Baseball Preview: CSUN

Cal State Fullerton is looking to get back to their winning ways after going 2-4 in the last six games.

The Titans split two midweek games at Arizona State and lost an important Big West series at home to UC Irvine last week, scoring one run in three straight losses to ASU and Irvine before winning in extra innings last Sunday against the Anteaters.  Fullerton's struggles continued this week in an 8-3 loss on Tuesday against Loyola Marymount.

The Titans will be traveling this weekend to Cal State Northridge (13-18, 2-4), who was predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big West conference standings going into the season.  But, the Matadors didn't play like a cellar dweller in winning their conference opening series against UCSB before being swept by Cal Poly last weekend when two of their losses were in extra innings.  Northridge has been terrible on the road in going 0-11 this season but fortunately for the Matadors, the series with Fullerton will be at home where they are 13-7 which includes a three game sweep of Texas Tech (who has series wins over Texas A&M and Nebraska) and the series win against UCSB.

OUTLOOK

Despite getting swept at Cal Poly last weekend, Northridge has been playing well.  The Matadors are playing with confidence at home where they have won 7 of their last 9 games.  Fullerton on the other hand has not been playing nearly as well as they were earlier in the season in getting off to a 19-4 start and definitely is not a confident team going into this series.  Even though the Titans have gone 17-1 against Northridge over the last six seasons, this will not be an easy series for Fullerton.  The Matadors won a game at Fullerton last season and were very competitive in three of other five games the teams have played over the last two seasons so they know that they can play with Fullerton and won't be intimidated by seeing the Titans in the other dugout.  Fullerton is going to have to start swinging the bats better and manufacturing some offense to take some of the pressure off of the pitching staff.  The Titans should win this series but this figures to be a more closely contested series than what it appeared it would be a couple of weeks ago.  It would not be a surprise if Northridge wins a game this weekend and is close in at least one of the other games if they get some solid starting pitching and don't beat themselves with poor defense.