Titans Open Up 2018 Campaign at No. 13 Stanford

Photo Credit: Matt Brown
Photo Credit: Matt Brown

#17 CAL STATE FULLERTON at #13 STANFORD
FEB 16-18th • SUNKEN DIAMOND


Game Notes: Fullerton • Stanford • Big West Notes

FULLERTON, Calif.--- The Cal State Fullerton Titans will officially begin the 2018 campaign where Fullerton's postseason magic began a year ago. No. 17 Fullerton travels to The Farm to take on No. 13 Stanford, Friday at 6 pm PT. The two teams will complete the series with 1 pm PT games on Saturday and Sunday. This will mark the third consecutive season the Titans have opened up the season against the Cardinal.

THE GAMES

1 | Fri., Feb 16 (6 pm) | Stanford, Calif. (Sunken Diamond) | Live Stats | Pac-12 Stream
2 | Sat., Feb 17 (1 pm) | Stanford, Calif. (Sunken Diamond) | Live Stats | Pac-12 Stream
3 | Sun., Feb 18 (1 pm) | Stanford,, Calif. (Sunken Diamond) | Live Stats | Pac-12 Stream

THE PITCHERS

FRIDAY
CSF- RHP, Colton Eastman (0-0, 0.00 ERA)  at STAN - RHP, Tristan Beck (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

SATURDAY
CSF - RHP, Andrew Quezada (0-0, 0.00 ERA) at STAN - LHP, Kris Bubic (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

SUNDAY
CSF - RHP, Tanner Bibee (0-0, 0.00 ERA) - at STAN - LHP, Erik Miller (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

FOR OPENERS
Cal State Fullerton is 24-21 all-time in season openers at the NCAA Division I level, but are just 4-13 all-time when opening the season on the road, as opposed to holding a 20-8 record when opening up the season at home. The Titans will open up their season on the road for third time in the last four seasons. This will be the third straight season the Titans open the season against Stanford, while it will be the fifth time in in six years the Titans have begun the season with a Pac-12 opponent. Fullerton is 3-1 during that span, falling to the Cardinal in the season opener two years ago at the farm, but defeating Stanford (1-0)  in last year's opener, Washington State (12-0) in 2014 and taking down USC (3-2) in 2013. All three wins came at Goodwin Field. 

2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
For the Titans, it'll be a good mix of returners and newcomers that should make up a team worthy of its top-10 preseason ranking. Fullerton welcomes back 16 letterwinners from a year ago, including two all-conference performers from 2017 in junior closer Brett Conine and sophomore infielder Sahid Valenzuela. The Titans will also be under the leadership of four-time Big West Coach of the Year Rick Vanderhook, who enters his seventh season as head coach. The returners will be joined by a recruiting class that is ranked 27th in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball. The Titans enter the 2018 season ranked in every national preseason poll, with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association awarding Cal State Fullerton with the highest ranking of 10th.

RECAPPING 2017

• Cal State Fullerton finished the 2017 season with a record of 39-24 (.619), securing the 43rd consecutive winning season in program history. It was also the 43rd straight year the Titans won at least 30 games in a season. The postseason appearance was also Fullerton's 26th straight, which is the second longest streak in the nation, behind only Florida State (40).

• The Titans made their 18th trip to the College World Series and second in the last three years. The 18 appearances in Omaha ranks the Titans tied for 7th with LSU all-time behind Texas (35), Miami (25), Arizona State and Florida State (22), USC (21) and Oklahoma State (20). 

FULLERTON IN THE POLLS
The Titans enter the 2018 campaign ranked in the top-25 of all six major preseason baseball polls. 

