In a two-game series, 12 Matador pitchers took the mound on Tuesday and Wednesday as the CSUN baseball team swept the UNLV Rebels (13-15) in non-conference play.
The Matadors (13-14, 2-1) got things going early in the first game as designated hitter Todd Eskelin ripped a triple in the bottom of the second inning and scored easily after catcher Chris Hannick came up next and hit a standup double.
On the mound for the Matadors was freshman Westley Wright (1-0), who went three solid innings and struck out four batters while not giving up any hits or runs.
Wright’s day was a short one though, as Head Coach Steve Rousey decided to tinker with his pitching staff.
In the fourth inning, junior Davin Tate (0-0) got his chance to pitch and fared decently over two innings, giving up three hits and one earned run while striking out two batters.
‘I felt good.’ The only thing I have to work on is that first pitch strike.’ That’s key,’ Tate said. ‘I talked to coach the other day just to figure out my role and he told me he wants me to come out of the bullpen.’
During the bottom of the seventh inning, the Matadors held a 2-1 lead until Cates came to the plate and got himself two RBIs on a double to open the Matador lead to 4-1.
After that seventh inning, junior pitcher Jimmy Jolicoeur (2-3) came into the game and made his team forget about his poor performance against UC Santa Barbara on Friday with two solid innings of work, striking out three batters and giving up only one hit as the Matadors went on to win 5-1.
‘As a pitcher you have to have a short-term memory, that’s really the only thing you can do,’ Jolicoeur said. ‘I can’t explain what happened (against UCSB), all I can do is get back on the mound as fast as I can and get a good outing and build my confidence.’
On Wednesday it was a similar game as CSUN got a lot of run support and was able to get some of the underclassmen some work on the mound.
Starting for the Matadors was Paul Tremlin (4-1), who played well through three innings, giving up only one earned run and striking out five.
CSUN found a lot of offense from first baseman Dominic D’Anna, who hit a double to centerfield to score catcher John Parham in the bottom of the third inning. That was followed by an Eskelin double to score D’Anna and give the Matadors a 4-2 lead which they didn’t relinquish.
D’Anna added a two-run homerun in the eighth inning to go 2-for-4 on the day with four RBIs and three runs scored as CSUN beat the Rebels 9-4.
CSUN will take the field this weekend as they resume Big West Conference play against Cal Poly with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday. Live coverage will be available at our blog, the Matador Score.