored Raslowsky with a single in the bottom of the ninth to upend UC Irvine 5-4 on May 13.