CSUN Set to Battle No. 8 UCLA in Final Non-Conference Game of Season
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge Matadors, winners of nine of the last ten, have put together a seven-game winning streak for the first time since 2002. This week., the Matadors will head down the 405 to take on cross-town rival No. 8 UCLA on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Northridge is also looking for a crucial non-conference win over a quality opponent as the Matadors look to build their NCAA Tournament resume heading into the final 10 games of the regular season. Tuesday's game at UCLA will include a free audio broadcast and live stats available on GoMatadors.com.
GAME #48: CSUN (29-18, 14-4 Big West) at No. 8 UCLA Bruins (31-13, 14-7 Pac-12)
Tuesday, May 7 - 6:00 p.m.
Friday - RHP Brycen Rutherford (1-1, 3.51 ERA) at RHP Cody Poteet (3-4, 4.18 ERA)
Jackie Robinson Stadium (1,250) - Los Angeles, 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.
The Matadors picked up where they left off in conference play last weekend by completing a three-game sweep at UC Davis. With three wins Northridge swept a conference opponent for the third consecutive time and has now won its last nine Big West Conference games, matching a school record set in 2002. The Matadors got off to a good start at UC Davis on Friday, winning 9-3 behind five RBIs by Joshua Goossen-Brown. Jerry Keel went 7.0 strong innings again on the mound for Northridge to pick up his seventh win of the season. Nicolas Osuna had a career day at the plate and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Northridge was able to rally for a win in 12 innings on Saturday. Kyle Attl drove in four runs, including a two-run homer and a two-run single in the 12th to push the Matadors to victory. CSUN scored twice in the ninth and three times in the 12th to clinch the series at UC Davis for the first time in school history. The team completed its sweep on Sunday by scoring six unanswered runs in a 10-4 win. Osuna drove in two more runs and pinch-hitter Anthony Lombardo had a two-run single to keep CSUN just a game back of league-leading Cal State Fullerton with nine conference games to play.
A Closer Look at No. 8 UCLA
The UCLA Bruins come into the week ranked eighth in the country by Baseball America. The Bruins are currently 31-13 overall and are 14-7 in Pac-12 play. Earlier this season, UCLA outlasted Northridge 5-4 in a game that featured six errors committed by the Matadors.
Trent Chatterton leads the Bruins's starters with a .287 batting average and has appeared in 33 games. Pat Valaika is hitting .271 and leads the team with 46 hits, 13 doubles, four home runs and 33 runs batted in. Kevin Kramer is also lighting it up for UCLA, hitting .280 with nine doubles, a pair of triples, two homers and 29 runs batted in. As a team, the Bruins are hitting .248 but have 210 runs scored, eight triples and 58 stolen bases.
Cody Poteet will start on the mound for UCLA on Tuesday. He is currently 3-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 56.0 innings. He has made eight starts previously and has come out of the bullpen on 12 occassions. Poteet got the start in the last meeting between these two teams and went 5.0 innings in a no decision. He allowed four runs on two hits and walked a pair of batters but the bullpen behind him allowed just one hit the remainder of the way as the Bruins were able to complete a comeback.
Following the Tuesday game against CSUN, UCLA will host the defending National Champion Arizona Wildcats this weekend.
Matadors in the Big West Top Ten
With the final three conference series left to play, the Cal State Northridge Matadors rank among the statistical leaders in the Big West Conference's 12th standings release of the year. Northridge currently is seventh in team batting average (.266) and eighth in slugging percentage (.351). The Matadors are now second in the conference with 254 runs scored and are fifth with 416 hits recorded. Northridge has the sixth-best on base percentage (.352) and is second with 228 runs batted in. The Matadors are fourth in the league with 74 doubles and are fifth with 16 home runs. CSUN is first in the league with 58 sacrifice bunts and ranks fourth with 53 stolen bases.
Defensively, Cal State Northridge's pitching staff is settling in to a position in the middle of multiple categories. Northridge has the fifth-best earned run average (3.77) and is fifth in strikeouts with 267. The pitching staff is second in the league with 96 strikeouts looking and is tied for third with 29 wins. CSUN is sixth in the Big West with five runners picked off on the year. The Matadors rank seventh for hits allowed at 432 and are tied for fourth with 207 runs allowed this season.
Individually, Miles Williams ties for third in the conference with seven home runs. Nathan Ring is currently second in the Big West with 31 walks drawn and is fourth with 12 steals while Chester Pak is tied for fifth in that category with 11 stolen bases. Kyle Attl ties for fifth for sacrifice bunts with eight. Joshua Goossen-Brown is tied for first in the league with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He has yet to make an error in 367 chances in the field and is also the league leader with 43 runs batted in. Alexis Mercado is currently tied for fourth in the conference with 13 doubles on the year.
Pitcher Jerry Keel ranks second and John Salas ties for eighth in the conference having struck out 21 and 17 batters looking so far this year, respectively. Keel is tied for ninth in the league wth 57 strikeouts overall and ranks third with a 2.06 ERA. DJ Milam, Harley Holt and Oscar Sandoval all tie for 10th with 19 appearances this year. Goossen-Brown currently is fourth in the Big West with eight saves and is sixth with 13 games finished on the mound. All stats are current as of May 6 and include all games through May 5.