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Fifty-seven games including 15 matchups with 2017 NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2018 CSUN Baseball schedule. The Matadors will face six NCAA Regional squads along with five reigning conference champions, six teams with a 2017 Top 75 RPI and 11 teams with winning records. CSUN will also take on three teams for the first time in program history during the 2018 campaign.
“This year’s schedule is going to be a good balance of lengthy travel, which will be a good challenge for our team, and it’s also a deep schedule,” said head coach Greg Moore. “We have multiple teams that were in a NCAA Regional last year and multiple teams that were in the Top 50-75 of the RPI [rankings] so when a team travels and is challenged on the road by good baseball teams, they get better as the year goes. We’re excited to get after this thing and make sure we bring our best effort every day against very good baseball teams.”
The Matadors open the season with a seven-game homestand. CSUN hosts defending West Coast Conference Champion BYU from Feb. 16-19 in a four-game series to start the season. In 2017, BYU won the West Coast regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Regionals. Also in the opening homestand, CSUN takes on Manhattan in a three-game series from Feb. 23-25, which will represent the first games played between the two programs.
CSUN will compete at the GCU Classic in Phoeniz, AZ from March 2-4. CSUN takes on Valparaiso twice that weekend and host Grand Canyon twice, the 2017 Western Athletic Conference Champion.
During the non-conference season, the Matadors face Pepperdine four times including a three-game series from March 9-11. The first two games of the series will take place in Malibu followed by a Sunday meeting at Matador Field. The teams will then meet once more on April 3 at CSUN.
The Matadors embark on a seven-game road trip in Mid-March with four contests against Big Ten Conference teams. CSUN visits Ohio State for a three-game series to kick off the road trip (March 16-18) followed by a midweek matchup with Illinois (March 21). The road trip will end at Missouri State for a three-game set from March 23-25. A season ago, the Bears won the Missouri Valley Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. The road trip also represents the first ever CSUN trip to Ohio State and the Matadors’ first ever meetings with Illinois and Missouri State.
On tap in 2018, the Matadors will compete in several midweek games including home contests with UNLV (March 7), UCLA (March 13), CSU Bakersfield (March 27) and Fresno State (May 8). CSUN also hits the road for midweek games at CSU Bakersfield (Feb. 27), San Diego State (April 17) and Fresno State twice (April 10 and April 24). Both UCLA and San Diego State competed at the Long Beach Regional in 2017.
CSUN will conclude the regular season with a three-game non-conference series at USC from May 24-26.
The Matadors open up Big West Conference play hosting Cal Poly from March 29-31. CSUN visits UC Riverside (April 6-8) for its first road conference series before hosting last season’s Big West Champion Long Beach State from April 13-15. The Dirtbags hosted both the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals in 2017.
UC Irvine heads to Matador Field for the first time since 2015 for a three-game series from April 20-22. CSUN will conclude the month of April with a three-game series at Hawai’i (April 27-29) before traveling to UC Santa Barbara (May 4-6) the following weekend.
After a three-game home series with UC Davis (May 11-13), the Matadors square off with Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field from May 18-20 to close the Big West season. The Titans advanced to the College World Series last season.
Moore enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Matadors. Over the past three seasons, Moore has led CSUN to 92 victories including a pair of 33-win seasons. The team has won over 90 Division I games over a three-year span for just the second time in program history. Last season, the Matadors finished fourth in the Big West Conference, tying the 2013 team for the program’s best conference finish in 15 years