NORTHRIDGE – CSUN Baseball (19-23, 6-9 BWC) opens up a three-game series with No. 8 UC Santa Barbara this weekend at Matador Field. The series opens Friday at 3:00 p.m., and continues Saturday and Sunday with start times set for 1:00 p.m. each day.
Audio broadcasts are available for all three games of the series at GoMatadors.com/Radio with Ross Porter on the call. A video stream will broadcast live on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health for Sunday’s series finale.
Probable Pitching Match-Ups
UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
LHP Ben Brecht (7-1, 3.97 ERA) vs. LHP Wesley Moore (4-3, 3.71 ERA)
LHP Jack Dashwood (6-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. LHP Isaiah Nunez (7-3, 2.28 ERA)
LHP Rodney Boone (6-0, 2.81 ERA) vs. RHP Blake Sodersten (1-2, 4.00 ERA)
CSUN earned its second series win in Big West play last weekend. The Matadors took two of three games from Hawai’i at Matador Field, winning the final two games of the series. The Rainbow Warriors took the opener 4-3 after scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. CSUN responded with a wire-to-wire 10-2 win in game two as the Matadors scored multiple runs in four innings. In the rubber game last Sunday, CSUN rallied from two deficits to pull out a 6-3 win behind a seventh-inning grand slam from Blake Doremus.
Juniors Jose Ruiz and Robert Bullard both went 4-for-8 with two runs scored and three RBI in the series. Freshman Josh Cerpa and senior Kyle Barret also drove in three runs. On the pitching side, the Matador bullpen posted a 2.00 ERA in nine innings of work in the series. Senior Isaiah Nunez improved to 7-3 on the season with 7.1 quality innings as he allowed one unearned run on Saturday.
Sophomore right hander Wesley Moore (4-3) takes the mound in the series opener with the Gauchos, followed by Nunez and freshman right hander Blake Sodersten. The team leader in strikeouts, Moore is eighth in the Big West in innings pitched (63.0) and strikeouts (52) to go with a 3.71 ERA. Nunez (7-3) will look to become the first Matador in 17 seasons to win eight games in a season. The left hander is sporting a 2.82 ERA on the season (ninth in the Big West) but in conference play he is posting a 1.82 ERA. Nunez has been especially impressive at Matador Field, sporting a 6-0 record and 1.58 ERA. Rounding out the rotation, Sodersten is 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA this season to go with 36 strikeouts.
In the Big West rankings, Barret is tied for the conference lead in doubles (15) with UC Irvine’s Brandon Lewis while he ranks fifth in hits (52), sixth in extra base hits (20), seventh in walks (21), eighth in batting average (.333) and 10h in slugging percentage (.513). Brandon Bohning is still tied for third in the league in stolen bases (13). In the home run department, Sean Skelly is tied for seventh in the conference with six while Bohning, Wesley Ghan-Gibson and Andrew Lucas are all tied for ninth with five home runs apiece.
Dating back to 1961, UCSB leads the all-time series with CSUN 85-63-3. The Matadors have won four of the last six meetings with the Gauchos including winning two of three games at UCSB last season. Over the past two seasons, the Matadors have won rubber games in each series and both in dramatic fashion. Nolan Bumstead hit a walk-off three-run home run two seasons ago to secure a series win over UCSB and Albee Weiss followed that up with a go-ahead three-run blast in the 12th inning in 2018.
A Closer Look at UC Santa Barbara
UCSB comes in with a 33-7 record (second-best winning percentage in Division I) and a 9-3 mark in Big West play. The Gauchos are one game behind of first-place Cal Poly in the conference standings. Last weekend, UCSB dropped its first series of the season at UC Riverside, falling two out of three times. The Gauchos would bounce back with a 6-3 win over CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday. UCSB leads the Big West in a host of offensive categories including runs (285), doubles (85), triples (25), home runs (44), RBI (258) and batting average (.292) while the team is tops in ERA (3.41) and strikeouts (366).
Junior Eric Yang is third in the Big West in batting (.373) and shares the team lead in RBI (35) with sophomore Andrew Martinez. Junior Tommy Jew leads the Big West in runs (39) and is followed by senior Tevin Mitchell with 38. Jew and Mitchell also share the conference’s top mark with 16 stolen bases. Starting Friday, junior left hander Ben Brecht is the league leader in strikeouts (79) while he comes in with a 7-1 mark and a 3.97 ERA. Sophomore lefty Jack Dashwood is just behind Brecht with 64 strikeouts (second in Big West) as he sports a 6-1 record and a 2.35 ERA. Out of the bullpen, freshman Michael McGreevy has a conference-low 1.91 ERA.