NORTHRIDGE – CSUN Baseball (5-3) continues its road swing with a weekend trip to Phoenix for four games at the GCU Classic. The Matadors will face Valparaiso and host Grand Canyon twice over a three-day period.
CSUN meets Valparaiso on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. before taking on GCU later that day at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Matadors meet GCU once more at 1 p.m. before squaring off with Valparaiso on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Live stats will be provided for each game in the series, and live video will be available on the WAC Digital Network for the two games against GCU. All links to stats and video are available on the baseball schedule at GoMatadors.com.
Probable Pitching Match-Ups
Friday, March 2 vs. Valparaiso
RHP Jon Tieman (1-1, 8.68 ERA, 6 SO) vs. RHP Walker Armstrong (1-0, 4.76 ERA, 9 SO)
Friday, March 2 at Grand Canyon
RHP Tei Vanderford (1-0, 6.00 ERA, 8 SO) vs. RHP Jake Wong (0-0, 1.80 ERA, 12 SO)
Saturday, March 3 at Grand Canyon
LHP Wesley Moore (0-1, 4.00 ERA, 13 SO) vs. RHP Mike Lundin (1-1, 5.19 ERA, 3 SO)
Sunday, March 4 vs. Valparaiso
RHP Matt Acosta (1-2, 5.14 ERA, 5 SO) vs. TBA
The Matadors defeated CSU Bakersfield 8-1 on Tuesday evening to win their fourth-straight game. Senior Nolan Bumstead recorded his first career multiple-home run game with two homers, and he tied career bests in hits (3) and RBI (5). Freshman Brandon Bohning and seniors Alvaro Rubalcaba and Justin Toerner all drove in runs in the win while Bohning finished with two hits and a run scored. Eight Matador pitchers combined to strike out 12 batters. Junior right hander Cassius Hamm earned his first career CSUN victory after tossing a shutout inning in relief.
CSUN remains to be one of the top offenses in the nation through eight games. The Matadors are first in the nation in home runs (22), second in slugging percentage (.685), third in hits (113) and batting average (.367), fourth in runs (91) and sixth in triples (5). Senior Albee Weiss is currently fourth in the country in home runs with five while Toerner is second in triples with three.
The reigning Big West Field Player of the Week, Trevor Casanova is batting .533 this season with two home runs and eight RBI to go with a .576 on-base percentage and .833 slugging percentage. Also hitting above .400, Bohning has enjoyed a hot start to his collegiate career, hitting .441 with 10 runs scored, eight RBI and two home runs while Toerner is batting .423 with 11 runs scored, seven RBI and seven extra base hits. Bumstead is also off to a quick start, batting .407 with three home runs, 12 RBI and nine runs scored. As a team, CSUN leads the Big West in runs, hits, doubles (22), triples, home runs, RBI (89), extra base hits (49), batting average, on-base percentage (.440) and slugging percentage.
The Matadors will start junior right hander Walker Armstrong in the opener on Friday followed by senior right hander Tei Vanderford, freshman left hander Wesley Moore and junior right hander Matt Acosta. Armstrong (1-0, 4.76 ERA) earned his first career victory last Sunday against Manhattan by tossing five shutout innings. In two starts, Vanderford has a 6.00 ERA and 1-0 record in a team-high 12.0 innings of work. Moore (0-1, 4.00 ERA) leads the team in strikeouts with 13 while Acosta (1-2, 5.14 ERA) has figured into three decisions already this season.
CSUN and Valparaiso have met only four times in history as the Matadors took three of those four games at home during the 2011 season. The Matadors outscored the Crusaders 25-11 in the four-game series seven seasons ago. Dating back to 1990, the Matadors have won 12 of 13 games against Grand Canyon including the first 11 meetings. CSUN is also 6-1 all time at Grand Canyon. In the team’s last meeting in 2015, the Matadors defeated the ‘Lopes 10-1 at Matador Field as Toerner hit a two-run blast.
A Closer Look at Valparaiso
The Crusaders are 2-4 this season but went 2-1 last week in Norman, Okla. Valpo defeated host Oklahoma 11-4 and Holy Cross 20-6 before falling to the Sooners 3-2 in extra innings. Last season, Valpo finished 24-29 and 13-15 in the Horizon League. Senior Zack Leone leads the team with a .478 batting average with seven runs scored, six RBI and a .652 slugging percentage. Junior Sam Shaikin has hit two homers on the year to go with a .417 batting average and six RBI. Sophomore right hander Jon Tieman will face the Matadors on Friday, and he comes in with a 1-1 record, six strikeouts and 8.68 ERA over 9.1 innings of work.
A Closer Look at Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon is 2-5 on the year including 1-3 at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark. The team went 1-2 at the Tony Gwynn Legacy last weekend as the ‘Lopes defeated Cal Poly 5-1 but fell to San Diego 8-4 and San Diego State 5-4. GCU went 29-25 last season, winning the Western Athletic Conference regular season title for the second time in three years. The ‘Lopes are in their first year of postseason eligibility. Sophomore Quin Cotton leads the team with a .423 batting average with seven runs scored, four RBI and a home run. Junior Marc Mumper has also driven in four runs while he has batted .278 with three runs scored. Junior right hander Jake Wong (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will earn the start against CSUN on Friday while senior right-handed pitcher Mike Lundin (1-1, 5.19 ERA) heads to the hill on Saturday.