Titans Continue Homestand With No. 6 Rice

March 1, 2007

BATTER UP: The No. 10 Titans (10-4) continue their four-game home stand as the No. 6 Rice Owls (10-4) come to town for just the second time in the history of both programs. The last time the Houston-based University visited Fullerton, the Titans were not yet in their current home and were playing down the road at Amerige Park. This year, Goodwin Field will be the setting for a pair of Top 10-ranked teams to lock horns as the Titans look to avenge their last series loss a year ago at Reckling Park.

THIS WEEK:
Tue., Feb. 20, Win, 9-8 vs. San Diego State

Fri., Mar. 2, 7 p.m. (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (2-2, 3.41 ERA)
RICE: Chris Kelley, RHP (0-0, 2.04 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 3, 6 p.m. (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (3-0, 3.47 ERA)
RICE: Ryne Tacker, RHP (1-0, 0.49 ERA)or Ryan Berry, RHP (2-0, 3.27 ERA)

Sun., Mar. 4, Noon (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Sean Urena, RHP (2-0, 3.75 ERA)
RICE: Joe Savery, LHP (3-0, 1.20 ERA)

GT = GameTracker
WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com
BWTV = Game video stream via Big West TV at bigwest.org

TITANS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - 10
Collegiate Baseball - 11
USA Today Coaches - 8 (preseason)
NCBWA - 9
Rivals.com - 8

OWLS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - 6
Collegiate Baseball - 6
USA Today Coaches - 1 (preseason)
NCBWA - 6
Rivals.com - 4

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 all the Titan home games and select conference road 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.

WITOUT THE GENERAL: The Titans remain without the services of senior third baseman Evan McArthur after successful hand surgery that removed the hamate bone in his left hand on Feb. 8. 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.

VS. RICE: The Titans are 7-4 all time versus the Owls dating back to their first meeting at Amerige Park in Fullerton, Calif. This will be the Owls first visit to Godwin Field. The two squads have locked horns in the postseason four times with the Titans holding a 3-1 advantage. The last time They faced each other in the post season was in 1996 when the two split two games at the Wichita State Regional.

FRESH FACES: The Titans started four freshman (three position players and a pitcher) on Tuesday night against the visiting San Diego State Aztecs, all of which contributed to the 9-8 win. The young position players, Billy Pinkerton, Khris Davis, and Corey Jones, combined for seven hits in nine at bats, scoring six runs, while driving in four in their first starts in the field in 2007. Pinkerton led the way with a 3-for-3 night, with three RBI and a stolen base. Freshman Michael Morrison notched his first collegiate win with a three-inning midweek start, surrendering a run on two hits, while fanning three Aztecs.

CUTRIS' STREAK SNAPPED: Senior catcher John Curtis was called on to pinch hit in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game with San Diego State when he struck out looking with runners on base trying to extend the Titans' 9-7 lead. It was possible that Curtis would again bat, but he never got the chance as the Titans held on 9-8, snapping his 16-game hitting streak dating back to last year's College World Series.

NO SUPPORT FOR ROEMER: In four Friday night starts, the Titans have combined to hit just .260 for their ace Wes Roemer as opposed to .360 on weekend games that Roemer doesn't pitch. Granted, they are likely facing the opponent's best arms and there is a difference between day and night games, but the offense is scoring and average of 4.5 runs less for Wes than for the Jeff Kaplan and Sean Urena. The Titan bats are scoring an average of 4.75 runs per game on Fridays, while scoring and average of 9.25 runs per game on Saturdays and Sundays.

VS THE TOP 25 AT HOME: Since 1992 the Titans have posted an all time record of 38-31 (.551) in regular-season weekend series vs ranked opponents at Goodwin Field. The Titans have gone away winners 13 times in the 23 total series on their current home field, four of them were won via the sweep. Since the Titans first game at Goodwin field, they have posted an overall 64-40 (.615) record against ranked teams at home.

SERIES BUSINESS: With 7-4 and 7-2 victories over UCLA last Saturday and Sunday, the Titans captured their 15th-consecutive series win dating back to Mar. 3-5, 2006...The Titans' opponent that weekend? The Rice Owls.

