Titans Open 2013 with USC, Nebraska and CSU Bakersfield
OPENING DAY: Cal State Fullerton, currently ranked 22nd in the nation, opens the 2013 season with four games against USC, Nebraska and CSU Bakersfield. The Titans host the Trojans at 7 p.m., Friday at Goodwin Field, before playing a doubleheader at home against Nebraska on Saturday with the day beginning at 2 p.m. CSF closes opening weekend on the road at CSU Bakersfield on Sunday.
CATCH ALL THE ACTION: Audio for all four games of opening weekend will be streamed for free on fullertontitans.com, and live stats will also be offered.
Live video for the Titans' first three games will also be available. Check the Cal State Fullerton baseball schedule page for all links.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @BaseballTitans for daily updates during the 2013 season.
SEASON OPENERS: Cal State Fullerton is 20-18 all-time in season openers, but 17-6 in openers occurring at home. The last time the Titans opened at home, they suffered a 4-3 loss to North Carolina in 11 innings on Feb. 19, 2011. Fullerton's last victory on Opening Day came in 2009 with a 7-6 win over TCU. The Titans have lost to Oregon (7-3 at home), North Carolina (4-3 in 11 innings at home) and at Florida (7-3) in each of the last three years, respectively.
The last time Cal State Fullerton opened its season against USC was a 13-6 win on Feb. 5, 1979, beginning what would prove to be the first season the Titans' captured one of their four NCAA Division I Baseball national championships.
2013 OUTLOOK: The Titans return a very experienced squad from the 2012 season, including All-American Michael Lorenzen and Big West Freshman of the Year, Matt Chapman. In addition, all-conference first team 2012 selections Richy Pedroza and Carlos Lopez are expected to return to the Titan lineup along with second team pick Anthony Hutting.
The Titans return nearly 85 percent of their offense from last year (446 of 523 hits), but enter 2013 with a young pitching staff. In their first three games, CSF will start two true freshmen (Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza) and Wiest, a redshirt sophomore.
CSF vs. USC • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played 1975/2012
Overall Record 45-37-1
Current Streak Won 1
Home Record 22-15
Road Record 19-19
Neutral Record 4-3-1
Longest Winning Streak 6 games (2/23/82 to 5/25/84)
Longest Losing Streak 5 games (2/7/89 to 2/5/91)
Extra Innings 1-3
Most Runs Scored in a Game 17 runs (2/25/96)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 14 runs (4/15/08)
Largest Margin of Victory 14 runs (2/19/85)
Largest Margin of Defeat 10 runs (4/15/08)
USC NOTES: The 2013 Trojans were picked to finish tied for the eighth in the Pac-12 by a vote of the conference coaches. USC returns just four position starters from the 2012 squad which finished the year with an overall record of 23-32 as well as 8-22 in the Pac-12 Conference. On Wednesday, USC terminated third-year head coach Frank Cruz for knowingly violating NCAA Countable Athletically-Related Activities limitations within the program. USC associate head coach Dan Hubbs, a former Trojan All-American pitcher now in his second season at Troy, was named head coach of the USC baseball team
VERSUS USC: USC and Cal State Fullerton have met 83 times dating back to 1975. The Titans hold a 45-37-1 in the all-time series, while Cal State Fullerton boasts a 22-15 record at its home field.
The Titans and Trojans split a two-game season series in 2012, with USC taking a 7-4 victory at its home field on March 6, while the Titans evened the series with a 4-2 win at Goodwin Field on May 1.
VERSUS THE PAC-12: The Titans hold a 267-202-3 record all-time against teams currently in the Pac-12 Conference. Dating back to 1978, the Titans have opened the season on 21 occasions against a current member of the Pac-12. The Titans' record is 10-11 in openers against the Pac-12, and Fullerton last opened the season against a Pac-12 program with a 7-3 loss to Oregon on Feb. 19, 2010 at Goodwin Field as former CSF head coach George Horton returned. Fullerton and Stanford have opened the season against one another 15 times since 1982, with the Titans holding an 8-7 advantage.
