West Impressions: Cal State Northridge, Nevada Keep Winning

Calvin Copping courtesy Cal State University Northridge AthleticsCalvin Copping Continues Hot Cal State Northridge Start

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Junior right-hander Calvin Copping allowed an earned run in a complete game effort in a 5-1 Cal State Northridge Matadors win over the Dartmouth Big Green (1-8) to open their four-game set at Matador Field Thursday night. The 6’3” 180-pound hurler struck out 11 hitters and scattered 10 hits and a pair of walks over nine innings of work to improve to 4-1 on the season.

The Matadors are putting together a solid run to open the season at 16-5 with two losses to No. 7 UCLA and at Saint Mary’s while practically dominating the rest of the competition they’ve faced. Over this stretch Cal State is scoring five runs a game while the pitching staff has a 2.10 ERA.

Copping is the staff ace with a 2.62 ERA while averaging 10.7 K/9 and a 1.28 WHIP. Couple Copping with junior right-hander Rayne Raven (4-1, 1.08) who is averaging 11.3 K/9 and a 0.93 WHIP and you have a formidable duo. Raven, the 6’2” 207-pound Tacoma, Washington native, has been unfairly unhittable so far this season.

Cal State Northridge is getting substantial production at the plate out of senior outfielder Chester Pak with a .321/.419/.551 clip. The game on Thursday was blown open with a five-run, eighth-inning rally that was sparked by Pak’s team-leading, fourth long ball on the season, a two-run shot that recaptured the Matadors lead. Pak, out of Diamond Bar, California, also leads CSUN in runs scored (19), RBI (15), walks (13) and steals (5) and has yet to commit an error while patrolling the outfield for the Dors.

Heading into Big West Conference play the Matadors have built a good resume with a 30 RPI and are looking to make some noise in what appears to be a wide open conference race that is lacking a clear front-runner.

Trenton Brooks Walk-Off Extends Nevada Streak To Five

RENO, Nev. – Sophomore rightfielder Trenton Brooks lined a 1-2 delivery into the right field corner for a two-out, two-run, walk-off double to give the No. 23 Nevada Wolf Pack an 11-10 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats (6-13) on Thursday night at Peccole Park. Brooks’ double came with runners on the corners and extended the Wolf Pack’s current win streak to five games.

Nevada is exploding offensively averaging 6.7 runs per game while hitting .288 with 23 homers as the entire middle of the lineup has the ability to go long. Junior second baseman Ryan Howell (.405/.823/.515) leads the team with seven while last season’s team-leader, senior first baseman Austin Byler (.342/.684/.519), has six. Junior third baseman Bryce Greager (.268/.536/.368) has four and hero of the night Brooks (.329/.566/.474) has three as the middle of the Nevada lineup is punishing opposing pitching with a team .172 isolated slugging percentage led by Howell’s .418 with Byler in second at .342!

Last night, the quad of power-hitters accounted for nine hits, four runs and seven RBI led by Brooks’ 3-for-6 with four RBI and Greager’s 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. The Wolf Pack put 25 runners on base safely with 18 hits and seven walks as seven different players scored a run on the night.

Nevada has taken the first two games of a four-game set with Cincinnati and looks to clinch on Friday night.

Other Scores

BYU 6, Gonzaga 5

SPOKANE, Wash. – The BYU Cougars (10-11) took a 6-5 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-11) after a wild ninth inning that saw six runs scored and ended with a strikeout with two runners on base on Thursday night at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.

The Cougars got an excellent start out of junior right-hander Kolton Mahoney, who allowed an earned run over seven, and led 6-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth after plating a pair of insurance runs in the top half of the inning.

The Zags loaded the bases with one out and scored four runs on a couple of singles and an error to pull within one. Sophomore righty Michael Rucker would get Lucas Gately (So., C) to strike out swinging to end the game and preserve the win.

About the Author

Mark West
Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MarkWestCBC Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting. Follow on Twitter @MarkWestCBC