NORTHRIDGE – CSUN Baseball (16-22) completes a seven-game road trip on Tuesday evening when the Matadors visit California Baptist at 6:00 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network.
Probable Pitching Match-Up
CSUN at California Baptist
RHP Blaine Traxel (0-2, 3.33 ERA) vs. RHP Jorge Valerio (2-3, 4.50 ERA)
The Matadors head into the week looking to snap a four-game losing streak. CSUN suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of No. 21 UC Irvine last weekend. In Thursday’s opener, the Anteaters scored seven runs over a three-inning span to take control of the contest and win 7-1. CSUN would come from behind twice to even game two late before the Anteaters capitalized on a error in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a 4-3 victory. UCI took the series finale on Saturday as the Matadors found themselves on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel, losing 2-0.
Senior Isaiah Nunez continued his strong pitching in Big West play (2.17 ERA) by tossing 5.2 innings in game two against UCI, allowing two earned runs. Freshman Blake Sodersten received a no-decision in the series finale as he tossed 4.2 shutout innings while senior Theron Kay worked 4.1 shutout innings out of the bullpen over two appearances.
On the offensive side, freshman Andrew Lucas collected three hits with two runs scored against the Anteaters. Lucas also hit a game-tying home run in game two, which squared the game at 3-3. Freshman Josh Cerpa picked up his first career hits in the series, with his first coming in game one of the series.
In the Big West rankings, senior second baseman Kyle Barret is tied for the conference lead in doubles (13) with Bradlee Beesley of Cal Poly while Barret ranks fourth in the league in hits (47), sixth in walks (19) and 10th in total bases (73). Barret also remains the Matadors’ top hitter with a .329 batting average. Elsewhere in the Big West, sophomore Brandon Bohning is third in stolen bases (13) while junior Sean Skelly is seventh in home runs (6) and ninth in slugging percentage (.529). Bohning is also CSUN’s top run producer with 24 RBI.
On the pitching side, freshman Blaine Traxel is tops in the Big West in pitching appearances (21), followed closely by sophomore Blake Schriever with 20 games pitched. Nunez is third in the conference in wins (6) and fifth in innings pitched (59.2) while sophomore Wesley Moore is eighth in innings pitched (57.1) and in strikeouts (48).
CSUN is 7-0 all-time against California Baptist with all seven of those wins taking place from 1994 to 1999. The Matadors and Lancers last played in April 1999 with CSUN claiming a 1-0 decision at Matador Field. Six of the seven meetings between the two teams have taken place at Matador Field. In the teams’ only meeting at CBU, CSUN picked up a 10-4 victory during the 1997 season.
A Closer Look at California Baptist
In its first season at the Division I level, CBU is 24-15 this season including 9-6 in the WAC. CBU dropped two of three games at UTRGV over the weekend. Earlier this season, the Lancers enjoyed a 9-0 start to the year while the team has posted conference series wins over Grand Canyon, Seattle U and CSU Bakersfield. A perennial NCAA Division II Tournament team, CBU finished 35-19 last season. Head coach Gary Adcock is the team’s winningest coach in team history with over 550 wins during his 16 seasons at the helm.
Senior Luke Navigato leads the team in batting (.366), runs scored (32), hits (56) and doubles (11) to go with five homers and 24 RBI. Behind Navigato, freshman Chad Castillo is batting .323 with 17 runs scored and 16 RBI. Senior Ryan Mota is the team’s RBI (34), home run (11) and slugging leader (.558). As a team, CBU is second in the WAC in home runs (38) and batting average (.272). The Lancers are posting a team 3.82 ERA and .238 batting average against.