CSF vs. NEBRASKA • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played 1984/2001
Overall Record 2-0
Current Streak Won 2
NCAA College World Series Record 1-0
Overall NCAA Postseason Record 1-0
Home Record 1-0
Road Record 0-0
Neutral Record 1-0
Longest Winning Streak 2 games (3/8/84 to present)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 9 runs (3/8/84)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 7 runs (3/8/84)
Largest Margin of Victory 2 runs (3/8/84)
NEBRASKA NOTES: Head Coach Darin Erstad begins his second season in Lincoln in 2013 after leading the Huskers back to the postseason with a conference tournament appearance in 2012 for the first time since the 2008 season.
At the plate, the Huskers blossomed under the direction of Erstad and Associate Head Coach Will Bolt. The Huskers led the Big Ten Conference in six categories, including home runs (47), RBIs (375), runs (413), total bases (916), on-base pct. (.384) and slugging pct. (.445).
The Huskers also made noise on the national scene, as they ranked in the top-20 nationally in seven categories, including top-10 rankings in both batting average and scoring.
Three Huskers were named first-team All-Big Ten, including shortstop Chad Christensen, outfielder Rich Sanguinetti and designated hitter Michael Pritchard, all of whom return for the 2013 season. Overall, eight Huskers earned All-Big Ten honors across the first, second and third teams.
VERSUS NEBRASKA: Cal State Fullerton holds a 2-0 all-time record against Nebraska. The Huskers and Titans first met in Fullerton on March 8, 1984 with the Titans prevailing 9-7. The next time Fullerton and Nebraska played one another was in the postseason at the 2001 College World Series as Fullerton edged the Huskers, 5-4, on June 8, 2001.
VERSUS THE BIG TEN: The Titans hold a 24-8 advantage all-time against teams currently in the Big Ten Conference: Illinois (4-2), Michigan (3-0), Minnesota (7-5), Nebraska (2-0) Ohio State (5-1), Wisconsin (3-0). The last time Fullerton played a team from the Big Ten, it was 7-5 loss at Goodwin Field to Illinois on June 5, 2011 at the Fullerton Regional.
CSF vs. CSU BAKERSFIELD • ALL-TIME SERIES
CSU BAKERSFIELD NOTES: CSU Bakersfield is entering 2013 season for the first time as an affiliate member of the Western Athletic Conference in baseball. The Roadrunners' first year of baseball was in 2009, and CSUB holds a 97-119 record over the last four years. The Roadrunners return seven starters from the 2012 club which finished the season 25-30.
VERSUS CSU BAKERSFIELD: This is the first meeting between the two programs after CSU Bakersfield started a baseball program in 2009.
VERSUS THE WAC: The Titans hold a dominant 73-22 record overall record against the current members of the Western Athletic Conference: Louisiana Tech (1-0), New Mexico State (27-3), Sacramento State (16-6), San Jose State (29-13). The last time the Titans played a member of the current WAC alignment, it was against SJSU in the 2002 postseason. The Titans defeated the Spartans, 9-1, at the Stanford Regional.
TITAN CONNECTIONS ON OPENING WEEKEND: Ted Silva (pitching coach Nebraska) was an assistant coach with the Titans (2005-2006), helping CSF to the 2006 College World Series when Fullerton produced an NCAA-best 2.73 ERA. Silva also played three seasons for the Titans from 1993-95, helping Fullerton to its third national championship during his junior year. An All-American, Silva led the nation in victories in 1995, posting an 18-1 overall record with a 2.83 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 152 2/3 innings…Bill Kernen (head coach Cal State Bakersfield) spent a combined seven seasons as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton. From 1978-82, he helped guide the Titans to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the College World Series and the Titans' first national title in 1979. Kernen also was CSF's pitching coach in 1987 and 2007.
REMEMBERING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton erased an early deficit, and scored five unanswered runs in a 5-3 victory over the Alumni last Saturday at Goodwin Field.
With the game knotted at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, J.D. Davis' second hit of the day, a double into left field, drove in Matt Chapman as the tie was finally broken. Davis then scored the Titans' fifth run as Michael Lorenzen dropped a RBI single into center field.
Freshman Justin Garza was credited with the win for the Titans after allowing just one while tossing the final five innings of the game. Garza struck out eight in his outing, allowing just four hits.
