Rain Delays May Drain CSUN Pitchers

With four games rained out in the last five days, and another expected today, Cal State Northridge baseball Coach Terry Craven is geared for the unknown.

In other words, he will soon find out the depth of his pitching staff.

"It is going to test the pitching of every team in the conference," Craven said. "The games are going to be very bunched.

"It's not going to be a convenient type of schedule. It will be one right after the other, and people aren't going to be able to spot their pitchers against certain opponents."

Northridge (6-6, 1-0) was rained out of a California Collegiate Athletic Assn. doubleheader at Chapman College on Saturday. The Matadors' home game with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was washed out Tuesday and again Wednesday, after it had been rescheduled.

Today, CSUN is scheduled to make up the first game of its doubleheader with Chapman in Orange at 2:30 p.m. (The second game has been rescheduled for April 23.) By noon Wednesday, Craven was predicting another rainout for today.

Once the games are replayed, Craven expects to get his first look at the CSUN pitching staff.

"We haven't had the opportunity to this point to pitch our entire staff in any kind of rotation," he said. "If we do get into this, we're going to find out about people by watching them in game situations."

Jeremy Hernandez, Dan Gonzalez and John LaRosa have been Craven's starting pitchers this season. Cheeky Palomarez and Randy Cina have appeared in relief.

Craven said four other pitchers--Tony Estrada, Jim Wagner, Fili Martinez and Robert Wheatcroft--could be pressed into duty.

Northridge dropped 10 spots and are now ranked No. 12 in the Division II poll released this week by Collegiate Baseball Magazine of Tuscon, Ariz.

The Matadors, rated second in the preseason poll, fell behind CCAA foes Cal State Dominguez Hills and UC Riverside in only the second Division II poll of 1986. The poll will be conducted every two weeks for the remainder of the season, a magazine spokesman said.

Defending national champion Florida Southern, which was 12-3 through Sunday, is the nation's top-ranked team. Troy State (12-1) is second, followed by CS Dominguez Hills (11-5-1), which lost to Northridge, 4-0, last week.

UC Riverside (10-7) is rated ninth, three spots ahead of CSUN.

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