Baseball Set to Begin 36th Div. I Season Friday Night

Feb. 16, 2010

Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton (0-0, 0-0 Big West) is entering its 36th season at the Div. I level, and third under current Head Coach Dave Serrano. The team begins the season with a sour taste in its mouth following an 0-2 performance at last year's College World Series and will look start the new season off on the right foot against Oregon, Pepperdine and Long Beach State this weekend at Goodwin Field.

The season gets kicked off with a bang with the return of former Titan player and long-time skipper George Horton as he brings his Oregon Ducks (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) to the visiting dugout for the first time. Then the Titans will host Pepperdine (0-0, 0-0 West Coast) and Long Beach State (0-0, 0-0 Big West)over the following two days. The three-team opening weekend is not an official "tournament," though all three teams will play each other once from Friday to Sunday. Other games will be held at Eddy D. Field Stadium (Malibu, Calif.) and Blair Field (Long Beach, Calif.) throughout the weekend.

THIS WEEKEND WEEKEND:
Fri., Feb. 19, vs. Oregon (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m. [GT, AUDIO, BWTV]
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (2009: 11-3, 2.69 ERA)
OU: LHP, Tyler Anderson (2009: 2-9, 6.26 ERA)

Sat., Feb. 20, vs. Pepperdine (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m. [GT, AUDIO, BWTV] ]
CSF: RHP, Noe Ramirez (2009: 9-2, 3.33 ERA)
PEP: LHP, Matt Bywater (2009: 6-1, 3.57 ERA)

Sun., Feb. 21 vs. Long Beach State (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m. [GT, AUDIO, BWTV]
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (2009: 11-3, 4.06 ERA)
LB: RHP, Brandon Pinder (2009: Redshirt at Santa Ana College)

GT: Follow the Titans all year long via your web browser with CBS College Sports' GameTracker. You can click the "GT" logo on the rotating schedule at fullertontitans.com, or click the "GameTracker" logo on the baseball schedule page.

AUDIO: Audio broadcasts of most Titan baseball games will be brought to you live on fullertontitans.com. To access the free audio, click the headphones at the top of fullertontitans.com, choose "live audio broadcasts" in the fan zone menu, or click the rotating "Titans Live Audio" square banner on any of the main pages.

BWTV: Go to BigWest.tv to sign for a subscription to see selected Cal State Fullerton and Big West games live on your computer. This weekend's games will be available for FREE courtesy of the Big West Conference.

MEDIA GUIDE: The 2010 Cal State Fullerton baseball media guide will be available prior to the Titans' home opener on fullertontitans.com. Go to the "Fan Zone" atop any page of the school's webiste and you will be directed to PDFs of all Cal State Fullerton media guides. Due to extreme budget restrictions and a push throughout the Big West and the nation to be more "green," there will be no printed media guides, for any 2009-10 Titan sports. Yes, your 1975-2009 books are now legitimate collector's items. Put them in a safe place.

FULLERTON IN THE POLLS:
Baseball America: No. 4
Collegiate Baseball: No. 4
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: No. 3
NCBWA: No. 4
Rivals.com: No. 4

OPPONENTS IN THE POLLS: Pepperdine was ranked No. 34 by Collegiate Baseball in its Preseason Top 40, while both Oregon and Long Beach received votes in the same poll.

VERSUS OREGON: This will be the first Div. I meeting between the Ducks and Titans. The Titans are 8-2 all-time against teams from the state of Oregon (University of Portland, Portland State and Oregon State) with the latest meeting between the Titans and a Pacific Northwest team coming in the 2007 at the College World Series where the Titans lost to the Beavers with current Ducks Head Coach George Horton at the helm of the Titans.

