Coming Home: Titans to Open at Goodwin Field Friday Night vs. UNLV

Feb. 7, 2006

Cal State Fullerton Baseball Weekly Notes

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TITANS' 2006 RECORD: 0-3, (0-0)

BASEBALL AMERICA POLL: 9
COLLEGIATE BASEBALL POLL: 15
USA TODAY COACHES POLL: 5 (as of Jan. 23)

LAST FIVE GAMES: 0-3
LAST 10 GAMES: 0-3

LAST WEEK:
Feb. 3 - Stanford 2, Cal State Fullerton 1, LP - Miller
Feb. 4 - Stanford 6, Cal State Fullerton 5, LP - Harris
Feb. 5 - Stanford 6, Cal State Fullerton 3, LP - Gagnier

THIS WEEK: UNLV (1-2, 0-0)
Feb. 10 - vs. UNLV (at Goodwin Field), 7 p.m. (GT, WEB)
Scheduled Titan Pitcher: Wes Roemer, RHP, 0-0, 1.29 ERA
Scheduled Rebel Pitcher: TBA
Feb. 11 - vs. UNLV (at Goodwin Field), 6 p.m. (GT, WEB)
Scheduled Titan Pitcher: Jared Clark, RHP, 0-0, 13.50 ERA
Scheduled Rebel Pitcher: TBA
Feb. 12 - vs. UNLV (at Goodwin Field), 1 p.m. (GT, WEB)
Scheduled Titan Pitcher: Lauren Gagnier, RHP, 0-1, 9.00 ERA
Scheduled Rebel Pitcher: TBA

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

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.

BATTER UP: Fullerton heads into the weekend looking for its first win of 2006 against their competitors form the desert the UNLV Rebels who are 1-2 on the year. UNLV lost the series to an improved No. 11 Pepperdine club. The Rebels used a five-run fifth inning against the Waves, downing them on Friday, 6-3, at Eddy D. Field Stadium for their only win of the season.

WEEKEND WRAP-UP: The Titans slide a few places in the weekly polls this week after losing three straight games to Stanford last week (2-1, 6-5, 6-3) in Palo Alto. The Titans have not faired well versus the Cardinal in recent history as they are 11-25 in the George Horton era and have dropped their last five series at Sunken Diamond ... But could it be an omen of things to come? In 2004 the Cardinal swept the Titan at Sunken Diamond to open the season that eventually ended with a national championship for the Titans, not a prediction, just stating the facts.

2005 Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year Wes Roemer had the best pitching outing of any Titan last weekend, tossing seven innings of four-hit baseball striking out eight, before being lifted for reliever Dustin Miller in the eighth. Roemer allowed just one earned run on back-to-back extra base hits in the third inning, but didn't figure in the decision. A triple by Stanford's Michael Taylor ruined Miller's long-awaited return to the mound, as he later came on to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Miller has not pitched for the Titans since 2003, when he went 9-2 with 97 strikeouts, earning himself a pair of freshman All-American honors.

For the second time in five games, the Titans were involved in a walk-off balk that decided the game. This time Fullerton was on the losing end as reliever Bryan Harris balked in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th Saturday night, giving Stanford the series win. In 2005, Cal State Fullerton defeated Arizona State in Game One of the Fullerton Super Regional when ASU's Zechery Zincola balked on the fourth pitch of an intentional walk handing the Titans the controversial victory.

Brandon Tripp and Danny Dorn led the Titan offense, with Tripp hitting .600 (6-for-10) with a pair of doubles. Dorn added five hits on the weekend, hitting .385 (5-for-13). The Titans hit just .083 with runners in scoring position in the series, stranding 11 runners on base in Sunday's loss. Fullerton's 3-4-5 hitters hit just .138 (5-for-36) for the series.

VERSUS THE REBELS: Cal State Fullerton is 62-17 (.784) all-time against UNLV since 1979. The Titans have one their last two meetings with the Rebels. Last season the Titans took the series 2-1 at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.

2005 Results vs. UNLV:
Feb. 25 - UNLV 6, CSF 5
LP- Vinnie Pestano (0-1)
Note: UNLV scored twice in the bottom of the ninth off of Pestano for the win.

Feb. 26 - CSF 10, UNLV 4
WP - Ricky Romero (3-0)
Note: Titans had 14 hits against the Rebels including two HRs from Justin Turner. Clark Hardman is injured his shoulder sliding into third base, requiring season-ending surgery.