Baseball America: No. 11
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper: No. 12
USA TODAY Coaches Poll: No.11
NCBWA Poll: No. 10
Perfect Game: No. 19
D1Baseball: No. 17

CSF vs. STANFORD • ALL-TIME SERIES

First Year Played/Last Year Played  1979/2017

Overall Record                                                48-59

Current Streak                                                 Won 2

NCAA Regional Record                                 3-2

NCAA Super Regional Record                       0-2

NCAA College World Series Record             3-7

Overall NCAA Postseason Record                 6-11

Home Record                                                  31-23

Road Record                                                   14-29

Neutral Record                                                3-7

Longest Winning Streak                                  4 games, 2 times ( last on 2/27/09 to 6/5/10)

Longest Losing Streak                         8 games (2/12/89 to 2/8/92)

Extra Innings                                                   2-6

Most Runs Scored in a Game                         13 runs (1/31/85)

Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent    17 runs (2/2/02)

Largest Margin of Victory                              10 runs  (1/28/94)

Largest Margin of Defeat                                16 runs (2/2/02)

INSIDE THE SERIES
The Titans and Cardinal will face off in a three-game set for the fourth straight season after a three-year hiatus from the longtime rivalry. The Titans have played Stanford more than any other Pac-12 program in history and will meet for the 108th time on Friday. Fullerton's last road win over the Cardinal was a 4-2 victory on June 3rd last year to clinch the Stanford Regional title and end the Cardinal's season. Ten of the last 15 contest between the Titans and the Cardinal have been decided by two runs or less, while seven of those games were decided by just a single run. 

SCOUTING STANFORD

- The Stanford Cardinal was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 according to a vote by all 11 coaches in the conference. The Cardinal received 89 points and a first place vote, just behind Pac-12 favorite Oregon State. The Beavers collected 10 first place votes and 100 total points.

- Juniors Nico Hoerner, Tristan Beck and Kris Bubic have all been named to Preseason All-America Teams

-David Esquer enters his first season as Stanford's new skipper, taking over to the retired legand Mark Marquess

TITANS AGAINST THE PAC-12
The Titans currently hold a 300-223-3 mark against teams from the Pac-12 conference, with their most victories (68) coming against UCLA in 101 games. The Titans have also played Arizona 99 times, holding a 64-35 record. Fullerton has played Stanford on 107 (48-59) occasions and is one of just three teams in the conference to hold a winning record over the Titans all-time along with Arizona State (29-32) and Washington State (5-7). Fullerton went 10-4 against Pac-12 opponents last season. The Titans are scheduled to play 12 games against Pac-12 teams this season, which will be the most games Fullerton will play from one conference besides the Big West.

HOW THE (BIG) WEST WAS WON? HOPEFULLY
The Tians have claimed the Big West title six out of the last eight seasons and the Titans are the favorites to do it again in 2018. Cal State Fullerton has been picked as the team to beat in the Big West Conference, according to the nine league coaches that voted on the Big West baseball preseason poll. Fullerton received a total of 73 points and six of nine first place votes in the poll, while Long Beach State tallied 65 points and two first place votes to finish second.  

2018 Coaches Poll Results

1. Cal State Fullerton - 73 (6)
2. Long Beach State - 65 (2)
3. Cal Poly - 64 
4. UC Santa Barbara - 49
5. CSUN - 48
6. UC Irvine- 43 (1)
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 26
9. UC Davis – 10
( ) First-place vote

BEST IN THE WEST
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 760-270-1 (.738) conference record over 43 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 105-38 Big West Conference record in his six seasons and has led Fullerton to the conference crown in four of his six seasons at the helm. The four conference titles for Vanderhook is the second most in school history, only behind Augie Garrido (14). Overall, the Titans have won 29 conference titles.

A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 18 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015-16). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 584-224-1 (.722; 35 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record 

TITAN PRIDE NEVER GRADUATES
Cal State Fullerton held its annual Alumni Game back on Jan. 27th and it was the Titans coming up with a 6-3 victory over the Alumni. The win Fullerton's ninth win in 10 tries over the Alumni squad.

THERE'S A STANDARD HERE
Fullerton has won 30-plus games in each of its 43 seasons at the Div. I level and is tied for second 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. 

Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1.  Miami, Fla.             47
2.  Cal State Fullerton  43
2.  Clemson                 43

TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES
The Titans have had 65 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. 

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In 2018, the Titans will face six teams that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Stanford, Houston, UCLA, Oregon State, Long Beach State and San Diego State. Oregon State advanced all the way to Omaha last year, while Fullerton knocked out LBSU in Super Regional play Stanford in Regional play.

SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE
The Titans finished the regular season 11-3-1 in weekend series last season. The 11 series wins were the most since claiming 14 in 2013. They finished with 13 total series wins total if you want to count the dominating sweep at the Stanford Regional and Fullerton's 2-1 Super Regional series win over Long Beach State.

CONINE CLOSES
In 2017, Conine established himself as one of the best Titan closers of all-time. He picked up 15 saves on the season, which was sixth best nationally, best in the Big West and was the fourth-most saves any Titan has ever picked up in a single season.

Overall, the Orange, California native compiled a 1.39 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched while collecting 43 strikeouts while only walking six in 2017. Conine earned All Big-West First Team honors, Collegiate Baseball All-American Second Third Team honors and was a finalist for the Gregg Olson award, which goes to the nation's best closer a year ago. He also picked up a six-out save in game three of the Long Beach Super Regional to send the Titans to the CWS.

Conine was named to NCBWA's Preseason All-American Second Team, Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, Perfect Game's Preseason All-American Third Team and D1 Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team and was placed on NCBWA's Initial Stopper of the Year Watch List.

GOLDEN BOY
Junior right-handed hurler Colton Eastman has earned a spot on USA Baseball's 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list for the second straight season. The Golden Spikes Award is given out to the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2018 season. Eastman is one of just five athletes on the list to be featured now in back-to-back seasons with preseason recognition and the lone member from the Big West Conference.

He put together one of the most heroic seasons in college baseball in 2017. After being injured most of the season, Eastman came back just in the nick of time. The Fresno, California native compiled a perfect 2-0 mark to go along with a 2.14 ERA and 37 strikeouts in only eight appearances.

He saved his best performance for the biggest game of the season, as he tossed seven innings, struck out eight, surrendered just one hit and zero earned runs en route to a 2-1 victory over Long Beach State to send the Titans to Omaha. Conine picked up the six-out save in that game.

In addition to the Golden Spikes Award recognition, Eastman has been placed on Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, D1Baseball's Preseason All-American Third Team, and has been named to Baseball America's Top-100 Prospects list.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Thirty-Two of the 36 players (89 percent) on the roster are from California, two are from Arizona (Tyler Smith and Sahid Valenzuela), one is from Utah (Mitchell Berryhill) and one is from Washington (Jairus Richards).

LOOK'S LIKE A PRO
It may be just Andrew Quezada's first year at Cal State Fullerton, but he's already getting the love from the pros. The Bellflower, California was nearly unhittable at Cypress College, as he compiled a microscopic 1.17 ERA and led his team to a state semifinal berth. He also recorded the first no-hitter in program history. D1Baseball has placed Quezada on its Top-100 MLB Prospects List.

GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD
The Titans were 30-10 when scoring first last season, 20-5 when scoring in the first inning, while they're 29-2 when leading after the sixth frame, 33-2 when leading after seven and 36-1 when leading after eight. They're also 25-4 when holding their opponent to two runs or less. They 5-1 when scoring first in last year's postseason.

PRODUCING LATE
While it was definitely good news when the Titans took an early lead last season, Fullerton also showed the ability to get the job done in the late stages of games last year. The Titans have outscored their opponents 42-23 in the seventh, 37-23 in the eighth and 24-10 in the ninth frame this season. They've outscored their opponent 103-56 in those three innings combined. 

SUPPORT THE TITANS!
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at athletictixs@fullerton.edu. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.

FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) Instagram (FullertonTitans) and Snapchat (FullertonTitans). In addition, the baseball team has established its own Twitter (@BaseballTitans) and Instagram accounts (csf_titanbaseball). 

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