Andy Shaw is enjoying a dream season for Cal State Northridge--and he doesn't expect it to end soon.
Shaw leads the Matadors in virtually every offensive category and is among the most productive hitters in the nation. He is batting .406 with 11 home runs and has driven in 44 runs in only 101 at-bats. He has also walked 31 times.
"At the plate, I'll admit, I'm unconscious," said Shaw, a junior designated hitter. "But I'm not going to wake up."
Last weekend, Shaw was six for 10 with three home runs and eight walks as Northridge took two of three Western Athletic Conference games from San Diego State to improve to 18-14 overall and 5-4 in conference play. Northridge is tied for third place in the WAC behind San Diego State and Fresno State. The Matadors travel to Fresno this weekend for a key three-game series.
"I've always had a pretty good eye at the plate, and this year I just keep coming up when guys are on base and taking advantage," Shaw said. "I hit deep in the count a lot, when I'm 0-2 and 1-2, but that doesn't seem to be making much difference as far as pitchers getting me out."
Top-ranked Fullerton and No. 22 Long Beach State, which are tied for first place in the Big West Conference with 5-1 records, open a three-game series Friday at Fullerton.
The regular-season championship, however, doesn't carry much weight, since the conference's automatic playoff bid goes to the winner of the Big West's first four-team postseason tournament May 12-14 at Blair Field in Long Beach.
USC, coming off a victory over Fullerton and having won two of three Pacific 10 Southern Division games against Cal last week, hopes to continue its run toward a playoff berth when the 16th-ranked Trojans play host to No. 9 Arizona State in a three-game series beginning Friday.
Arizona State, under first-year Coach Pat Murphy, swept the Trojans last month at Tempe, Ariz. The former Claremont College and Notre Dame coach has abandoned the power game favored by former Sun Devil mentor Jim Brock in favor of an aggressive hit-and-run attack.
Geoff Jenkins is batting .359 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs for USC, which is 22-15 and 7-8 in conference.
Stanford is in first place in the Six-Pac at 10-4, followed by Cal, 9- 4, Arizona State, 8-6, USC, UCLA, 6-9 and Arizona, 3-12.
It wasn't a major move, but Pepperdine Coach Pat Harrison's decision to make Dennis Konrady the Waves' full-time shortstop has paid off.
Konrady, a junior transfer from Riverside Community College who is batting .330, played several infield positions during the Waves' first 18 games. Since moving to short, he has made only four errors and solidified a defense that has helped Pepperdine win 12 of 13 games and get off to a 9-1-1 start in the West Coast Conference.
College Baseball Notes
Outfielder Mark Kotsay of Fullerton is on pace to win the Big West triple crown. He leads the conference in average at .428, home runs with nine and RBIs with 48. Tony Miranda, a senior outfielder for Fullerton, is batting .405 with six homers and 30 RBIs. . . . Jacque Jones of USC had his school-record 28-game hitting streak ended last Saturday at Cal. Jones, a sophomore, broke the record of 26 games set by Tim Tolman in 1978. . . . Freshman Randy Wolf of Pepperdine is 3-1 with a 2.25 earned-run average. Opponents are batting .199 against him. Wave outfielder Ryan Christenson is batting .353 and has an 11-game hitting streak.