The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN swept by Fullerton in conference opener

The Cal State Northridge baseball team was swept in the Big West conference opening series by the Cal State Fullerton Titans March 31-April 2 at Goodwin Field.

The sweep put the Matadors back below .500 with a record of 15-17 and a 0-3 conference record. The sweep also extended the Titans’ current winning streak over the Matadors to 12 games.

The Titans came into the series with the lowest ERA in the Big West, posting a collective 2.78 ERA. The Matadors posted last in the conference with a combined ERA of 4.87. The Titans also posted a team batting average of .293 with the Matadors slightly behind at .286.

Fullerton took game one 2-1. A Matador error in the eighth inning allowed Titan right fielder Jared Clark to score the go-ahead run.

Game one proved to be a pitcher’s duel as the Big West conference’s two strikeout leaders headed off to open the series. Junior Craig Baker started on the mound for the Matadors with 61 strikeouts on the year and a 3.55 ERA. Baker earned Big West Player of the Week for his performance last week against Cal Poly, making it his second award this season.

For the Titans, Wes Roemer started on the mound. Roemer came into the game with 58 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.79, and a record of 5-0.

The first run of the game did not come until the bottom of the fifth inning, when designated hitter Bryan Harris opened up the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. A single by Clark scored Harris to give the Titans a 1-0 advantage.

The Matadors answered in the sixth, scoring a run to tie the game 1-1. Sakurai got on base with a walk. Roemer had not any batters this entire season. A sacrifice bunt by Johnny Coit and a stolen base advanced Sakurai to third. A single by left fielder James Scott scored the Matadors only run of the game.

Despite suffering his fifth loss of the season, Baker pitched a solid performance. He finished with four strikeouts and gave up six hits and one earned run in eight innings.

“Last night’s game, I thought our pitcher pitched well and our defense played well and our hitters weren’t very good,” said head coach Steve Rousey.

Roemer improved to 6-0 on the season, recording 12 strikeouts and giving up four hits and one earned run. Vinnie Pestano earned the save.

Fullerton 6


In game two, Chuckie Fick started for the Matadors, taking on Lauren Gagnier. Fick came into the game with a 5.08 ERA and a record of 3-4. Gagnier came in with a record of 6-2 and a 2.86 ERA.

A costly error in the third inning broke a 1-1 tie which the Matadors were unable to bounce back from. Second baseman Justin Turner led the inning off with a walk and first baseman Brett Pill walked to put runners on first and second. A double steal and a Matador error brought in the first run of the game and put a runner on third. A single by catcher John Curtis scored the second run of the inning to give the Titans a 3-1 advantage.

The Titans scored three more runs in the fifth inning and took game two by a score of 6-1.

Fick took the loss pitching 4.2 innings and giving up six runs and nine hits. Matt Gaylord and Edwin Quirarte provided solid relief for the Matadors, allowing no runs and only one hit in 3.1 innings of work.

Gagnier earned his seventh win of the season, recording eight strikeouts and gave up one run and six hits.

Junior catcher Steve Lemmon went 1-for-3 and earned the only RBI in the game for the Matadors. Junior second baseman Jonathan Sakurai finished the game going 1-for-4, scoring the only Matador run.

Despite the reputation of Fullerton baseball success, the Matadors came into the series with high expectations. “I expected to win,” Rousey said. “I expected to win Friday and when I came here Saturday, I expected to win Saturday and when we come here tomorrow I expect to win then. One game at a time.”

Fullerton 14


Senior Jimmy Brettl closed out the series for the Matadors, coming in with an ERA of 2.95 and a 3-1 record. He faced off against Justin Klipp.

A Matador wild pitch in the third inning scored the go-ahead run for the Titans, giving them a 2-1 advantage. The Matadors’ chances at a come from behind victory seemed unlikely as the Titans went on to score four consecutive innings. Fullerton scored four runs in the fifth, two in the sixth, two in the seventh and four more in the eighth inning to give them a 14-2 victory.

Sakurai extended his hitting streak to 15 games as he went 2-for-4 in the game. He basically was the Matadors’ offense, recording one RBI and scoring a run. Sophomore Right fielder Brett Blumenthal went 1-for-4 and recorded an RBI to give him 23 on the season.

Brettl suffered the loss pitching 4.1 innings and giving up eight hits and four earned runs. The Matador bullpen struggled to hold the Titans. Three Matador relievers combined for 3.2 innings of work. They allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs on the day. The Matadors recorded only three strikeouts in the game.

The Matadors next play at San Diego State today at 2 p.m..

Victor Flores can be reached at

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