April 18, 2013

Titans Travel to No. 23 Cal Poly

Weekly Release (PDF)

CATCH ALL THE ACTION: A live video stream courtesy of BigWest.tv, audio broadcast and live stats will be available for No. 4 Cal State Fullerton's three-game series at No. 23 Cal Poly this weekend. Fans can find links by accessing the baseball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

TICKETS: Single-game tickets for all home games can be purchased online at www.FullertonTitans.com as well as in person or by calling the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Ticket Office at (657) 278-2783 from the hours of 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. On gamedays, tickets can be purchased one hour prior to first pitch at the Goodwin Field ticket box office.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @BaseballTitans for daily updates during the 2013 season.

TITANS IN THE BIG WEST
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.
Fullerton, winner of the past three league titles, captured the 2012 league crown with a 17-7 mark, one game ahead of Cal Poly.
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has totaled 26 conference championships dating back to 1975, including 10 in the last 14 years.
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 680-236-2 conference record over 39 seasons.

CURRENT STATUS
Cal State Fullerton sits at the top of the Big West standings and the Titans  currently have a two-game lead over Cal Poly  (25-9, 6-3), UC Riverside (17-15, 6-3) and Long Beach State (16-18, 6-3).

CSF vs. CAL POLY
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1984/2012
Overall Record: 52-12
Current Streak: Won 1
Overall Conference (Big West) Record: 43-12
Big West Conference Tournament Record: 1-0
Home Record: 32-4
Road Record: 19-8
Neutral Record: 1-0
Longest Winning Streak: 11 games (4/13/84 to 5/3/97)
Extra Innings: 1-0
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 27 runs (5/1/04)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 14 runs (5/4/97)
Largest Margin of Victory: 25 runs (5/1/04)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 10 runs (5/4/97)

CAL POLY:  No. 23 Cal Poly, which sprinted to 7-0 and 13-1 starts in the first four weeks of the 2013 baseball season and has opened Big West Conference play with six wins in nine contests for second place, concludes a seven-game homestand this weekend by hosting No. 4 Cal State Fullerton for a three-game Big West Conference series in Baggett Stadium .

VERSUS CAL POLY: Cal State Fullerton holds an all-time record of 52-12 against Cal Poly, including a 19-8 advantage on the road as well as a 43-12 mark in Big West play. Dating back to 1997, the Titans and Mustangs have played 19 Big West series against one another, with the Titans winning the series on 17 occasions. In 19 meetings, Fullerton has swept Cal Poly nine times, won seven series in San Luis Obispo, and swept the Mustangs three times on the road.

Last season, Fullerton took 2-of-3 from Cal Poly at Goodwin Field. The Titans hit .260 in the series led by Carlos Lopez (.462), Michael Lorenzen (.455) and Anthony (.444). The series was decided in the 10th as Lopez's double off the wall scored the game-winning run to clinch the series with a 5-4 victory in the third game on April 22, 2012.

The last time the Titans visited San Luis Obispo in 2011, Cal Poly won the series by claiming victories in the first two games.

A JUMP IN THE RANKINGS: Cal State Fullerton enters the week at No. 4 in the Baseball America Top-25 poll. The Titans have been ranked in the top-10 for seven straight weeks.

OFF TO A HOT START: Currently with a record of 32-5, Fullerton's start is the best for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year 38-4. The NCAA RPI currently rates Fullerton at No. 10 in the country as the Titans boast a 6-1 record against top-25 teams. The closest Big West program to Fullerton's ranking is UC Irvine at No. 41.

ROOKIE ARMS: Cal State Fullerton's 2.51 ERA ranks second to UC Irvine in the Big West Conference and ranks 10th in the nation, and a big part of the pitching staff's success is a pair of freshman right-handers in the weekend rotation, with Thomas Eshelman getting the nod on Friday nights, followed by Justin Garza (Saturday).

