Matadors Travel to Long Beach State to Open Big West Play

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Northridge Starts Conference Slate on the Road at Long Beach State
The Cal State Northridge Matadors will open up the 2013 Big West Conference season against the Long Beach State Dirtbags this week. It will be the third consecutive season that the Matadors start conference play away from Matador Field. Long Beach was picked to finish third in the Big West in the preseason coaches poll and looks to stop a four-game slide after losses to San Diego State and Cal State Fullerton in the last two weeks.

GAMES #24-26: CSUN Matadors (11-12, 0-0) at Long Beach State Dirtbags (9-15, 0-0)

Thursday, March 28 - 6 p.m.
Friday, March 29 - 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - 2 p.m.

Probable Starters:

Thursday - Jerry Keel (2-1, 2.38 ERA) at Shane Carle (1-3, 1.64 ERA)
Friday - Calvin Copping (2-2, 2.63 ERA) at Jake Stassi (1-1, 3.13 ERA)
Saturday - John Salas (1-3, 3.54 ERA) at David Hill (0-2, 4.62 ERA)

Blair Field (3,000) - Long Beach, Calif.

Live Stats: Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
Audio:
Link Available on Baseball Schedule Page
In-game Twitter Updates:
@CSUNBaseball

Follow Your Matadors Online
All home games this season will include live stats coverage and selected contests will also feature a free audio broadcast on GoMatadors.com. For road games, related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the game on the baseball schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) and the baseball-specific feed (@CSUNBaseball) for updates of games in progress and news and notes throughout the week.

Tuesday Recap
The Matadors extended their winning streak to five games, their longest since 2010, with an 8-4 win over the visiting San Diego Toreros on Tuesday at Matador Field. After seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate, Northridge scored six runs between the seventh and eighth innings to break the game open and secure the victory.

Senior Nathan Ring had a career day at the plate, going 5-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Ring became the first Matador since 2010 to record five hits in a game, a mark that is one shy of the program's all-time record. Michael Livingston, Kyle Attl and Joshua Goossen-Brown all went 2-for-4 for the Matadors in the game.

Sophomore Brandon Warner was nearly perfect on the mound and did not allow a base runner until a two-out single in the fifth. He went 5.0 innings and did not allow a run on two hits. Louis Cohen pitched an inning of relief to pick up his first win of the year and Anthony Cortez got a strikeout to end the game and earn his first collegiate save. The Matadors improved to 11-12 on the year and won their first midweek game of the season.

A Closer Look at Long Beach State
The Long Beach State Dirtbags open the 2013 Big West Conference season at home and come into the week with a record of 9-15 and a mark of 8-7 in games at Blair Field. The Dirtbags went 15-9 in Big West play last season and finished in third place, two games behind conference champion Cal State Fullerton.

Michael Hill leads Long Beach State with a .329 batting average in 23 games and has three doubles, four triples and a home run. Jeff McNeil is hitting .313 and has started in every game for LBSU. He ties for second on the team with 10 RBIs and is the team leader with four stolen bases.

Right-handed pitcher Shane Carle has been the most effective member of the staff for Long Beach State despite his 1-3 record in six starts. Carle will get the start in the series opener on Thursday night and has posted a 1.64 ERA with a team-high 29 strikeouts to just nine walks in 38.1 innings. Left-handed pitcher Jake Stassi is set to start on Friday night and brings in a 1-1 record and a 3.13 ERA in 23.0 innings into the week. Righty David Hill is scheduled to start the finale on Saturday afternoon. He is currently 0-2 with a 4.62 ERA. As a whole, the Long Beach State pitching staff is holding its opposition to a .259 batting average and has given up 31 unearned runs on the year.

Following the series with Northridge, Long Beach State will travel to Pacific for a three-game series next weekend.

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