VERSUS PEPPERDINE: The Titans hold a 51-39 record over the visitors from Malibu and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. The Titans Have outscored the Waves 33-4 over the last three games going back to May of 2008. At Goodwin Field, the Titans have beat the Waves 14 times in 21 total games at the current facility including a 2-1 mark in the 2004 Fullerton Regional and hold a 29-16 overall mark playing on their home field. The Titans are 3-1 under current Head Coach Dave Serrano. This weekend will mark the first of three non-conference match-ups between Pepperdine and Fullerton. The Waves will return to Goodwin Field on Apr. 20, and then travel to Malibu on May 12. The Titans were the NCAA runers up to the national champion Waves in 1992, as they lost, 3-2, in the final game of that year at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.

VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Titans will be facing Big West Conference foe Long Beach State for the 169th time in the two programs' storied histories at the Division I level. The Titans hold a dominating 111-57 edge all-time against the 49ers and are currently riding a three-game winning streak against them after last year's sweep at Goodwin Field. The Titans are winners of nine of their last 12 games against Long Beach at Goodwin Field, and 56-28 all-time at home. Fullerton is 4-2 overall under Head Coach Dave Serrano. This weekend's lone game is a non-conference affair, they will meet from May 14-16, at Blair Field in Long Beach, to complete their conference obligations.

SEASON OPENERS: Cal State Fullerton is 20-15 all-time in season openers, 17-4 in season openers at home, and 6-2 in season openers at Goodwin Field.

MORE ON SEASON OPENERS: Oregon is Cal State Fullerton's 16th opening day opponent in the history of the baseball program at the Div. I level. Out of the 35 previous season openers, Stanford has been Fullerton's first opponent 15 times (most by any team), and for the first time since 1986, and just the seventh time in the history of the baseball program, Fullerton will not face Stanford in its regular season schedule. TCU, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, and St. Mary's are only other teams to play Fullerton more than once on opening day.

PICKED TO WIN: The Cal State Fullerton baseball team was picked to win the Big West Conference championship in 2010 according to the annual preseason coaches poll conducted by the league's nine head coaches. Fullerton, which has captured at least a share of seven of the last 11 titles, picked up seven first-place votes and returned 79 total points. UC Irvine came in second with 71 points and two first-place nods, while Cal Poly came in third with 60 points. Long Beach State (50 pts.) finished fourth, and was followed by UC Riverside (48 pts.), UC Santa Barbara (36 pts.), Pacific (30 pts.), Cal State Northridge (19 pts.) and UC Davis (12 pts.) to round out the voting.

SERRANO GETS HIGH PRAISE: Head Coach Dave Serrano was listed among the nation's hottest coaches according to Kendall Rogers of Yahoo Sports (Rivals.com) in December 2009. Serrano is entering his third season at the helm of the Titan program and has already guided the Titans to a Super Regional finish in 2008 and a College World Series appearance in 2009 while amassing a two-year record of 88-38 (.698). On the list, Serrano finds company in 2009 national champion Paul Mainieri (LSU), 2009 College World Series skipper Brian O'Conner (Virginia), 2009 Fullerton Super Regional participant Head Coach Dan McDonnell (Louisville) and 2009 Big West Coach of the Year Mike Gillespie among others. In five seasons as a Div. I head coach, Serrano has averaged over 40 wins a year and has already won his 150th and 200th game in Titan pinstripes. Last year, Serrano's program tied a school record by producing seven All-Americans, with four of them directly under Serrano's supervision as pitchers. The Titan pitching staff was among the best in the country posting the nation's fourth-best ERA while ranking fifth in both fewest hits allowed per nine innings and fewest walks allowed per nine innings.

WINNINGEST ACTIVE COACHES: Third-year Titan skipper Dave Serrano is ranked 25th among active head coach winning percentages at .660 (202-104-1). Former Titan head coaches George Horton (19th, 504-254-1, .665) and Augie Garrido (11th, 1718-793-9, .684) also grace the list and trial North Carolina's Mike Fox with his .748 percentage (1,039-349-5) in 26 season as a head coach. Garrido tops the NCAA history books in total victories over 41 seasons as a head coach at the Div. I level.

