Baseball: Out-of-sync Matadors face Aggies on the road

Ignacio Marquez

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COLLISION: Infielder Tommy Simis tags out a Pacific runner at third base in Friday’s 4-3 defeat to the Tigers at Matador Field. CSUN’s defense has stabilized, but pitching and hitting have been inconsistent. Photo Credit: Monique Muñiz / Sports Editor

Struggles and inconsistency has been the story for the Matadors all season long.

The pitching works on some days and the offense works on other days, but they do not seem to meet at any time.

Coach Matt Curtis said before facing Cal Poly in a Big West Conference series two weeks ago that he would like to see both the offense and defense working in the same game.

Not much has changed as the CSUN baseball team has failed to make both sides of the ball work together in the same game and that has brought them to a season-worst four games under .500 at 18-22.

“It’s tough to not have both together, but we have to go out and still compete. It’s nothing that is going to get fixed overnight,” infielder Adam Barry said.

The subpar overall record seems diminutive when seeing the Big West record, which stands at 1-8 after three series and worst in the conference.

The Matadors lost their first two conference series to UC Irvine and Cal Poly respectively, going 0-6 in those games. The team managed to tally its first conference victory of the season on Thursday in the series opener against the University of the Pacific.

CSUN failed to build on that victory and lost the next two. The series finale featured an abundance of hits as both teams had problems on the mound and the offenses blew to record a combined for 42 hits, six short of breaking the CSUN game record for hits in a game.

Northridge will now get a chance to record those conference victories, as it will face a UC Davis team that is not doing a lot of winning themselves.

The Aggies are 9-25 and are hitting a conference-worst .254 average to go along with their 4.58 earned run average, which is only better than CSUN and Pacific.

With CSUN’s team ERA at 5.56, which is second to last in the conference, pitcher Alex Muren said the staff will work on controlling what they can control.

“Our main focus is walks. We are aiming at minimizing them to less than three per game and we have to pitch to contact,” Muren said.

Despite the losses, the team is displaying a never-give-up mentality as the team prepares to play the worst team in the Big West, at least overall record-wise.

“We got to win the series. There’s an overall feeling that we got to keep getting better. There are still four or five weeks left to go and that’s kind of the standard here right now is to keep fighting,” assistant coach Shaun Larkin said.

Larkin was careful to point out that his players will not get complacent, even if the opponent seems to be worse than they are.

“Our mantra here is to respect all and fear none so I don’t care if they’re undefeated or haven’t won a game all year, we got to approach it to play our game and not worry about what the opponent is doing,” he said.

NOTES: Northridge lost a non-conference road game at UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, 6-4. The game featured four Matadors with multiple hits… CSUN’s Barry is currently riding a 14-game hit streak, the longest in the conference this season.