On Feb. 15, 2013, Eshelman (7-1, 1.09) became the first freshmen to start a season opener for the Titans since Feb. 5, 1987 when Mark Beck took the mound vs. Saint Mary's. Eshelman didn't disappoint the sellout crowd of 3,508 as CSF edged USC, 3-2, on Feb. 15. In the win, Eshelman allowed two unearned runs on four hits while striking out six in six innings of work.

Currently, Eshelman's ERA of 1.09 tops the Big West Conference, ranks 13th in the nation, and second amongst freshmen in the country this season. In addition, Eshelman's 46.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio leads the country, while he 0.58 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) leads the nation. WHIP is a measurement of the number of baserunners a pitcher has allowed per inning pitched.

Garza (7-0, 2.36) has picked up wins over Nebraska, TCU, Oregon, Texas A&M, Oral Roberts, Pacific and UC Santa Barbara during his nine weeks on the mound. In 61 innings, Garza has surrendered 16 earned runs while fanning 53. Garza was the first Titan freshman since Dylan Floro in 2010 to win five straight starts.

Sophomore Grahamm Wiest (6-2, 2.70, 53 K) solidifies the rotation on Sunday. Wiest's 1.05 walks allowed per 9.0 innings ranks 24th in the country while his 7.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio rates tied for 18th.

THE STREAKS ARE OVER: Thomas Eshelman issued his first walk of the season to Brandon Trinkwon in the top of the sixth vs. UC Santa Barbara last Friday. The walk ended Eshelman's streak at 63 and 1/3 innings without issuing a base on balls. The streak was just shy of the all-time record held by Wes Roemer at 65 and 1/3 innings to start the 2006 season. During Roemer's stretch, he drilled 12 batters, during Eshelamn's stretch he plunked only two batters. Roemer also delivered his first walk in his ninth start of the season, in the sixth inning vs. Cal State Northridge on March 31.

Michael Lorenzen was denied his 13th save of the year after surrendering two runs to UC Santa Barbara in the top of the ninth last Friday. The blown save ended his streak of 16 straight that dated back to May 1, 2012.

FREE RIDE: Cal State Fullerton leads the country allowing just 1.51 walks per  9.0 innings pitched. In addition, the Titans' 4.86 strike-to-walk ratio also ranks first in the nation.

AT THE PLATE: Entering the 2013 season, Cal State Fullerton had 15 position players from a year ago returning to the roster, including six starters. That wealth of experience has helped the Titans to its No. 4 ranking and 32-5 record. Fullerton's offense currently leads the Big West or is tied for the lead in the following offensive categories: on-base percentage (.396), runs scored (242), hits (362), RBIs (216), triples (20), walks (174), hit-by-pitch (62) and stolen bases (49).

EARLY AND OFTEN: A key ingredient to Fullerton's success has been the club's ability to score early and often. Cal State Fullerton has outscored opponents in 42-7 in the first inning in 2013, and Fullerton has outscored opponents 92-26 in the first three innings of games this year. Fullerton is 23-1 in 2013 when scoring first.

OVER THE FENCES: In 2012, the Titans totaled just 10 home runs. After just  nine weeks in 2013, Fullerton has already surpassed that total, hitting 22 round trippers. Michael Lorenzen leads the Titans with seven home runs  followed by Anthony Hutting (4), J.D. Davis (3), Jake Jefferies (2), Matt Chapman (1), Austin Kingsolver (1), Carlos Lopez (1), Richy Pedroza (1), Greg Velazquez (1) and Chad Wallach (1). The Titans have also hit four grand slams in 2013.

GOOD FOR EXTRAS: Michael Lorenzen leads the Titans or is tied for the team in lead in the following offensive categories: batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.586; Big West 1st), on-base percentage (.421), runs scored (29), hits (48),  RBIs (36; Big West 1st), doubles (7), and home runs (7; Big West T-1st).
On the mound, Lorenzen is 12-for-13 in save attempts, which is tied for tops in the nation. In addition, Lorenzen's 28 career saves rank fourth all-time at Fullerton.