THE RETURN OF THE COMMISSIONER: "The Commissioner" George Horton will make his return to Goodwin Field as the the enemy for the first time in his life. Horton, who was an all-conference first baseman as a player for the Titans from 1975-76 (Career: .290, 2 HR, 45 RBI), went on to become the team's associate head coach in 1991 when the legendary Augie Garrido returned from a brief time at Illinois. When Garrido left for greener pastures after the 1996 season, Horton was knighted the school's third Div. I head coach where he went on to go 490-212-1 (.698) over 11 seasons. In his time in Fullerton, Horton led the Titans to seven Big West Conference crowns, seven Regional and six Super Regional titles and a national championship in 2004. Horton was a five-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year, and a two-time National Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Horton earned 264 of his wins at Goodwin Field including a school record 32 wins in 2003.

HORTON VS. SERRANO: The mentor (George Horton) has a one game advantage (7-6) over his protégé (Dave Serrano) in 13 previous meetings at the Div. I level. While with the Titans, Horton managed seven wins but lost his final meeting with Serrano (and his final game in a Titan uniform), the longest game (in time) in College World Series history, a 5-4, 13-inning affair at Rosenblatt Stadium in 2007. Serrano was the head coach at UC Irvine from 2005-2007. Horton was the head coach at Fullerton from 1997 to 2007. Serrano was Horton's assistant at Fullerton from 1997-2004.

THERE'S JUST ONE MORE THING: June 18, 2007 was the last day George Horton put on the pinstripes for Fullerton... and little did he know, he wouldn't even get to finish the game. Horton was ejected in the bottom of the 13th inning of the Titans' 5-4, 13-inning loss to UC Irvine (then-skippered by Dave Serrano). It was the longest game in College World Series history - a little shorter for Horton.

TITAN TIDBITS:
&\#8232;&\#149; The Titans welcome 16 newcomers to their roster in 2010 including 11 freshman, a sophomores, and three juniors.
&\#149; The Titans were 25-8 at home in 2009.
&\#149; The Titans were 14-4 on Fridays, 12-5 on Saturdays and 10-3 on Sundays in 2009.&\#8232;
&\#149; Cal State Fullerton has won 23 conference titles, four national championships, and has appeared in 31 NCAA postseasons (including 18 straight) in 35 seasons at the Div. I level (since 1975).

CELEBRATING GREATNESS: Cal State Fullerton is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the 1995 national championship squad. The `95 Titans were 57-9 en route to the school's third national title under then-Head Coach Augie Garrido. The Team will be honored on Feb. 27 before the Titans' 6 p.m. game against TCU at Goodwin Field.

HOME GROWN: Thirty-three players on the Titans' 35-man roster come from the great state of California. Only Billy Marcoe (Sr., C, Bellevue, Wash.) and Kevin Rath (Jr., LHP, Las Vegas, Nev.) come from anywhere but the Golden State.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Richie Pedroza, Anthony Hutting, Tyler Pill and Austin Kingsolver all have ties to family members who have played in the Cal State Fullerton baseball program, three of which were national champions. Pedroza is the younger brother of former All-American and national champion outfielder, Sergio Pedroza, who hit .328 with 27 home runs and 121 RBI from 2003-05 with Fullerton. Hutting is the cousin of former Titan outfielder, and current San Francisco Giant Aaron Rowand. Rowand was an All-American for the Titans and hit .345 with 23 home runs and 121 RBI in his three-year career (1996-98). Pill is the younger brother of former All-Big West first baseman, Brett Pill. Brett hit .325 with 16 home runs and 114 RBI from 2004-2006 and was also a part of the 2004 national championship team. Kingsolver's father, Kurt, played on the 1979 national champions and batted .291 with 5 home runs and 30 RBI under legendary skipper Augie Garrido.

2010 SCHEDULE TIDBITS:
&\#149; The 56-games schedule will include 25 games versus Big West opponents, 11 games apiece against Pac-10 and West Coast Conference teams, eight games against clubs from the Mountain West Conference and a lone game with Conference USA.

&\#149; The Titans' 2010 schedule has a heavy western slant, playing just 15 games against opponents from out of the state of California. All of their games will be played west of Tucson, Arizona.

