Baseball Ready to Roll: No. 5 Titans Head to Stanford for Season Opener

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Feb. 1, 2006

RECORD: 0-0, (0-0)
BASEBALL AMERICA POLL: 5
COLLEGIATE BASEBALL POLL: 9
USA TODAY COACHES POLL: 5
LAST FIVE GAMES: 0-0
LAST 10 GAMES: 0-0

LAST WEEK:
2006 Titans defeated the Titan Alumni 6-2

THIS WEEK:
vs. Stanford Cardinal, 0-0, (0-0)
Friday evening, 5 p.m. at Sunken Diamond (GT, WEB)
Saturday afternoon, 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond (GT, WEB, KSPA)
Sunday afternoon, 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond (GT, WEB, KSPA)

(KSPA - AM 1510, WEB - fullertontitans.com, GT - GameTracker)

TITANS ON THE AIR: All of the Cal State Fullerton baseball games in 2006 will be broadcast live via the web on fullertontitans.com by the voice of the Titans Justin Alderson. Also, in conjunction with Alderson Broadcasting, select Titan games will be broadcast on KSPA radio and can be heard on AM 1510. You can also follow most games via GameTracker on fullertontitans.com with a simple click of your mouse. Just point your browser to our web site and follow the links form there.

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Friday
CSF - RHP, Wes Roemer (2005: 7-3, 3.90 ERA, 90 IP, 71 SO)
STAN - RHP, Greg Reynolds (2005: 2-3, 5.08 ERA, 51.1 IP, 51 SO)

Saturday
CSF - RHP, Jared Clark (2005: 1-1, 5.33 ERA, 25.1 IP, 17 SO)
STAN - RHP, Matt Manship (2005: 2-0, 0.80 ERA, 33.2 IP, 31 SO)

Sunday
CSF - RHP, Lauren Gagnier (2005: 3-0, 3.18 ERA, 28.1 IP, 27 SO)
STAN - TBA

BATTER UP: The Titans open up the 2006 season with the traditional three-game series versus the Stanford Cardinal, this year in Palo Alto. The Titans are ranked No. 5 in the pre-season by Baseball America and the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball, while Stanford comes in at No. 25 on the Collegiate Baseball Poll. The Cardinal go unranked in by Baseball America for the first time in the school's history.

Head Coach George Horton enters his 10th years at the helm of the Titan program, flanked by long-time assistant Rick Vanderhook (20th season) and second-year assistants Jason Gill and Ted Silva. Horton, 51, is a career 402-172-1 (.700) and is coming off of a first-place Big West Conference season (16-5) that earned him his fourth conference Coach of the Year honor.

The Titan line-up may not seem that different as five of the eight starting position players will return to their posts in 2006. They lost the sticks of both Sergio Pedroza in right field and Ronnie Prettyman at third, but will have their 2005 defensive replacements (Brandon Tripp and Evan McArthur, respectively) stepping right in to pick up where they left off. John Curtis (C), Brett Pill (1B), Justin Turner (2B), Blake Davis (SS) and Danny Dorn, who were all drafted in last seasons amateur draft, return to the Titan line-up in 2006. Every position player (except Evan McArthur who was a redshirt) played a part of the 2004 national championship season.

This year's pitching rotation will have some familiar faces in the starting rolls (Roemer, Clark and Gagnier), but will be lacking three guys (Ricky Romero, Ryan Schreppel and Scott Sarver) that gave Fullerton 28 wins a season ago. Vinnie Pestano, a Clemens Award Nominee, will again be the Titan stopper coming off of 13 saves last year.

VERSUS THE CARDINAL: Despite winning two out of three last season from the Cardinal, the Titans are a trailing in the all-time season series 45-35. The Cardinal is just one of three teams (USC and Wichita State) to have played the Titans more than five time and come out with a winning record. The Titans will look to bust out of a funk against the Cardinal as they are just 11-22 versus Stanford since 1997.The Titans are just 2-12 at Sunken Diamond since 1996, collecting wins in `96 in a rain-shortend series, and again in 2002.

2005 Results versus the Cardinal: Feb. 4: CSF 5, STAN 3, WP Ricky Romero. CSF 5R, 7H, 3E; STAN 3R, 3H, 2E Feb. 5: CSF 4, STAN 3, WP Lauren Gagnier. CSF 4R, 5H, 2E; STAN 3R, 3H, 0E Feb. 6: STAN 15, CSF 10, LP Scott Sarver. STAN 15R, 15H, 2E; CSF 10R, 14H, 1E

PLAYER RANKINGS: baseballamerica.com has ranked the 50 top baseball players in the country by class, naming three Titans to its list of 200. Danny Dorn has been listed as the No. 1 senior in college baseball after being drafted in the 23 round by the Devil Rays last season. Justin Turner also makes that list as the No. 7 player in the country. Turner was drafted by the Yankees in the 29th round, both he and Dorn turned down significant money to return to the Fullerton program. Second-year player Wes Roemer moves into the Friday night starter role as BA's 46th-best sophomore.