HOME COOKIN': The Titans are 6-2 this season in the friendly confines of Goodwin Field with the two losses coming on Friday nights to both Arizona and UCLA on Feb. 16 and 23, respectively. The team is hitting .308 in the eight games at home so far, led by junior center fielder Clark Hardman who is hitting a cool .457 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI in front of the home fans. Overall the Titans are 347-104 (.769) in 451 total games at Goodwin Field.

CLEAN UP CLEANING UP: The Titan cleanup hitters are batting .333 with three home runs and 26 RBI in the first 14 games of the season. Nine of their 19 hits have gone for extra bases and that spot in the lineup, as it should, has driven in at least 13 more runs than any other spot in the lineup. John Curtis has spent the most time, 38 at bats in the clean up role, sharing time with Nick Mahin, Chris Jones, Dustin Garneau and Josh Fellhauer.

SETTING THE TABLE: Titan leadoff hitters Clark Hardman and Joe Scott have been doing their job as far as getting on and moving around the bases. So far the duo have combined for a .339 average (20-for-49) and 15 runs scored in 14 games thus far. They have also combined for two homers, five doubles, a triple and 13 RBI from that No. 1 spot.

ALL-AMERICAN NUMBERS: Clark Hardman is back with a vengance so far in 2007 after two years of injury and injury recovery that has hindered his ability to play the way he did in 2004 when he earned freshman All-America status. As a freshman Hardman hit .341 in 61 games, collecting 73 hits with 31 RBI stealing five bases. So far in 2007, the junior is hitting a team-leading .407 with 2 homers and 18 RBI with four stolen bases.

THE MONKEY IS OFF HIS BACK: It took just 423 career at bats over four seasons, but John Curtis finally blasted his first-career home run on Feb. 20 at San Diego State in the third inning of the 8-7 loss. Just two games later (Mar. 24), the catcher blasted his second home run of the week at UCLA in the Titans 7-4 win at Jackie Robinson Field. Last year, Curtis hit a career-best .277 and looks to improve on that his senior year. Curtis is hitting .388 with 20 RBI in 14 games in 2007, just just nine off his career best RBI mark of 29 in 2005.

DOUBLE DIGITS IN RUNS: Fullerton, which scored 11-or-more runs in four of the first six games, have not scored more than 9 in the last eight games.

RISP: The Titans as a team are driving in runs when the opportunity presents itself. As a team they are hitting .410 with runners in scoring position and are led by John Curtis (10-for 16 with RISP), Clark Hardman (11-for-20 with RISP) and Chris Jones (7-for-19 with RISP).

THE LAST FIVE GAMES: The Titans as a team have hit just .252 as a team over the last five games against San Diego State and UCLA. John Curtis and Clark Hardman have been responsible for 13 of the 41 Titan hits, and 15 of the 30 RBI. Outside the starting eight position players, no Titan reserve has picked up a base hit over the five-game span.

ROEMER'S LAST START: Despite tying his career-high in strikeouts with 12 versus UCLA on Feb. 23, junior hurler Wes Roemer suffered his second-consecutive loss for the first time since his freshman season, falling to 2-2. Roemer surrendered four runs (three earned) and allowed a career-high 12 hits, 10 of which came in the first four innings of work.

THE BEST DRAW IN TOWN: The Titans are averaging 2,562 fans in attendance over the first eight home games of the season. They have drawn a total of 20,497 over those seven games, compared to the 4,904 they have drawn on the road (averaging 817 over 6 dates.) Long Beach State and Stanford are averaging about 1,000 less fans per game.

HATS FOR BATS, KEEPS BATS WARM: The Titan bench may need to resort to some non-tradition methods of breaking out of a slump as the non-starting Titans are hitting just .143 so far this season, posting just 3 hits in 21 at bats while driving in just two. All three of the hits have gone for extra bases (three doubles) and two of those hits came from John Curtis, a regular starter, coming off the bench in one of his non-starting opportunities. Nick Mahin is responsible for the other. Both Curtis and Mahin spilt the two RBI. Fullerton is just 2-for10 in pinch-hit opportunities.

BULLPEN vs. STARTERS: The Titan bullpen has a combined 6.23 ERA and has a 2-1 record with 5 saves in 43 1/3 innings. Starting pitching, on the other hand, has combined for a 3.87 ERA and a 8-3 record in 81 1/3 innings of work. Both are around a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Starting pitchers Sean Urena and Jeff Kaplan both have a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio while WesRoemer continues to baffle hitters with a 36:1 ratio.