Feb. 13, 2007
PLAY BALL: The No. 12 (Baseball America) Cal State Fullerton baseball team returns home after a 2-1 road trip, looking to get back on the winning track after a Sunday loss at UNLV. This weekend, the Titans will host Arizona, ranked 17th by Collegiate Baseball, which is 8-0 on the season and coming off a sweeps of Gonzaga, Utah Valley State and New Mexico. Fullerton will go into its third weekend series of the year, with a 13-series win streak on the line.
vs. Arizona (8-0) @ Goodwin Field, Fullerton, Calif.
GT = GameTracker
WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com
BWTV = Game video stream via Big West TV at bigwest.org
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
Feb. 9, Win at UNLV, 5-4 (WP - W. Roemer, S - A. Jorgenson)
Feb. 10, Win at UNLV, 13-4 (WP - J. Kaplan)
Feb. 11, Loss at UNLV, 12-11 (LP - B. Harris)
TITANS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - 12
Collegiate Baseball - 8
USA Today Coaches - 8
NCBWA - 5
Rivals.com - 10
WILDCATS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - NR
Collegiate Baseball - 17
USA Today Coaches - NR
NCBWA - 23
Rivals.com - NR
TUNE IN: All of Cal State Fullerton baseball games will be broadcast live on fullertontitans.com with play-by-play announcer Justin Alderson. Go to fullertontitans.com and click the listen here icon on the right and enjoy every pitch as it happens. And for your viewing pleasure, the Big West Conference in conjunction with CSTV will provide video streams of select baseball games in 2007 via BigWest.TV. For subscription information visit bgwest.org and watch all the Big West baseball you want. You can also follow select games via GameTracker (when technologically available). Follow the links on the schedule page to find the CSTV GameTracker interface.
TITANS ON THE TUBE: CSTV announced that the Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State baseball game on Friday, May 25, at Goodwin Field will be televised by the college sports network. First pitch is scheduled at 7 p.m. PDT. More details will be released as they become available. Last year, the Titans swept two three-game series from the 49ers for the first time in the Titans' 32-year history.
LAST WEEK: The Titans (5-1) walked away with their 13th straight regular season series win, going 2-1 on their first road trip of the year at UNLV last weekend. As a team, the Titans hit a combined .320 and scored 29 runs in the three-game series, and narrowly missed their second straight sweep, losing by a run on Sunday, 12-11.
Balks played a big part in two of the three games. The first was key for the Titans, as UNLV's Adam Moser balked home Jake Vasquez in the top half of the 8th inning with the tie-breaking run before Nick Mahin delivered an RBI double for the game winner. Wes Roemer (2-0) tossed eight innings, fanning seven, to earn his second win of the year. Bryan Harris, in place of injured Evan McArthur, doubled, singled and drove in two runs in his first start of the year while also playing third flawlessly.
Day Two saw Fullerton jump out to a 10-0 lead for starter Jeff Kaplan (1-0) in the first 3 innings, giving the righty ample wiggle room to earn his first win of the year. The Titans scored 13 runs on 12 hits, including three by Vasquez, who hit his first home run as a Titan. Vasquez drove in four while John Curtis and Chris Jones added three RBI each in the blow-out.
Harris (1-1) was called for a balk with the winning run at third base on Sunday, preventing the Titans from taking their eighth straight game from the Rebels and handing Harris and the Titans their first loss of the year. Fullerton took the lead on three occasions and was just one out away from the series sweep when the senior balked. Harris had gotten the first two outs of the ninth, then surrendered three straight hits allowing the Rebels to tie the game and set up the final sequence. Clark Hardman led the Titans in hits with three, while Mahin provided a good chunk of the run production with five RBI and his first homer in the combined 30-hit, 23-run marathon.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: The Titans hold a 57-29 edge over three-time national champions Arizona dating back to their first meeting in 1977. Fullerton is 3-2 all-time in the post-season against U of A, including 1-0 at the College World Series. Fullerton has won the last five meetings including a series sweep last year at Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium in the wind and rain. Since George Horton has taken the helm of the Titan program, the Titans are 11-4 versus the Wildcats, having met three times in Regional play (Titans lead 2-1).