COMPARING ROTATIONS: If there are any question marks about this season for the Titans, it would be their pitching. The staff lost their entire starting rotation that posted a combined 28-9 record, a 3.17 ERA and 239 strikeouts, while their 2006 counterparts will bring an 11-4 record, a 4.01 ERA and 115 strikeouts to the table.

ROSENBLATTREPORT.COM: A new college baseball site has emerged run by long-time college baseball follower Kendall Rogers in conjunction with rivals.com. His pre-season rankings have the Titans starting the season at No. 9 in the country, similar to that of Collegiate Baseball. Rosenblattreport.com also has a feature interview with Friday night starter Wes Roemer, posted Jan. 31. Vinnie Pestano (second-team), and Blake Davis (third-team) have made the reports list of pre-season all-americans.

ACCORDING TO BOYDSWORLD: The web site boydsworld.com, a site packed with statistical analysis, has come up with a list of stats on returning players and their career stats. Titan left fielder Danny Dorn is named a few times on the list coming into his fourth season with the Titans. He leads all players returning to their teams this season in career RBI with 163, five more that Minnesota's Andy Hunter. He also places fourth in games played, fifth in runs. Fello senior Justin Turner ranks among college returners in games played (2nd, 188) and at bats (3rd, 721).

WATCH LIST WATCH 2006: Cal State Fullerton baseball standouts Brett Pill, Blake Davis and Wes Roemer have all been named to the 2006 Wallace Watch List as announced by the College Baseball Foundation. The trio of Titans join a group of 120 athletes, all in the running for the Brooks Wallace Award (formerly the Smith Award), an award presented to the country's top collegiate baseball player. Former Titan Kurt Suzuki was the inaugural recipient in 2004. Additionally, Vinnie Pestano was named to the Roger Clemens Award Watch List, joining 40 other pitchers looking to garner the nation's top pitcher award.

PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Both Cal State Fullerton shortstop Blake Davis and closer Vinnie Pestano were named third-team preseason All-Americans in December. Davis was names to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America's (NCBWA) list while Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball tabbed Pestano to theirs.

WEARING RED, WHITE AND BLUE: Junior shortstop Blake Davis (Fountain Valley, Calif.) became the Titans' 15th representative on the US National Team last summer, hitting .275 (14-for-51) in 20 games in the middle infield. The scrappy left-handed hitter, also poked a pair of triples for the Stars and Stripes after snatching a team-leading eight in 2005. The USA went on to a 16-4 final record losing. The USA Baseball National Team consists of top collegiate baseball players from around the country and plays a schedule of exhibition games across America and overseas, versus the world's top baseball talent.

LEADERS OF THE PACK: The Cal State Fullerton baseball team has been picked to win their third straight Big West Conference title according to the Pre-Season Big West Conference Coaches Poll. The Titans received seven of the eight first place votes beating out Long Beach State by ten points for the league's top spot. Cal Poly received the other first place vote but were picked to finish fourth behind UC Irvine. The Titans enter 2006 ranked No. 5 by Baseball America and No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball and will return five of their eight position players from last season. Returners include All-Big West honorees Blake Davis, Brett Pill, Justin Turner and Danny Dorn. 2005 Big West Coach of the Year George Horton enters his tenth season as the skipper of the Titans and will have the likes of Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year Wes Roemer and league honorable mention Vinnie Pestano leading the Fullerton arms from the mound.

BIG WEST PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Cal State Fullerton 63 (7)
2. Long Beach State 53
3. UC Irvine 42
4. Cal Poly 41 (1)
5. UC Riverside 35
6. Pacific 26
7. UC Santa Barbara 20
8. Cal State Northridge 8
( ) indicates first place votes.

SCHEDULE: The Titans again will have a schedule ranking among the toughest in the nation as their 56-game calendar is filled out with the likes of Rice, Arizona, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, USC and Stanford...all teams that are ranked in two of the three top pre-season polls in the country. Fullerton will play a fairly balanced home-to-road schedule with 29 games to be played at Goodwin Field. The Big West Conference match ups will figure for 21 games, with Fullerton looking to win its third-straight conference title. The Fullerton squad will get the likes of schedule regulars, Stanford, UCLA, Pepperdine, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount and USC in their non-conference schedule along with newcomers Rice and East Carolina. Different to this season's scheduling will be the lack of the Kia Baseball Bash which had brought some of the nation's top teams to Goodwin Field over the past six seasons The sponsorship deal ran out leaving the Titans with an open weekend for some fresh blood. In its place, the Titans will play a split-series with UCLA, one game at Jackie Robinson Stadium, and two in Fullerton. Also The Titans have added a non-conference with UC Irvine, something they have done with Long Beach State for a few years now as well. In a couple of anticipated road trips, the Titans will take on baseball powerhouses Arizona and Rice. The Titans saw plenty of the Wildcats in 2005, facing them six times, going 2-1 in both a non-conference series and a Regional at Goodwin Field.