Feb. 26 - CSF 8, UNLV 0
WP - Scott Sarver
Notes: Davis hits his second career home run...a grand slam...five Titans have multiple hits, including game-leader Sergio Pedroza with three.

UNLV AT GOODWIN: The Titans are 17-2 all-time against the Rebels at Goodwin Field. Fullerton has swept five three-game series since the opening of Goodwin Field with a pair of losses, one coming in the Big West Conference Tournament in 1996 and the other in a rain-shortened series in 1998 that saw the two split the series.

HOME OPENERS: The Titans have an all-time record of 27-4 in their home openers at Cal State Fullerton including a current seven-year winning streak. They last lost their last home opener back in 1998, when Cal beat them 6-5 on 1/30/1998. Every one of the Titans' home-opening losses came by just one run, with two of the four going more or less than nine innings. The Cal game in `98 went 12 innings and their loss in 1992 was a seven inning, 3-2 loss to UCLA.

HOME COOKING: The Titans are 213-97 all time at Goodwin Field with their best season coming in 2003 when they amassed a 32-3 (.912) mark. Last season Fullerton finished 28-9 in the friendly confines, and set eight of the top 15 all-time attendance figures in 2005.

IN A PINCH: Freshman David Cooper (Stockton, Calif.) started his collegiate career off on the right foot, collecting two pinch-hits in his first two career at bats as a Titan. He got a single in the seventh inning Friday night off Stanford starter Greg Reynolds, then stroked a double down the right field line in his second career pinch-hit appearance off lefty Sean Ratliff. The success earned him a "start" as the DH on Sunday. It technically wasn't his first career start, as Coach Horton was paying homage Stanford Coach Mark Marquess' stategy of starting a pitcher (who would not be playing) in the DH role to give him time to see who he really wanted to use. Cooper was to get the starting spot, but Horton inserted Wes Romer into the lineup as the starting DH, thus technically making it Roemers first career start at DH.

GET `EM ON, GET `EM OVER, CAN'T GET `EM IN: The Titans did a fine job of getting runners on base, and moving them over last weekend versus Stanford, but they just couldn't seem to get that key hit they needed to get the base runners in. They hit just .083 ((3-for-36) with runners in scoring position. The Titans reached base 12 times in 28 leadoff chances (.429) and successfully advanced runners in 30 of their 62 opportunities to do so (.484) but collected just seven RBI on the entire weekend. Fullerton's 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 5-for-36 (.139) and 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: He's been here for years, but Senior Dustin Miller made a triumphant return this weekend after spending the past two season watching from the sidelines. Miller, a Titan since 2002, has pitched just one season in the pinstripes, going 9-2 in 2003 earning Freshman All-American honors form both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. Though he looked good, and made pitches when he needed them, Miller's line looks worse than it was. He went 0-1, allowed an earned run and walked two in just two innings, but the run and only hit he allowed was a big one. A good piece of hitting by Cardinal right fielder Michael Taylor (with two strikes), found the ball rattling around in the right field corner for a leadoff triple in the bottom of the ninth in a 1-1 tie. The Titans then strategically used Miller to intentionally walk the next two hitters to load the bases, handing Miller two walks to his line before lifting him for closer Vinnie Pestano. Pestano, in a precarious situation (bases loaded and no outs) recorded an out before Brendan Domararcki singled through the left side, scoring Taylor. Miller picked up the loss in his return back on Friday, but came back Sunday afternoon to retire three straight hitters, on a pop up and a couple of ground balls.

FRIDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR PITCHING: 2005 Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year looks like he will pick up in 2006 where he left off last season. The righty has taken over the role of Friday night starter in the rotation, with the Departure of No. 1 draft pick Ricky Romero (2005), and has hit the ground running. Roemer handled the Stanford Cardinal for seven innings, allowing just four hits and a run while striking out eight, including four of the last five hitters he faced. The sophomore last season averaged 7.1 innings and averaged five strikeouts per start in 2005.

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 23rd 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.

ROSENBLATTREPORT.COM: A new college baseball site has emerged run by long-time college baseball follower Kendall Rogers in conjunction with rivals.com. Vinnie Pestano (second-team), and Blake Davis (third-team) have made the reports list of pre-season all-americans. The Titans started the year as the No. 9 team by rosenblattreport.com and is currently sitting 14th in their poll.

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 his 10th season, has averaged over 44 wins and 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: Last year 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.