LAST YEAR VS. ARIZONA:
Mar. 12, 2006, CSF 6, Arizona 4
WP - Wes Roemer (5-0), LP - Eric Berger (3-4), S - Vinnie Pestano (6)
Wes Roemer: 7.1 IP, 4ER, 4 K, Blake Davis: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, John Curtis: 3-for-4, 2 RBI
HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans are 344-102 (.771) all-time at Goodwin Field with their best-ever home record coming in 2003 when they went 32-3 (.914) in front of the home crowd. The last time Arizona visited Goodwin Field in 2005, They set back-to-back attendance records, drawing 3,654 on both June 4 and 6 at the Fullerton Super Regional.
LET'S TAKE IT FROM THE TOP: Leadoff hitters Joe Scott and Clark Hardman are getting on base, Platooning in the No. 1 and No. 9 spot in the lineup. Both are tied for the team lead in hits (11) and have a combined on base percentage of .561. The duo have been hit a combined seven times , walked on three occasions and are also responsible for scoring just over a third of the Titan runs (19 of the 58). They have also combined for three of the Titans five stolen base in the first six games.
WITOUT THE GENERAL: The Titans will be without the services of senior third baseman Evan McArthur for approximately six weeks. The right-handed hitting McArthur suffered a fracture of the hamate bone and had successful surgery to remove the bone on Feb. 8, at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthapedic Clinic in Westchester, Calif. Dr. Norman Zemel, a hand and wrist specialist, performed the procedure. The small hand bone is located at the base of the palm beneathe the fourth and fifth finger and is known for being "hook-shaped." Fractures of the bone are usually hairline fractures and are most common in baseball players and golfers. McArthur played through the injury opening weekend in a three-game series with nationally-ranked Stanford, posting a .308 average (4-for-13) with a double and 3 RBI before he left the Sunday game prematurely in the eighth inning. The Medford, Oregon-native's approximate return coincides with the Titans' three-game set with cross-town rival Long Beach State, Mar. 23-25 at Blair Field. Senior Bryan Harris is filling in at the hot corner in McArthur's abscence.
DID I CATCH A NINER IN THERE? Catcher John Curtis extended his hitting streak hitting streak to nine games with four hits over the weekend. His streak dates back to 6/18/06 vs. Georgia Tech in the College World Series. Since the streak started, Curtis is a cool 15-for-31 (.484). Curtis along with right fielder Chris Jones, second baseman Joel Weeks and first baseman Jake Vasquez have all hit safely in each of the Titans six games this season.
SERIES BUSINESS: Cal State Fullerton has won its last 13 regular-season series dating back to March 3-5, 2006 at Rice.
HOME ATTENDANCE: So far this season, the Titan baseball team has drawn 7,883 fans in just three home game, compared to the men's basketball team who have drawn 8,457 in 11 home events. The baseball team had to compete with Super Bowl Sunday, and could have topped the hoops team in its opening weekend with 575 more fans. Hoops have topped the 1,000 in attendance mark just once. Basketball has three more home events in 2007. Both teams are undefeated at home and basketball is in a battle for the conference title.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: The Titans were hit by pitch 12 times in the three-game set with UNLV, seven of which led to Titan runs. Joel Weeks, Clark Hardman and Joe Scott were each plunked three times each to pace the bruised.
CH-CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: The Titans must be doing something right as they are getting deep into their opponent's bullpens. So far, in six games the Titans have seen 32 pitchers, and have forced 26 pitching changes compared to their 20 pitchers and 14 pitching changes. Good times in the press box though...just think how many "quick" trips to the mound and additional warm up pitches we got to see!
TIME FOR A CHANGE? No disrespect to the fine prime rib steak house that is Lawry's, or the fine supporters of Titan Athletics that have treated the team to the Las Vegas restaurant, but could it be that a bad trend is forming after eating the famous rock-salted ribs of beef and spinning house salad? Since 2005, the Titans are now 0-2 against the UNLV Rebels in games following team meals at the acclaimed restaurant. Might I suggest a change? I found the rib-eye and some pesto mashed potatoes at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill at Caesar's Palace got us a win on Friday.
EARLY ARMS COMPARISON: Through eight games, the Arizona pitching staff has posted a team ERA of 2.00 over 72 innings. all of the Wildcat pitchers have a 4.50 ERA or better, and all but three, sit under two. The Titan pitching staff, a year removed from leading the nation in ERA, has posted a 6.08 team ERA through the first six games of the season (53 2/3 innings), not able to hold an opponent to under four runs in any game. Only three Titans sit at 3.38 or below (Wes Roemer, Adam Jorgenson and Nolan Bruyninckx), the rest are at 7.00 or above.