THE COMMISH GETS 400: "The Commissioner," Head Coach George Horton picked up his 400th career victory June 5, 2005 as the Titans downed the Wildcats of Arizona 7-2 in the fourth game of the Fullerton Regional at Goodwin Field. Horton in 10th season at the helm of the Titans has compiled a 402-172-1 overall record, good for a .700 winning percentage. He averages over 44 wins to just around 19 losses a season.

BEST OF THE BIG WEST: Head Coach George Horton has earned his fourth Big West Coach of the Year nod as he has guided the Titans to his sixth Big West Conference championship (21st overall), and their 21st 40-win season in the schools 31-year history. Horton, 52, has earned the honor twice in back-to back years, taking it home in 1998 and 1999, and again in 2004 and 2005... Wes Roemer earned Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors as he made his presence felt when he was pressed into action by an injury to teammate Ryan Schreppel in March. The Titans took four of the five highest honors leaving only the Freshman of the Year honor without a player in Navy and Orange in it. Departing players Ricky Romero (Big West Pitcher of the Year) and Sergio Pedroza (Co-Big West Player of the Year) earned the other two top honors in the conference last season.

A WINNING TRADITION: On May 22, 2005 the Titans captured their 21st 40-win season as they shut out Long Beach State, 10-0. Fullerton, has never had less than 30 wins or finished the season with a losing record in the programs 31-year Division I history. Larry Cochell's Titans captured the lowest win total in the school's history with a 30-27 overall record in 1989.

TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 27 NCAA Regional appearances in their 31-year Division I history and have not missed the playoffs since 1991. The 14-year run is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (33), Florida State (28), Clemson (19), and LSU (17) have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 13 times, with College World Series.

TITANS IN THE DRAFT: Cal State Fullerton made its presence felt in the 2005 First-Year Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, making last year's draft class the largest group of players ever taken off of any one Titan squad. The 1984 Titans formerly held the record for most players drafted by one squad (13, including Bob Caffrey, the Titans' second No. 1 draft pick). Six Titans were selected within the first 18 rounds on day one, featuring Fullerton's 10th first-rounder in its 31-year history, Ricky Romero. Romero was the sixth player chosen in this year's draft with the Toronto Blue Jays making him their top pick. Romero was followed by the 106th player chosen, right fielder Sergio Pedroza, who was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round. Center Fielder Bobby Andrews was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh round (213), with left-handed pitcher Ryan Schreppel right on his tail in the eighth round, the 231st overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Infielders Ronnie Prettyman (Seattle, 10th round, 293) and Neil Walton (Tampa Bay, 16th round, 478) were the final two Fullerton players taken before the organizations broke for the day. Day Two saw eight more Titans selected in the 32-round draft including: Scott Sarver (Houston Astros, 21st round, 644 overall), Danny Dorn (Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 23rd round, 688 overall), John Curtis (Cleveland Indians, 29th round, 874 overall), Justin Turner (New York Yankees, 29th round, 889 overall), Trevor Mortensen (Cleveland Indians, 33rd round, 994 overall), Felipe Garcia (New York Yankees, 34th round, 1039 overall), Brett Pill (New York Yankees, 45th round, 1362 overall), and Blake Davis (Cleveland Indians, 46th round, 1377 overall). Romero joined a fraternity of first-rounders including: Tim Wallach (1979), Caffrey (1984), Mike Harkey (1987), Brent Mayne (1989), Phil Nevin (1992), Dante Powell (1994), Mark Kotsay (1996), Aaron Rowand (1998), Adam Johnson (2000) and Chad Cordero (2003). Returning to the 2006 roster after being selected in the draft are infielders Pill, Turner, and Davis, outfielder Dorn and catcher Curtis.

TITANS IN THE BIGS: Shane Costa (2001-2003) made his major league debut on June 2, 2005 with the Kansas City Royals, making him the 41st Titans to be called up to the show and 40th to actually participate in a game. Had former Titan reliever Luis Estrella (1996) made an appearance in 2003 with the San Francisco Giants all the numbers would jive, but his cup of coffee in the bigs ended before throwing a pitch. Including Costa, nine former Titans currently occupy roster spots in the Major Leagues including: 2005 Major League saves leader and All-Star, Chad Cordero (WAS), Reed Johnson (TOR), Mark Kotsay (OAK), Mike Lamb (HOU), Phil Nevin (TEX), 2005 World Series Champion, Aaron Rowand (PHI), Kirk Saarloos (OAK), and Matt Wise (MIL). Former Titan Andre David (1979-1980) is also in the bigs, serving in his second season as the hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals.

TITAN ALL-AMERICANS: Three Titans were named All-Americans last season bring the all-time Titan total to 64. Non-returning standouts Ricky Romero and Sergio Pedroza were named to the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, and NCBWA second- and third-teams respectively - While Wes Roemer earned Freshman All-American honors in 2005 by Collegiate Baseball. He became the 13th Titan to earn the first-year player honors as he finished 2005 with a 7-3 record and a 3.80 ERA and even notching a save. The hard-throwing sophomore will headline a Titan pitching staff that lost three of its four starts from 2005.