IRVINE, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton was selected as the favorite to win the 2013 Big West title as selected by the 10 conference head coaches that voted in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll, it was released by the league on Thursday.
The Titans were voted to defend their Big West title as the program garnered nine of the 10 available first-place votes.
Fullerton, winner of the past three league titles, captured the 2012 league crown with a 17-7 mark, one game ahead of Cal Poly. Fullerton has won 10 conference championships in the Super Regional era (dating back to 1999; 14 years), sharing the titles with Nevada in 2000 and Long Beach State in 2008.
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has totaled 26 conference championships dating back to 1975, including 10 in the last 14 years. With last season's title, the Titans made their 34th postseason appearance as well.
Behind Fullerton (99 points, nine first-place votes) in the coaches poll is UC Irvine (82 points, one first-place vote), Long Beach State (75 points), Cal Poly (68 points), UC Santa Barbara (58 points), Hawai'i (57 points), UC Riverside (38 points), Cal State Northridge (34 points), UC Davis (25 points) and Pacific (14 points).
Entering the 2013 season, the Titans have been ranked in the top-25 of several national polls including: Baseball America (22), USA Today Coaches (22), Collegiate Baseball (23), and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (23).
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 672-235-2 (.741) conference record over 38 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, won his first Big West crown in 2012, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Augie Garrido (14 conference championships), Larry Cochell (1), George Horton (7) and Dave Serrano (3).
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84) and 15 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-12). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 18 total Big West championships and a 499-189 (.725; 30 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record.
The Titans open the 2013 season at Goodwin Field vs. USC on Friday, Feb. 15. The Titans will continue opening weekend at home with a doubleheader against Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 16, before traveling to CSU Bakersfield to close out the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 17.
For ticket information, please check out the ticket link at fullertontitans.com, or call the Athletic Ticket office at (657) 278-CSUF.
In other news, Cal State Fullerton junior Michael Lorenzen was selected to the 2013 Baseball America Preseason All-America second team, it was announced by the publication on Thursday.
This is fourth preseason All-American selection for Lorenzen, who was projected as the National Player of The Year by Collegiate Baseball, and was named to the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association Preseason All-America second team as well as the Perfect Game Preseason College All-American second team.
Lorenzen, who garnered All-American honors as well as Big West Conference First Team accolades in 2012, developed into one of the nation's top two-way players, starting 57 games in centerfield while making 20 appearances on the mound.
After a successful sophomore campaign in 2012, Lorenzen spent the summer with the U.S. Collegiate National Team, playing in 14 games.
For Cal State Fullerton, Lorenzen did not allow a run in 18 of his 20 appearances. He garnered double first-team All-Big West Conference honors as a utility player on offense, and as a closer on the pitching staff. His 16 saves in 17 chances tied him for second in program history with Nick Ramirez (2011) behind only Scott Wright's school record of 22 saves in 1984.
In addition, Lorenzen posted a 2-0 record with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings pitched while striking out 17 batters.
He finished the season with a .297 batting average, third on the team, and led the squad with 38 runs, 20 doubles, 101 total bases, a .435 slugging percentage, 69 hits (tie), three triples (tie), 43 RBIs, 10 multiple-RBI games and 14 stolen bases.
Lorenzen was the only student-athlete from the Big West Conference named to the Louisville Slugger All-American team.
2013 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (9) 99
2. UC Irvine (1) 82
3. Long Beach State 75
4. Cal Poly 68
5. UC Santa Barbara 58
6. Hawai'i 57
7. UC Riverside 38
8. Cal State Northridge 34
9. UC Davis 25
10. Pacific 14
( ) First-place votes