WICKED PITCH OF THE WES: Friday night starter Wes Roemer (RHP, Glendora, Calif) amazed the country with his pinpoint control walking just seven batter all last season in 155 innings pitched. The then-sophomore started the 2006 campaign by going 65 2/3 innings without issuing a free pass. That amazing control helped the sophomore earn Collegiate Baseball's Co-National Player of the Year honor and unanimous first-team All-American status. Though he hardly walked anyone last season, he did however, keep the hitters honest, hitting a school record 23 batters to break his own record set as a freshman (18 HBPs in 2005).
NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Wes Roemer (JR, RHP, Glendora) will again be the center of attention as he has already been recognized as a Preseason All-American (Baseball America, NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, Rivals.com) and as a 2007 National Player of the Year Candidate (Collegiate Baseball, CSTV.com, Brooks Wallace Awards, Roger Clemens Award) and has been projected by Baseball America as the Big West Conference's top draft pick in the 2007 MLB Amatuer Draft... Roemer was 13-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 2006 striking out 145 in 155 innings pitched with just seven walks.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Junior College transfer Matt Wallach (Jr., Catcher, Yorba Linda, Calif., Cypress College) has some pretty big shoes to fill being that he is the son of a 17-year major leaguer, five-time All-Star and one of the most iconic Titans in the program's 32-year history. Matt was a JC All-American in 2006, and hit .301 with four home runs and 34 RBI for the Chargers, earning himself All-Orange Empire First Team honors. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 23 round in 2006, but chose to play his junior year at Fullerton and major in business. So far this season, he has been a roll player, but could see some time behind senior catcher John Curtis. So far in `07, Wallach has posted a .400 average (2-for-5) collecting his first-career hit in his first at bat of his first start. e was the starting DH on Feb. 10 vs. UNLV.
JONESING FOR RIBBIES: Outfielder Chris Jones (Sophomore, San Clemente, Calif.) has connected for RBIs in 5 of his first six games played and is currently leading the team with 10. An equal opportunity RBI-guy, Jones drove in 5 against both Stanford and UNLV. The transfer form Texas A&M, is also one of four Titans (John Curtis, Jake Vasquez and Joel Weeks) to hit safely in each of the first six games of this season.
CHANGING UNI'S: Jake Vasquez (SR, INF, Diamond Bar, Calif) is the Only Titan in 2007 to transfer from another Division I school. The first baseman played last season at Texas A&M and has the skills to make Head Coach Geroge Horton say, "How Texas A&M cut him loose has all of us shaking our heads. It will make the loss of Brett Pill and David Copper [from 2006 Titan squad] acceptable." Vasquez ha sa six-game hitting streak to start the season with the Titans and is hitting .370 (10-for-27) with a home run and 5 RBI.
LEGENDARY COACH: In October, 2006, Horton was honored to take part in a documentary called "Legendary Coaches" that will be released as a special feature on the forthcoming "We Are Marshall" DVD. Horton is one focus of a six-segment feature with other legends Lute Olson (Arizona, men's basketball head coach), Pat Summit (Tennessee, women's basketball head coach), John Wooden (former UCLA basketball head coach), Bobby Bowden (Florida State, football head coach) as well as 1971 Marshall football Head Coach Jack Lengyel.
TO COACH OR NOT TO COACH?: Volunteer Assistant Coach Bill Kernen has a tale (or two) to tell you, that not many in the baseball business could fathom. Kernen, a veteran collegiate coach, left the game after more than 20 years and moved to New York to become a playwright in 1995. He went to Columbia University in New York to study writing and while there, penned "And Other Fairy Tales" and "A Graveyard Symphony" within his first two years. Two more, "Galleria degli Angeli" (1998) and "Musica de Mariposa" (1999), would follow in the next two years, with his 1998 effort being honored as a finalist in the Oglebay Institute National Playwriting Competition. Kernen's play "Snapshot of Molly and Her Man" (2002) was turned in to a 16 minute short film in 2002, with the Titan pitching coach earning credit as the film's casting director as well. Kernen was the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1989-95 where he accumulated a 240-154-3 (.609) career record, just missing a trip to Omaha in CSUN's first year at the Div. I level.