It was the Alumni offense that got rolling first as Titan starter Grahamm Wiest gave up two runs in the fourth. Three consecutive singles loaded the bases for the Alumni as Sergio Pedroza drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly placed into center field. Josh Fellhauer then added a second sacrifice fly to score Dustin Garneau as the Alumni took a 2-0 advantage.
In the fifth with Garza on the hill, the Alumni added their third and final run as Garneau drove in Blake Davis with a single to center field.
Fullerton battled back with a three-run sixth inning with former Titan and 2012 Big West Pitcher of the Year Dylan Floro on the mound. Carlos Lopez led off the inning with a triple to left field and scored on an error. J.D. Davis then lined a RBI triple down the right field line and later scored courtesy of a Clay Williamson groundout.
Wiest ended his day allowing two runs on four hits and one error while striking out three in four innings.
The Alumni totaled eight hits and left eight runners stranded.
The Titans totaled seven hits as J.D. Davis led the club with a double and triple, while Lorenzen recorded two base knocks.
PICKED TO WIN IT: Cal State Fullerton was picked 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 Jan. 31.
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.
TITANS AND THE BIG WEST:
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.
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.
WATCH LIST: Michael Lorenzen was one of 75 players named to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Lorenzen was one of two players from the Big West Conference named to the list as UC Irvine's Race Parmenter also made the watch list.
LORENZEN PRESEASON HONORS: Michael Lorenzen returns to the diamond after an All-American season in 2012. Lorenzen has received four preseason All-American selections entering 2013. He was projected as the National Player of The Year by Collegiate Baseball, and was named to the 13th annual NCBWA Preseason All-America second team as well as the Perfect Game Preseason College All-American second team. Most recently, he was selected to the 2013 Baseball America Preseason All-America 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 center field while making 20 appearances on the mound.
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.
HOME GROWN: Thirty-four men on the Titans' 35-man roster list their hometown within the great State of California. The lone Titan not from the Golden State comes from, where else? Nebraska. Sophomore southpaw Tyler Peitzmeier is from Yutan, Neb., a city about 25 miles east of the Mecca of college baseball, Omaha.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: In 2013, the Titans will play seven opponents that advanced to the 2012 Division I Baseball tournament (Oral Roberts, Pepperdine, Texas A&M, San Diego) three opponents that advanced to the super regionals (Oregon, TCU) and one opponent that advanced to the College World Series (UCLA)…CSF will play four opponents that finished 2012 ranked in Baseball America's Top-25 (No. 5 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon, No. 16 TCU, No. 19 Texas A&M)…six of Fullerton's opponents were ranked in the top-50 of the NCAA's final top-50 2012 RPI ratings (No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Oregon, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 29 Pepperdine, No. 31 TCU, No. 36 San Diego )...four of CSF's opponents were also conference champions in 2012: Pepperdine (West Coast), TCU (co-Mountain West), Oral Roberts (Summit), UCLA (Pac-12).
CONTINUED EXCELLENCE: The Titans have won 30-plus games in each of its 38 seasons at the Div. I level and are tied for third in the nation when it comes to most consecutive 30-win campaigns. The only Titan team to win as few as 30 games was the 1989 squad skippered by Larry Cochell. The Titans have never had a losing season at the Div. I level. Fullerton comes in tied for third with Clemson and behind Arizona State and Miami. Pepperdine, which was ranked No. 5, saw its 32-year streak ended in 2010.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Arizona State 50
2. Miami, Fla. 42
3. Cal State Fullerton 38
THE ROOKIES: Cal State Fullerton's 2012 class was ranked the No. 23 recruiting class in the nation, according to Baseball America's annual evaluation.
Under second-year head coach Rick Vanderhook and recruiting coordinator Mike Kirby, the Titans have welcomed 13 freshmen to Goodwin Field. Fullerton's 2012 class ranks second amongst Big West Conference opponents as the Gauchos were ranked 12th with 23 newcomers including 19 freshmen and four junior college transfers. The Titans and Gauchos were the only BWC programs to make the top 25, while Long Beach State and Pacific each received consideration. Collegiate Baseball ranked Fullerton's 2012 recruiting class at No. 17. From the top-25 breakdown, five of Fullerton's 2013 opponents also had ranked recruiting classes; No. 2 UCLA (April 2, May 14), No. 11 Texas Christian (Feb. 22-24), No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (April 12-14), No. 15 Texas A&M (Mar. 8-10), and No. 19 USC (Feb. 15, April 9).
