NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Cal State Northridge baseball head coach Matt Curtis and his staff have once again assembled one of the most challenging schedules in the country. According to Boyd's World, an online destination for college baseball statistical analysis and team strength ratings, the Matadors will play the 17th most difficult schedule in NCAA Division I this season based on final Iterative Strength Ratings (ISRs) for their opponents from 2012.
In addition, Northridge's non-conference slate checks in at 8th in the nation. The Matadors will play three teams ranked in the preseason Top 20 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA): UCLA (5), Oregon (8) and San Diego (20). Big West rivals Cal State Fullerton (23) and UC Irvine (33) are also ranked in the preseason poll.
"We want to play a schedule that prepares us to compete at the top of our conference, and gives us a chance to get into and succeed in post-season play," said Curtis. "We are looking forward to competing against elite competition in regional type environments."
In addition to teams ranked in preseason polls, the Matadors will face top conference competition in Long Beach State and Cal Poly, two teams expected to compete for NCAA Tournament At-Large bids. Northridge also hosts Utah Valley University, a team that finished 47-12 last year, for four games at Matador Field.
The Matadors open up the 2013 regular season tomorrow, February 15, with the first game of a four-game series against Saint Mary's. First pitch against the Gaels is set for 2 p.m. and the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 16 (11 a.m.), and a single game on Sunday, Feb. 17 (1 p.m.).
Probable Weekend Starters:
Friday: Mark Anderson (SMC) vs. Jerry Keel (CSUN)
Saturday Game 1: Ben Griset (SMC) vs. Harley Holt (CSUN)
Saturday Game 2: Jordan Mills (SMC) vs. Louis Cohen (CSUN)
Sunday: Ryan Brockett (SMC) vs. Calvin Copping (CSUN)