TURLOCK — With four regular-season games remaining, the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Cal State Stanislaus remain in control of their own postseason fates.
On top of that, the Warrior men were offered a second route to a possible NCAA Tournament berth this week when they popped up at No. 10 in the season’s first West Region poll.
Stanislaus remains on the road this weekend with games tonight at Cal State East Bay and Saturday at Cal State Monterey Bay before closing out the regular season at home next weekend against Cal Poly Pomona and Humboldt State.
The Warrior men are 14-8 overall and 10-8 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, and are part of a three-way tie for fourth place with Cal State Los Angeles and San Francisco. They need only to remain in the top six to claim a berth in the CCAA Tournament March 6-8 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
The CCAA Tournament champion receives the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament’s West Region, which then fills its eight-team bracket with the top teams in the final regional poll.
CSU San Bernardino, currently tied with Pomona atop the CCAA at 16-2 (19-3 overall) is the current top-ranked team in the West.
On the women’s side, the Warriors (13-9 overall, 10-8 CCAA) are in a three-way tie for fifth place with San Francisco and UC San Diego, ensuring a dogfight to the regular season-ending buzzer for the final conference playoff spots.
On the diamonds
In an otherwise quiet sports weekend on campus, the Warrior baseball team will be home for single games today and Sunday against San Francisco to open CCAA play. Stanislaus (4-3) hosts the Gators (5-5) today at 2 p.m., then the teams meet in a doubleheader Saturday in San Francisco before returning to Turlock for a noon first pitch on Sunday.
The Warriors, who posted a 4-1 record last week, got more good news when they swept the CCAA’s weekly player honors. Reliever Ryan McDaniel was named the conference pitcher of the week, while his batterymate Marcus Mastrobuoni was named the player of the week.
McDaniel, a junior from Huntington Beach, saw action in three games last week, earning a win against Fresno Pacific and a save against Southern Indiana. He threw nine innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with nine strikeouts. Mastrobuoni, a junior from Livermore, hit .529 (9-for-17), including a homer and seven RBI.
All Stanislaus home baseball games can be heard live on KEFC (100.5 FM) and also on the station’s Web site, www.kefc.net.
The Warrior softball team, off to a 5-6 start and 2-2 in CCAA play, is at Chico State for four games this weekend – two today and two on Saturday. They return home for a nonleague doubleheader against Notre Dame de Namur under the lights on Wednesday, with the opener starting at 4 p.m.
Brittney Rickles, a senior shortstop from Hughson, continues to lead Stanislaus with a .400 batting average, and the Warriors are hitting .327 as a team.
Indoor track & field
The Warrior women have ascended to the No. 13 spot in the national rankings, a perch aided by the performance of the distance medley relay team.
That foursome - Marina Vorderbrugge, Chavariana Ryan, Aman Hundal and Courtney Anderson - clocked 11 minutes, 41.65 seconds last week at the University of Washington’s Husky Classic and currently are ranked No. 2 in the nation in the event.
The time automatically qualifies the team for the NCAA Division II indoor national meet March 14-15 in Winston-Salem, N.C. This same Warrior foursome finished second in the DMR at last year’s national meet.