DRAFT DODGERS: Nine Titans on the current roster have been selected previously in the MLB First-Year Players draft. Carlos Lopez is the only Titan that has been drafted while at Fullerton. He was selected as a redshirt his sophomore year (based on his age), but declined the offer made by the Detroit Tigers in 2010.
TITANS IN THE DRAFT (by round):
J.D. Davis 2011 5th round Tampa Bay Rays
Michael Lorenzen 2010 7th round Tampa Bay Rays
Austin Diemer 2011 26th round Cleveland Indians
Justin Garza 2012 26th round Cleveland Indians
Jake Jefferies 2012 34th round Washington Nationals
Carlos Lopez 2010 37th round Detroit Tigers
Anthony Hutting 2009 38th round Texas Rangers
David Olmedo-Barrera 2012 40th round Oakland Athletics
Chad Wallach 2010 43rd round Los Angeles Dodgers
TOP 50 FRESHMAN: Ontario, Calif., native Justin Garza was ranked ninth by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 freshmen in college baseball released in early February.
TOP 50 SOPHOMORES: Matt Chapman, 2012 Big West Freshman of the Year, was ranked 18th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 sophomores in college baseball released in early February. Chapman was also rated by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft. J.D. Davis was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Big West for the 2014 draft.
TOP 50 JUNIORS: All-American Michael Lorenzen was ranked 19th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 juniors in college baseball released in early February. Lorenzen was also rated by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2013 draft.
TOP 50 SENIORS: Senior shortsop Richy Pedroza was ranked 45th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 seniors in college baseball released in early February. Pedroza led the Titans batting .324 in 2012.
FAMILY AFFAIR: The Titans have six players on the 2013 roster that have had family members play for Fullerton in the past:
• Outfielder Anthony Hutting is the cousin of former Titan star and major league outfielder Aaron Rowand (.345, 23 HR, 121 RBI from 1996-98).
• Infielder Richy Pedroza's older brother, Sergio, was a national champion outfielder for the Titans (.328, 27 HR, 121 RBI from 2003-05).
• Outfielder Austin Kingsolver's father, Kurt, was a national champion catcher in 1979 (.291, 5 HR, 30 RBI in 1979) and was a teammate of College Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Wallach.
• Catcher Chad Wallach's father, Tim Wallach (.392, 39 HR, 182 RBI), was a national champion, a Golden Spikes Award winner, and a first-round draft pick in 1979. Chad's older brother, and Tim's eldest son, Matt, was also a Titan in 2005 (.255, 5 HR, 28 RBI in 2007) and played first base like his father. Tim is currently entering his third year as the third base coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
• Pitcher Dave Birosak's brother, Dustin (0-0, 2.89 ERA), was a relief pitcher for the 2007 Titans.
• And to top it all off… Head Coach Rick Vanderhook has had two nephews, Russ (.500, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 1999) and Cory (.304, 1 HR, 17 RBI in 2006) play in a Titan uniform. Coach Vanderhook, himself, was a player in 1983 and 1984. Cory is currently serving as an undergraduate assistant.
• Freshman right-hander Joe Navilhon's father (Larry) played at Cal State Fullerton from 1979-1980.
• First baseman Carlos Lopez and right-handed pitcher Michael Lopez are of no relation.
TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES: The Titans have had 52 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. Erik Komatsu got the call in 2012, taking last year's totals to nine: David Cooper (Toronto), Reed Johnson (Chicago Cubs/Atlanta), Erik Komatsu (St. Louis/Minnesota), Mark Kotsay (San Diego), Brett Pill (San Francisco), Kurt Suzuki (Oakland/Washington), Justin Turner (New York Mets), Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland) and Ricky Romero (Toronto). For the second consecutive year, Romero was named one of 30 nominees for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award as announced by Major League Baseball. Pestano was named this year's recipient of the Bob Feller Man of the Year Award, as announced by the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The distinction is bestowed upon the organization's player or executive who consistently performs at the top of his game.