INCOMING!: Baseball America has ranked Cal State Fullerton's Khris Davis (19th, .592, 10 HR, 50 RBI in 2006 with Deer Valley HS in Glendale Ariz.) and Nate Bridges (22nd, .461, 9 HR, 33 RBI in 2006 with Villa Park HS in Villa Park, Calif.) in their Top 50 Incoming Freshman for both their immediate impact as well as their long-term potential. Davis has played in just one game this season so far, going 1-for-2.
BASEBALL AMERICA PREDICTS: The baseball publication looked into their crystal ball and saw that the Titans would again repeat with a Big West Conference Championship in 2007. They also mentioned that junior centerfielder Clark Hardman (Trabuco Canyon, Calif) will be the leagues most valuable player. Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) was also slated to be the conference's best pitcher and top major league prospect.
MILESTONES AHEAD: 11th-year Head Coach George Horton is 43 wins away from his 500th career win. Last season Horton tallied his 188th career Big West Conference win, tying him with Fresno State's Bob Bennett for second place on the all-time Big West leader board. His next conference victory will put him in sole possession of second place behind former Long Beach State skipper Dave Snow's 218 Big West wins.
TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 28 NCAA regional appearances in their 32-year Div. I history and have not missed the post-season since 1991. The 15-year run is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (34), Florida State (29), and Clemson (20), have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 14 times, coming away with College World Series Titles in 1979, 1984, 1995, and 2004.
A WINNING TRADITION: On May 23, 2006, the Titans captured their 22nd 40-win season with a 6-3 win over USC. The Titans also picked up their eighth 50-win season as they defeated Clemson, 7-6, in the College World Series. Fullerton has never had less than 30 wins or finished the season with a losing record (since 1975, first year at Div. I). Larry Cochell's Titans captured the lowest win total in the school's history with a 30-27 overall record in 1989.
BEST IN THE BIG WEST: The Cal State Fullerton baseball has been picked to claim its fourth-consecutive Big West Conference championship as shown in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll. George Horton's Titans garnered seven of the eight first place votes (63 total points) giving them the edge over UC Riverside who finished in second with 50 total points. UC Irvine and Long Beach State finished close behind in third and fourth places, respectively.
1. Cal State Fullerton (7), 63
2. UC Riverside, 50
3. UC Irvine (1), 48
4. Long Beach State, 43
5. Cal Poly, 31
6. UC Santa Barbara, 23
7. Pacific, 22
8. Cal State Northridge, 8
( ) indicate first-place votes
TOP 10 RECRUITING CLASS: Cal State Fullerton baseball's recruiting effort was rewarded with a pair of "top ten" rankings by the two major college baseball publications in 2007. The Titans' incoming class, assembled by Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach Jason Gill, has been ranked 8th by Collegiate Baseball and 9th by Baseball America. "It is nice to be recognized on a national level for our recruiting class and we are happy with the talent we have coming in," Gill said, "but we have a lot of new names on the backs of our jerseys, and we have to wait to see how well they adapt to playing for the name on the front." Following the College World Series last June, the Titans lost three-fourths of arguably the best defensive infield in the nation, two-thirds of both the outfield and starting pitching rotation, a setup man and a closer to last year's MLB draft and free-agency.
TO THE SHOW: Three former Titans made their big league debuts in 2006 boosting the school's total number to 43 former Fullerton players that have played a big league gamee. Mike Rouse (with CSF in 2001) and Jason Windsor (with CSF from 2003-04) both made appearances with the Oakland A's, while Wes Littleton (with CSF from 2001-03) debuted with the Texas Rangers. The trio joined Shane Costa, KC (with CSF from 2001-03), Reed Johnson, TOR (1997-99), Chad Cordero, WAS (2001-03), Brandon Duckworth, KC (1997), Mark Kotsay, OAK (1994-96), Mike Lamb, HOU (1995-97), Phil Nevin, TEX-CHC-MIN (1990-92), Aaron Rowand, PHI (1996-98), Kirk Saarloos, OAK (1998-2001) and Matt Wise, MIL (1996-97), to bring the current total of Fullerton products in the bigs to 13.