The Matador youngsters displayed what they can do given the right development and timely growth.
Sophomore catcher Marty Bowen, who was playing designated hitter and freshman outfielder Miles Williams, provided the pop in the last game of a rain-filled weekend series against Valparaiso at Matador Field.
The Cal State Northridge baseball team (5-3, 0-0 Big West) took the Monday series finale, 6-3, in a game that displayed a lot of pop in the offense.
Bowen went 4-for-4 with four hits and three RBIs, driving in the first three runs for the Matadors. The Crusaders (1-6, 0-0 Horizon) tied the game in the top of the seventh inning with a base-clearing double from centerfielder Chris Manning.
The big hit came after the seventh inning stretch.
After striking out in his first at-bat, Williams drove a two-run home run over the centerfield wall for his first career hit. The shot eventually became the difference in a tight game
“I faced the first guy and fanned off and then I faced the second guy and was looking away and he threw a little off-speed that he hung a little bit and I just hit it,” Williams said.
Bowen said he’s happy with his growth as a player, but said he is still trying to work himself back from surgery.
“I think I’m developing fine as a player. I had knee surgery in the fall so I wouldn’t say I’m still coming back from that, but in a way I am,” Bowen said.
Coach Matt Curtis is content to see how the young guys are reacting, but is wary due to the increasingly tough schedule that lies ahead.
“I see those guys progressing and get ready. It’s going to get tougher, we’re going to go on the road and we’re going to play conference opponents and we’re going to just be a little tighter all the way around, but it’s good to see those guys coming along,” Curtis said.
CSUN will travel to Beaumont, Texas, and will face three teams as part of the YMBL Cardinal Classic. The four-game trip starts Thursday against the New Mexico State Aggies.
The Aggies (8-0) are led by shortstop Ryan Aguayo, who is on a tear batting .600 with 18 hits and 17 RBIs.
On Saturday, Northridge will face the University of San Francisco Dons (2-5) and are led by outfielder Pete Lavin, who is batting .440 with 11 hits, and junior utility player Tom Barry, who is batting .444 with eight hits.
The Matadors will face host Lamar University on Friday and finally on Sunday. The Cardinals (6-4) are coming of a win which they won the 2010 Southland Conference Tournament to earn their 13th NCAA Tournament berth.
Lamar notables include outfielder Ted Zentek, who leads the team with a .310 batting average and has six RBIs, and Kevin Roebuck, who leads the team in hits (12) and RBIs with eight.