NOTES FROM LAST WEEK: Fullerton's 32-5 record is the best fort the program since the 1996 squad opened the year with a record of 38-4…Fullerton has now recorded 39 consecutive seasons with at least 30 wins…the Titans have produced three 10-game win steaks in 2013...the Titans have overcome a deficit 12 times in 2013…the Titans' walk-off win last Friday was the second of the year for Fullerton…the Titans opened Big West play with a record of 8-0 for the first time since 2004…Fullerton totaled 16 hits in last Saturday's 10-2 win over UCSB,  and the Titans have recorded at least 15 hits in a game on five occasions in 2013...Fullerton has hit multiple home runs in six games this season... ..the Titans were shut out for the first time last Sunday in a 2-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara, and were  also held to a season-low four hits.

Vanderhook Signs Five-Year Contract Extension: Second-year Cal State Fullerton head baseball coach Rick Vanderhook signed a five-year contract extension through the 2018 season, it was announced by Athletic Director Jim Donovan on April15.
Currently in the middle of his second year at the helm of the Fullerton baseball program, Vanderhook has led the Titans to a No. 4 national ranking and 32-5 record.
"I am privileged and grateful to continue as the head coach at Cal State Fullerton," Vanderhook said. "The coaching staff and our student-athletes work each and every day to continue the tradition of hard-nosed Titan baseball. We believe that this effort will result in the prolonged success of our program that our students, campus, community and fans deserve and have come to expect."
 
During the 2012 campaign, Vanderhook didn't miss a beat, taking the Titans to the Big West Conference championship, a top-20 national ranking for the majority of the season, and the Titans' 21st consecutive NCAA appearance. His rookie year also resulted in his first conference coach of the year award.

Vanderhook has amassed a 68-26 record during his short time as the Titan skipper after ending 2012 with a record of 36-21.

Lorenzen and Eshelman Named to Pitcher of the Year Watch List:
Cal State Fullerton Friday-night starter Thomas Eshelman and closer Michael Lorenzen were both named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Pitcher of the Year Watch List, it was announced on Saturday.
The initial watch list for the 2013 Pitcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Diamond Sports and presented during the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions on June 29, features 41 players from across the country.
The Big West Conference has three pitchers on the watch list with the addition of Andrew Morales of UC Irvine.

MAKING THE TOP-30: Senior first baseman Carlos Lopez was one of 30 NCAA® baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball, it was announced on Feb. 27.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

NICK HURTADO: The Cal State Fullerton baseball program is mourning the loss of teammate Nick Hurtado, who passed away at the age of 21 after a battle with cancer on March 1.
Hurtado, a 2010 graduate of Corona Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., committed the Titans as a senior in the fall of 2009, before his battle with bone cancer began.
Hurtado was a four-year letterwinner for head coach Ty DeTrinidad and the Sharks. Before his senior season began, Hurtado was diagnosed with cancer after being hit by a ball in the knee during the preseason. On March 5, 2010, he made his only appearance of his senior season at Corona Santiago, tossing one pitch (a strike) in the opening game of the 2010 season just days before his treatment was to begin.
The pitcher was finally able to join the Titans for the 2012 season, but sat out the year as his treatment and recovery continued. Due to his illness, he was unable to join the roster in 2013, but made the effort to connect with his teammates at Goodwin Field as often as possible.
 
Statement from the 2013 Titans
"The world lost and amazing person last night. We will forever remember his genuine love for the people around him, and for life itself. He was the ultimate friend, and we hope we can grow, and be half the person he was. He touched the lives of so many people with his compassion and unyielding positive attitude. He will be in our hearts every single day."

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 returned to the diamond after an All-American season in 2012. Lorenzen 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. He was also 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. 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 39 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 39
4. Clemson 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. 

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 shortstop 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 administrative 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 53 former players make their major leagues debuts since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. Most recently, Khris Davis made his debut for Milwaukee on Monday. 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.