After being swept last weekend by Big West Conference rival University of California, Santa Barbara, the CSUN men’s baseball team bounced back with its first conference sweep in four years.
Northridge (13-13, 3-3 BWC) hosted Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo (9-17, 1-5 BWC) this past weekend for a three-game series at Matador Field.
On Friday, the Matadors defeated the Mustangs 9-7, edged them out 3-2 in extra innings on Saturday, and won convincingly on Sunday, 8-3.
“Sweeps in the Big West are really hard” CSUN head coach Steve Rousey said. “You target it as a goal to win a series and if you win a series, you’ve done an excellent job. If you get a sweep, you have done something special.”
While the club was putting some Ws in the win column, it was keeping some Es off the scoreboard. CSUN has struggled on defense this season. In the last series alone, Northridge committed seven errors. In this series, the Matadors had only two fielding miscues.
“The funny thing about baseball is when you have a ball hit at you and you make an error, the next one is coming at you again,” freshman shortstop Justin DeMarco said. “Making that second play is the biggest thing and we’ve done a good job of that.”
In the series opener on Friday, a trio of freshman led the Northridge offense. Designated hitter Drew Muren went 4-for-4 and scored three runs, third baseman Ryan Pineda was 3-for-3 and knocked in three RBIs, and DeMarco was 2-for-3 with five RBIs. Not only did DeMarco knock in more than half the team’s runs, but he did it all with two outs.
“Justin is what we refer to as a gamer,” Rousey said. “He’s at his best in the big situations. How people come to be like that, nobody knows but he’s definitely one of them.”