&\#149; The Titans will play 30 of their 56-game schedule at home, and 26 on the road. Six of the 26 away games will be played out of the state of California (Tucson, Arizona, and Seattle, Washington).

&\#149; Three teams (Arizona State, TCU an UC Irvine) on the Titans' 2010 docket were listed on all five season-ending Top 25 polls, while six qualified for the 2009 post season (Arizona State, TCU, UC Irvine, San Diego State, Cal Poly and Fresno State) and Arizona State finishing their season by going 2-2 at the 2009 College World Series.

&\#149; According to Boyd's World (boydsworld.com), the Titans have finished in the top six in each of the last nine years in the website's strength of schedule category. The Titans ranked 3rd in the nation in strength of schedule in 2008 and in the No. 1 spot in 2009.

&\#149; According to Boyd's World (boydsworld.com), the Titans will begin the 2010 season with the 13th best intended strength of schedule, and the 8th best intended strength of schedule for non-conference opponents. Baylor tops the chart overall, while San Diego leads the non-conference portion.

&\#149; For the first time since 1986, and just the seventh time in the history of the baseball program, Fullerton will not face Stanford on its regular season schedule.

&\#149;The Titans will open and close the regular season with extended home stands. Including the Alumni and Waseda exhibitions, the Titans will have nine consecutive home games to start the season, and eight to finish the schedule.

&\#149;The Titans will face Hawaii for the first time since 1982, Washington for the first time since 1987, Santa Clara for the first time since 1997 and Oregon and UAB for the first time in the program's history.

THE NATIONS TOP JUNIORS: Shortstop Christian Colon (Jr., SS, Corona, Calif., Canyon HS) was named one of the Top 10 players in 2010's junior class according to Kendall Rogers at Yahoo Sports (Rivals.com). Colon was a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award in 2009, and despite recovering from a broken leg suffered with Team USA last summer, is poised to be one of the nation's top players in 2010.

TEAM USA IN 2010: Third-year Titan Head Coach Dave Serrano will join Bill Kinneberg's (Utah) Team USA coaching staff as the pitching coach in 2010. He will become the first coach to ever represent the Titans while with Team USA. Serrano will get is first taste of international play as the team is scheduled to participate in both Taiwan for four games with Chinese-Taipei and Japan at the V FISU World University Championships. Serrano may not be the only representatives from Fullerton in the Far East. Sophomores Tyler Pill (RHP, Covina, Calif., Covina HS) and Nick Ramirez (1B/LHP, Anaheim, Calif., Katella HS) have already accepted invitations to the Team USA trials to be held July 6-11 in Cary, NC. Junior Christian Colon (SS, Corona, Calif., Canyon HS) has played the past two seasons with Team USA and was named Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year in 2009.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Six Titans have been named preseason All-Americans by at least one media outlet (Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA or Rivals.com. Christian Colon (Jr., SS, Corona, Calif., Canyon HS) headlines the sextet with three first-team predictions and is and is joined by Daniel Renken (Jr., RHP, Cypress, Calif., Orange Lutheran HS), Noe Ramirez (Soph., RHP, East Los Angeles, Calif., Alhambra HS), Tyler Pill (Soph., RHP, Covina, Calif. Covina HS), Nick Ramirez (Soph., 1B/LHP, Anaheim, Calif., Katella HS) and Gary Brown (Jr., CF, Diamond Bar, Calif., Diamond Bar HS) on the remaining two squads. Everyone, with the exception of Brown, earned some degree of All-American status in 2009.

A BIG BAT RETURNS: Infielder Corey Jones (Jr., INF, Camarillo, Calif., Camarillo HS) was named the Northwoods Summer League Most Valuable Player as the league announced its 2009 Postseason All-Star Team. Jones did not play for the Titans in 2009 while recovering from a broken leg, but has recovered nicely putting up solid offensive numbers for the Rochester Honkers in Minnesota. Jones led the league in home runs (13) and slugging percentage (.536) and finished the regular season with a .315 batting average, 42 RBI and 76 hits. He is a career .273 hitter over two varsity seasons with the Titans.

