NORTHRIDGE – CSUN Baseball (8-5) continues its non-conference schedule with a three-game series against Pepperdine this weekend. The Matadors will visit Pepperdine for the first two games of the series on Friday at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday at 1:00 p.m., before returning back home on Sunday for the series finale at 1:00 p.m.
TheW.TV will video stream the first two games of the series in Malibu while an audio only stream will be available on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health for Sunday’s finale with Ross Porter on the call. Live stats, video and audio links can all be found on the baseball schedule page at GoMatadors.com.
Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Friday, March 9 – CSUN at Pepperdine
RHP Tei Vanderford (1-1, 7.13 ERA, 9 SO) vs. RHP Wil Jensen (2-0, 0.42 ERA, 17 SO)
Saturday, March 10 – CSUN at Pepperdine
LHP Wesley Moore (1-1, 3.21 ERA, 16 SO) vs. RHP Christian Stoutland (2-0, 1.04 ERA, 14 SO)
Sunday, March 11 – Pepperdine at CSUN
LHP Easton Lucas (0-2, 4.05 ERA, 12 SO) vs. RHP Matt Acosta (2-2, 3.86 ERA, 10 SO)
The Matadors are coming off a 7-5 loss to UNLV on Wednesday at Matador Field. CSUN rallied from an early three-run deficit to take a 4-3 lead to the sixth inning, however UNLV scored four runs over the next two innings. The Matadors added a run in the seventh on an RBI hit from Alvaro Rubalcaba, and was able to put the tying runs on base in the seventh but the Rebel bullpen would protect their lead.
Joey Cooper stroked his first career home run with the Matadors against UNLV, and Albee Weiss hit his eighth home run of the season. Out of the bullpen, Walker Armstrong tossed 3.1 shutout innings to go with two strikeouts.
With his homer on Wednesday, Weiss moved into a six-way tie for the home run lead in the nation. Weiss now has 30 career home runs, which is one shy of 10th place all time in CSUN history. The slugger is also third in the nation in RBI after driving in his 25th against UNLV. Sitting on 117 career RBI, Weiss could enter the school’s career Top 10 list with 17 more this season.
CSUN’s offense remains to be one of the most potent in the nation. The Matadors are second in the country in home runs (28) and slugging percentage (.614), third in hits (167), fourth in batting average (.344), sixth in runs (128) and seventh in doubles (35).
A number of Matadors are in the Top 10 in several Big West offensive categories. Trevor Casanova is tops in the Big West in hits (23), second in batting average (.434) and home runs (3) and third in slugging percentage (.698). Weiss leads the conference in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage (.870) while he is tied for second in hits with teammate Brandon Bohning (19). Cooper is atop the conference in walks (9) and on-base percentage (.517). In addition, Alvaro Rubalcaba has the most runs in the league (15) while Kevin Riley has a Big West-best six doubles.
Starting Friday, senior right hander Tei Vanderford is 1-1 this season with nine strikeouts and a 7.13 ERA over 17.2 innings. Making the Saturday start, freshman left hander Moore (1-1, 3.21 ERA) leads the team with 16 strikeouts in 14.0 innings of work. Moore is coming off his first career victory at Grand Canyon last weekend. Junior right hander Matt Acosta will start Sunday as he comes in with a 2-2 record and 3.86 ERA in five appearances.
Dating back to 1962, Pepperdine leads the all-time series with the Matadors 44-42-2. The teams have met in each of the last four years with the Matadors winning five of the last eight games. CSUN has also won four-straight games at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The squads split the season series last season with each team winning on the road.
A Closer Look at Pepperdine
The Waves are 5-8 this season and 3-5 at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Pepperdine went 2-1 at last weekend’s LeClair Classic in East Carolina as the Waves defeated ECU (12-2) and Saint Joseph’s (11-2) before falling to Missouri State (8-7). On Tuesday, Pepperdine dropped a midweek game to Arizona State, 10-7. Last season, Pepperdine went 20-32 and 8-19 in the West Coast Conference.
Junior Cory Wills is hitting .306 this season for the Waves to go with four runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Quincy McAfee has scored the most runs on the team with eight while hitting .296 with six RBI. Junior Jordan Qsar is the team’s top run producer with 12 RBI. Sophomore right hander Wil Jensen (2-0) will start on Friday as he comes into the weekend with an 0.42 ERA and 17 strikeouts. Also starting in the series, junior right hander Christian Stoutland (2-0) sports a 1.04 ERA and 14 strikeouts while sophomore left hander Easton Lucas (0-2) has a 4.05 ERA and 12 strikeouts.