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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Matadors start season swinging

The Cal State Northridge baseball team opened their 2007 Baseball Season by winning two of their three-game series against the University of Las Vegas Rebels at Matador Field on Jan. 26 to 28. After an opening day loss of 10-4 on Jan. 26, the Matadors came back slugging to win 16-7 on Jan. 27 and 9-4 on Jan. 28.

Freshman right fielder C.J. Belanger batted .700 for the series, getting seven hits and six RBIs. Senior shortstop Jonathan Sakurai and senior first baseman Jorge Andrade Jr. each had six hits and batted .429. Sakurai added 4 RBIs, as did senior centerfielder Amiel Traynum and senior left fielder Kris Kasarjian, both also adding five hits for the series. Sophomore catcher John Parham hit the only homerun for the Matadors in the series.

Head coach Steve Rousey put 14 different pitchers on the mound throughout the series. Junior Chuckie Fick suffered the loss in the first game while Sophomore Jimmy Jolicoeur recorded the win in the second. Sophomore Edwin Quirarte pitched the win in the third game and senior Joe Rocchio got the save. Jolicoeur and Quirarte both struck out four batters. Relief pitcher Rocchio struck out three, while sophomore P.J. Rousey and junior Mark Haderlein each had two strikeouts.

In the opening game on Jan. 26 the Matadors scored the first run of the series in the first inning when a double by Andrade Jr. brought around senior Todd Shelton, who had walked, along with Kasarjian.

UNLV tied the score at 1-1 in the third after senior outfielder Calvin Beamon got on base on a fielder’s choice. The Rebels continued to score, going ahead 3-1 in the fourth. They again increased their lead in the sixth inning after Navarro Jr. hit his second double of the game and sophomore third baseman Xavier Scruggs hit a two-run homer over the left field fence.

The Matadors struggled offensively, but their bats awoke in the seventh and they scored two runs, ending the inning at 9-4. They were not able to carry their rally into the later innings, losing 10-4.

CSUN junior Chuckie Fick took the loss after pitching 5.2 innings in which he walked five, and allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits.

Head coach Steve Rousey said he thought the team took a lot of good swings that just made it hard on them.

“I don’t know if we were a little bit nervous or a little over anxious cause it was the first game, but we did a lot of things that were uncharacteristic of ourselves – base running mistakes. I thought we were a little bit careful on the mound instead of challenging hitters,” Rousey said.

The Matadors rebounded to win the second game 16-7 on Jan. 27. Sophomore pitcher Jimmy Jolicoeur earned the win in five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.

CSUN again got on the scoreboard first, going up 1-0 after Sakurai scored in the first inning. Sakurai walked on base and a single up the middle by Kasarjian combined with a throwing error to put the Matadors on the scoreboard 1-0.

In the third inning Traynum and Sakurai both hit singles and then advanced on a throwing error by the junior third baseman Willie Bowman. A single to left field by Shelton scored Traynum and Kasarjian singled to the right side to score Sakurai. Andrade Jr. got on base due to an error by second baseman Smith, which also advanced Shelton and Kasarjian. Shelton tagged and scored on Belanger’s fly ball to left field, putting the Matadors ahead 4-0.

The offensive surge continued for the Matadors, ending the fourth inning with a 10-1 lead due to patient and timely hitting.

The Rebels came back swinging in the fifth and sixth to bring the score to 10-6.

CSUN scored two more runs on two hits to end the sixth at 12-6. Shelton hit a single to third and scored on a triple by Andrade Jr. Belanger hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Andrade.

CSUN wasn’t done scoring, adding one run in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth to extend the lead to 10 runs. The Rebels were able to get one more run on the board, but failed to rally and lost 16-7.

Coach Rousey said he thought the team did a much better job of playing the type of game that they are used to playing.

“Today we were more ourselves. The players you saw on the field today for the Matadors are the players that I’ve been watching day in and day out in practice leading up to the season,” Rousey said.

CSUN won the third game of the series 9-4 on Sunday, Jan. 28. Edwin Quirarte recorded the win, giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings.

The Matadors scored three runs in the third inning after Parham hit a homerun to left field, scoring Cates who was on base due to a hit pitch. Traynum hit a double to left field and scored on Sakurai’s single. The inning ended at 5-1.

UNLV gained some ground in the fifth, putting the score at 5-3. In the seventh, junior Eric Billings went in to pitch for the Matadors, but it would be a brief appearance. After Billings walked Smith, Gailen flied out to left field and Smith advanced to second on a wild pitch. Billings struck out Chad Miller, but was replaced on the mound by Rocchio. Navarro Jr. hit a single up the middle to score Smith and close the gap to 5-4.

Andrade Jr. responded with a double to right field, followed by a single up the middle by Belanger. Andrade Jr. scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Reed. Cates got on base due to an error by Scruggs at third base. The Matadors increased the lead to 8-4.

CSUN got their last run in the eighth after the Rebels brought in junior Adam Moser to pitch. Andrade Jr. hit a single to left and Belanger hit a single to right. An error by Walker at shortstop put Reed on base and scored Andrade Jr. for a final score of 9-4.

The Matadors hit the road for the next series Feb. 2-4 against Pacific in Stockton. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.

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