Titans Tucson Bound for Series with Wildcats

March 4, 2010

Fullerton, Calif. - The Titans (3-4) have stumbled slightly out of the gate after seven home games against quality opponents and have seen their national ranking drop from No. 4 to No. 18. This weekend they go on the road for the first time, to tackle the Arizona Wildcats (4-3) in Tucson.

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TCU took 2 of 3 at Goodwin Field for the second year in a row on a rain-soaked weekend. The Horned Frogs won 5-2 on Friday and 8-1 in Sunday's second game after the Titans won in the morning, 6-4. Nick Ramirez was the hero of the win, pitching three scoreless innings for a save and knocking in the winning run with a sacrifice fly and an insurance run with a 2-out single in the eighth inning.

In the nightcap, Tyler Pill got tagged for a 5-run sixth inning that broke up a 1-1 tie. Three times in the game the Titans got two or more men on base with no outs only to hit into rally-defusing double plays.

Fullerton got only 3 hits in Friday night's loss with Daniel Renken taking his second defeat of the year.

Lefthander Kevin Rath survived three unearned runs in the first inning Tuesday night by the University of San Diego as the Titans fought back for an 11-4 win. Ramirez and Gary Brown each had three hits, with Brown hitting his first home run of the year.

THIS WEEKEND'S PITCHING MATCH-UPS:
Fri., Mar. 5, at Arizona (Kindall Field), 5 p.m. PT [Audio]
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (0-2, 4.26 ERA)
UofA: RHP, Kurt Heyer (1-0, 3.86 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 6, at Arizona (Kindall Field), 5 p.m. PT [Audio]
CSF: RHP, Noe Ramirez (0-1, 5.73 ERA) UofA: RHP, Kyle Simon (1-1, 3.55 ERA)

Fri., Mar. 7, at Arizona (Kindall Field), 11 a.m. PT [Audio]
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (1-1, 4.26 ERA) UofA: RHP, Daniel Workman (0-0, 10.95 ERA)

FULLERTON IN THE POLLS:
Baseball America: 18
Collegiate Baseball: NR
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: 14
NCBWA: No. 17
Rivals.com: No. 18

ARIZONA IN THE POLLS:
Arizona is not ranked by any of the five major polls this week.

AUDIO: Most Titan games can be heard live on the internet. Listeners may access the audio by clicking the headphones at the top of fullertontitans.com, by choosing "live audio broadcasts" in the fan zone menu, or by clicking the rotating "Titans Live Audio" square banner on any of the main pages. You will be directed to the Stretch Internet audio calendar. Pick you game and listen to the action live as it happens. Matt Heersema will bring you the action from Tucson this weekend as the Titans Take on the Wildcats.

MEDIA GUIDE: The 2010 Cal State Fullerton baseball media guide is available online at fullertontitans.com. Go to the "Fan Zone" atop any page of the school's website 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.

VERSUS ARIZONA: Cal State Fullerton and the University of Arizona have met up a total of 94 times in their histories dating back to 1977, with Fullerton holding a 62-32 all-time advantage against the Wildcats. The Titans have won three meetings in a row dating back to March 2008, and 13 of the last 20 dating back to 2004. The Titans are 33-19 all-time against the Wildcats on the road. The two teams have met four times (2-2) in the postseason, and once at the College World Series in 1979, with Fullerton coming out on top, 16-3 in that one. Under Dave Serrano's lead, the Titans are 3-2 since 2008. In their last trip to Tucson (Mar. 14-16, 2008), the Titans got a Sunday win out of the then-No.1 team in the nation, but lost the series 2-1 (3-8, 2-6, 10-7).

DON'T PUSH THE PANIC BUTTON JUST YET: The Titans have started off the season either 2-4 or 1-5 five times (including this season) in their history. The four previous stumbling beginnings have ultimately resulted in three Regional appearances (1987, 2000, 2001) and one College World Series (2001) appearance. Taking it a step further, through the first seven games of the season, the Titans have gone 3-4 six times and 2-5 four times in their history. In the six 3-4 starts, the Titans have gone on to Regional play five times (the exception 1985), the Super Regionals twice and all the way to the College World Series four times. The 2004 national champs were a team to begin 3-4. Of the four 2-5 teams, three made it to Regional play with the 0-1 Titans turning it around to make a trip to Omaha.

"DOS" TIMES SIX: The Titans were hit by a pitch six times in Tuesday night's win over San Diego, four coming from starter AJ Griffin. Leading the walking wounded was Christian Colon, who was plunked twice in the leadoff spot. Also taking a "dos" was Gary Brown, Walker Moore, Billy Marcoe and Nick Ramirez. The Titans finished first in the nation in HBPs in 2009 with 124, and with 17 on the year so far, the Titans figure to be among the nation's leaders again in 2010.

WINLESS BEGINNINGS: This year's 0-2 start at home, was the first of its kind since 1987. And taking it a step further, the Titans have never gone 0-2 or 0-3, home or away, without the help of their friends, the Stanford Cardinal.

HITTING STREAKS: Gary Brown has hit in all seven of the Titans' games thus far and leads the team with 13 hits in 31 at bats (.419). Behind him, catcher Billy Marcoe, has a five-game streak alive with Nick Ramirez behind him with modest three-game streak.

STEALING THE SHOW: Gary Brown is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases this year to lead the team. He has stolen second three times and third once. The junior, who now has 52 career swipes, sits just outside the Titans' career Top 10. He is six bags behind No. 10 Jeremy Carr (1992-93). The Titans are 13-for-14 as a team in stolen bases.

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 produced three major leaguers, four All-Americans, two Olympians, a national player of the year and national coach of the year on top of winning the big crown. With a rainout of last Saturday night's Titan game, so was the celebration that was planned to go with it. I will be rescheduled for a future home game.