DYNAMIC DUO: Cal State Fullerton juniors Christian Colon (Corona, Calif.) and Gary Brown (Diamond Bar, Calif.) were picked by Baseball America as two of the Top 25 college draft prospects for the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. The Titan duo joins Arkansas' Zack Cox (3B) and Brett Eibner (OF/INF) as the only two schools with multiple players on this year's list.

Colon, a two-time US National team member, is a career .343 hitter with the Titans and has started in all but one game in his Titan career. The shortstop was also named by Baseball America as it's Summer League Player of the Year (2009). The junior hit .357 with eight home runs and 40 RBI last season in helping to lead the Titans to the College World Series for the fifth time in the last seven year and earned All-American status along the way.

Brown is a career .319 hitter with eight home runs and 67 RBI in his two years in Fullerton. More impressively, the fleet-footed outfielder has stolen 48 bases in 59 career attempts over 124 games. Brown has performed well both in the spring and in the summer, and was named to the Cap Cod League's All-Star team last summer. In 2009 the versatile defender hit .340 with 17 double and seven triples to go along with three long balls for the Titans.

Both Colon and Brown were named "high impact athletes" and were tabbed the Titans' two top recruits back in Oct. of 2007 by the Durham-based publication. The eighth-ranked `07 class also featured right-handed pitcher Daniel Renken, who Baseball America named the team's top pitching prospect.

SOLID RECRUITING: The Titan coaching staff were highly recognized for their recruiting efforts by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America as both publications listed Fullerton with the fifth-best recruiting class in the nation coming into the 2010 season. This year's class features 16 incoming recruits (11 freshman, four junior college transfers and a four-year college transfer) that includes five prospects (Dylan Floro - RHP, Buahach Colony HS, 20th round, Rays, Geno Escalante - C, Rodriguez HS, 28th round Brewers, David Hurlbut - LHP, Diablo Valley College, 35th round, Twins, Anthony Hutting - OF, Tesoro HS, 38th round, Rangers and Ivory Thomas OF/INF, Downey HS, 42nd round, Astros) that were selected in the 2009 MLB First-Year Players Draft.

ONE OF THE WINNINGEST TEAMS OF THE 2000s: The Titans are listed in the 2010 NCAA record book as being the 10th winningest program of the 2000s (by winning percentage) and 7th in total wins. From 2000-2009 (10 years) the Titans were 442-195 (.694) in the first 10 years of the new century. Ahead of the Titans in the winning percentage category are: Rice (.753), Florida State (.743), Oral Roberts (.733), Texas (.717), Arizona State (.714), North Carolina (.707), South Carolina (.700) Miami (.695) and Coastal Carolina (.695). Others ahead of Fullerton with the most victories include: Florida State (504), Rice (494), Texas (479), South Carolina (468), and North Carolina and Wichita State (459).

LAST TO PLAY: The Titans have been one of the two final teams to be standing at season's end five times at the Div. I level, and have walked away with the national championship four times over four decades (1979, 1984, 1995, 2004). The Titans were the College World Series runners-up in 1992 after losing to Pepperdine, 3-2 in the championship game.

TITAN HALL OF FAMERS MANAGING: Titan Hall of Famers and Golden Spike Award winners Tim Wallach (1978-79) and Phil Nevin (1990-92) will both be managing in the minor leagues this coming season. Wallach will be in his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers AAA affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. Last year he led the Isotopes to a postseason berth with a 76-63 record and was later ranked the best managerial prospect in the Pacific Coast League by Baseball America. Nevin will get his first opportunity to manage in affiliated baseball after coaching the independent Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League in 2009. Nevin will manage the AA Erie SeaWolves in the Detroit Tiger organization. Nevin played three of his 12 major league seasons for the Tigers. In 1997, he and Matt Walbeck were traded from Detroit to the then-Anaheim Angels. Walbeck managed Erie to the Eastern League playoffs in 2007.