Game one of the series is set for Friday, April 11 at 6 p.m.
Trojans looking to even the series on Tuesday at Eddy D. Field Stadium
Game is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Dedeaux Field
The Trojans will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dedeaux Field this weekend.
The Trojans are looking to open their Pac-12 slate on a high note.
Matt Curtis begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Trojans in 2013-14.
Prior to coming to Troy, Curtis was the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 2011-13, where he helped turn around the Matador program, leading them to a fourth place finish in the Big West. With a record of 15-12 and an overall record of 31-26, 2013 marked the program's best record since 2002. That mark was achieved on a non-conference schedule that was ranked the eighth-toughest in the country. The team's conference finish last season was the program's second-highest finish since joining the Big West.
In 2012, Northridge improved its win percentage from the year before and also reached 10 wins in the Big West Conference for the first time since 2002 (later matched by the 2013 finish of 15 wins). In his first season at Northridge, Curtis led the Matadors to a 23-33 season and saw a number of players receive postseason accolades, including two that were selected in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.
In 2011 and again in 2013, Curtis' squads set school records in fielding percentage. He coached one All-American, one Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, nine All-Conference honorees, four MLB draft picks to go with 12 student-athletes signing professional contracts under his watch. He finished his tenure with a 77-89 overall record.
Prior to his time at CSUN, Curtis was a major contributor in one of the West Coast's most successful college programs, Fresno State, where he served as assistant coach for a program that won five consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles, made five NCAA tournament appearances and won the 2008 College World Series. During his ten seasons in Fresno, the Bulldogs compiled a 362-272 record.
Curtis first joined the Fresno State coaching staff as a student assistant for one season in 1998 before returning to the Bulldog bench two years later. From 2000-02, he served as volunteer assistant coach, working primarily with the catchers and hitters in conjunction with his duties as first base coach. With his catchers earning All-American honors during his two seasons as a volunteer, Fresno State wasted no time in recognizing his efforts and naming the team's assistant coach in July of 2002 under two-time National Coach of the Year Mike Batesole.
The last eight recruiting classes Curtis was responsible for assembling and developing featured 79 All-WAC honorees, nine WAC Pitchers or Players of the Year, 15 All-Americans, five Freshman All-Americans, 62 overall draft selections and five first round draft picks. In addition, four of his recruiting classes gained top 20 national rankings, and the 2010 class contained four recruits drafted by professional organizations that ended up on campus at Fresno State.
During his last three seasons at Fresno, Curtis also served as the team's pitching coach, third base coach, and defensive instructor of catchers, helping produce three All-WAC pitchers, and one WAC Pitcher of the Year. Five of Curtis' pitchers were drafted by professional organizations with another six signing professional contracts during his three-year tenure as pitching coach.
As the primary individual responsible for maintaining and monitoring the eligibility of his student-athletes at Fresno State, Curtis has seen one of his players receive Academic All-American honors, another 41 named to the Academic All-WAC Team, with numerous players each season receiving academic recognition from the university.
A four-year letterwinner at Fresno State, Curtis started 155 games for former head coach Bob Bennett. Curtis can be found on numerous program Top-ten lists including games played (215), at-bats (761), hits (235), runs (144), doubles (52), walks (116), and RBIs (127). Curtis ranks fourth all-time with 52 career doubles, 22 of which were earned in 1995 when he finished atop the WAC statistics in that category.
During his time as a Bulldog student-athlete, his baseball team competed in four NCAA Regionals and won two WAC Championships in 1993 and 1995. A two-time WAC Scholar-Athlete Award recipient (1994-95), Curtis also earned WAC Academic-All Conference and WAC All-Conference Catcher accolades shortly after the 1995 season concluded.
After his stellar career with the Bulldogs, Curtis was drafted in the 28th round of the 1996 MLB First Year Players Draft by the then California Angels. In his inaugural season as a professional, Curtis set a single season Midwest League record for doubles and was named to Baseball America's Minor League All-Star Team. During his five seasons of professional baseball, he received the Ray Perry Award - given to Northern California's most outstanding first year minor league player - and reached the Double-A level as a member of both the Anaheim Angels and Cleveland Indians organizations.
Curtis graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting in 1998 and earned his Master's degree in Business Administration in 2001, also from Fresno State.
For his accomplishments and successes earned as a student-athlete and coach at Fresno State, Curtis was selected in the 2003 class of inductees into the Fresno State Baseball Hall of Fame.
A native of Visalia, Calif., Curtis and his wife Kimberlee have three children - daughters Lauren and Allison and one son, Jacob. They currently reside in La Crescenta, Calif.