CSUN Seeks Fifth Straight, Travels to CSU Bakersfield and No. 23 UC Irvine

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

The Cal State Northridge Matadors, winners of their last four games, look to continue their run of success as they start a streak of playing their next eight games on the road. The Matadors will first head to CSU Bakersfield for a Wednesday night game at Hardt Field before returning to Big West Conference play at No. 23 UC Irvine this weekend. Cal State Northridge is currently tied for second in the conference at 4-2 with Cal Poly and looks to separate from the rest of the pack by taking a road series at Anteater Ballpark.

GAME #33: Matadors (17-15, 4-2 Big West) at CSU Bakersfield (21-11, 6-3 WAC)

Wednesday, April 10 - 6 p.m.

Hardt Field (2,000) - Bakersfield, Calif.

GAMES #34-36: CSUN at No. 23 UC Irvine (20-8, 3-3 Big West)

Friday, April 12 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 - 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 14 - 1 p.m.

Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark (2,900) - Irvine, 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.

Weekend Recap
The Matadors swept a three-game series from visiting UC Riverside this past weekend at Matador Field before rallying for an 8-7 win over Washington on Monday. Northridge opened the weekend against the Highlanders, who came in with a perfect 3-0 record in Big West play. The Matadors started the series off right with a dominant performance from Jerry Keel, who struck out a career-high nine batters in a 5-3 win on Friday. A tightly-contested game followed on Saturday with the Matadors prevailing 3-1. Alexis Mercado drove in the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh and CSUN scored an insurance run in the eighth on a fielding error.

The Northridge offense exploded in Sunday's finale and turned in 15 runs on 16 hits, both season highs for the team. Mercado collected four RBIs, Michael Livingston had three hits and two RBIs and Kyle Ferramola scored three runs in a 15-3 win. On the mound, John Salas went 7.2 innings with a career-high six strikeouts. He allowed just four hits and two unearned runs in the victory. In Monday's game against Washington, Northridge recovered from an early 6-0 hole to prevail 8-7 over the Huskies. The Matadors scored two runs in the sixth and one each in the seventh, eighth and ninth to pick up the win. Chester Pak drove in Nathan Ring with a bases-loaded single to deliver the walk-off win for CSUN.

A Closer Look at CSU Bakersfield
The CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners enter the week with a record of 21-11 and are 6-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Matadors have split their games against CSUB so far this year with a loss on March 19 and a win on April 1, both at Matador Field. CSU Bakersfield will take on No. 20 Cal Poly in Bakersfield on Tuesday night before hosting the Matadors on Wednesday.

Tyler Shryock continues to lead the CSUB attack offensively and is now hitting .390 with a team-high 53 hits. He has collected seven doubles, two triples and 12 RBIs. Cael Brockmeyer is the main power threat for the Roadrunners and leads the way with three triples, three home runs and 32 RBIs. Mylz Jones, an infielder, is making the charge up the clubhouse standings and is currently third on the team with a .359 batting average in 32 games. Jones has eight doubles to lead the squad and has driven in and scored 16 runs.

Left-handed pitcher Chuck Buchanan is the probable starter for the Roadrunners on Wednesday night. He has made just two appearances this season, including one start, and is 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA. Buchanan has eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work but has allowed nine runs and the opposition has a .423 batting average against him.

A Closer Look at No. 23 UC Irvine
The No. 23 UC Irvine Anteaters come into the week with a record of 20-8 and are 3-3 in Big West play. The Anteaters will play at San Diego on Tuesday night before hosting the Matadors at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark this weekend. It has been feast or famine for the Anteater so far in conference play, as they were swept by UC Riverside to start the league season before sweeping Hawai'i at home last week.

The Matadors have had a tough time down in Irvine the last few trips. Northridge has not won at Anteater Ballpark since the series finale in 2005 and is winless in its last nine there. However, CSUN took two of three from UCI last season in Northridge and looks to continue its ascent to the top of the Big West standings.

The Anteaters are led offensively by Connor Spencer, who is batting .408 with nine doubles and three triple in 28 games. He is currently fourth on the team with 18 RBIs and has drawn a team-high 12 walks. Taylor Sparks leads the way with five home runs and is third with 20 RBIs. He is batting .295 but his average is up to .318 against Big West opposition. In six conference games, Sparks has driven in seven runs.

UC Irvine will likely have Andrew Thurman, Matt Whitehouse and Andrew Morales on the mound this weekend. Thurman is 3-3 with a 2.22 ERA in seven starts and is 1-1 against the Big West. Whitehouse is 3-2 with a 2.61 ERA and has tossed a pair of complete games this season. Morales, the reigning Big West PItcher of the Week, has made six starts and three appearances out of the bullpen. He has compiled a perfect 7-0 record with a 1.81 ERA and has 36 strikeouts in 44.2 innings.

Matadors in the Big West Top Ten
After sweeping UC Riverside at home this past weekend, the Cal State Northridge Matadors rank among the statistical leaders in the Big West Conference's eighth standings release of the year. Northridge currently is seventh in team batting average (.265) and sixth in slugging percentage (.350). The Matadors are now second in the conference with 158 runs scored and are fourth with 269 hits recorded. Northridge has the seventh-best on base percentage (.353) and is third with 144 runs batted in. The Matadors are tied for fourth in the league with 42 doubles and are third with 12 home runs. CSUN is the league leader with 33 sacrifice bunts and ranks fourth with 34 stolen bases.

Defensively, Cal State Northridge's pitching staff is settling in to a position in the middle of multiple categories. Northridge has the sixth-best earned run average (4.18) and is fourth in strikeouts with 204. The pitching staff leads the league with 75 strikeouts looking and is tied for fourth with 16 wins. CSUN is fourth in the Big West with four runners picked off on the year. The Matadors rank 10th for hits allowed at 298 and are sixth with 147 runs allowed this season.

Individually, Miles Williams is fifth in the conference with 23 RBIs while leading the way with seven home runs. Cal Vogelsang is tied for seventh with two sac flies. Nathan Ring is currently fifth in the Big West with 15 walks drawn and is tied for fifth with Chester Pak with seven stolen bases. Tommy Simis and Kyle Attl are tied for fifth in the conference with five sacrifice bunts. Joshua Goossen-Brown is tied for first in the league with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He also ties for seventh with a pair of sacrifice flies on the year and is third with 24 RBIs.

Pitcher Jerry Keel is fifth in the Big West with 14 strikeouts looking while Calvin Copping (12) is sixth and John Salas (15)ranks third. Keel is ninth in the league wth a 40 strikeouts overall while Salas ties for fourth with 14 appearances on the season. Goossen-Brown checks in at fourth in the Big West with six saves. All stats are current as of April 8 and include all games through April 7. The stats do not include CSUN's win over Washington on April 8.