Fullerton Begins 8-Game Roadie at Southern Miss Friday Night

March 5, 2009

PLAY BALL: Cal State Fullerton begins an unprecedented eight-game, 11-day road trip in The South Friday night at Southern Miss. The Titans are traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., for the first time in their 35-year Div. I history, and will go up against a Golden Eagle team that is riding a hot streak of their own.

The Eagles (8-1) are coming off a Wednesday night extra-inning win over Louisiana-Monroe, and come into the weekend with a .361 team batting average and a team ERA of under 2.00.

Southern Miss is the first stop for Fullerton who will head back to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for practice on Monday morning at LSU's Alex Box Stadium en route to its second destination, Texas A&M. After a brief stop in College Station Tuesday night, then bus to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a four-game tournament with host Oklahoma State and Rhode Island.

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PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION:
Friday:
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken, (1-0, 2.13 ERA)
SMU: RHP, Todd McInnis, (2-0, 0.66 ERA)

Saturday:
CSF: Kyle Witten, (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
SMU: RHP, Cody Schlagel, (2-0, 2.25 ERA)

Sunday:
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill, (1-0, 6.23 ERA)
SMU: TBA

VERSUS THE GOLDEN EAGLES: This will be the Titans' first trip to Hattiesburg. Last year Cal State Fullerton swept the inaugural series with Southern Miss, 4-1 8-3, and 19-6 at Goodwin Field. The 2008 sweep capped a perfect 5-0 week for the Titans as they beat USM and UCLA, nationally ranked at the time. Versus Southern Miss, Daniel Renken earned his second win of the week after relieving Jeff Kaplan. In last year' series, current Titans Christian Colon, Dustin Garneau and Jared Clark contributed home runs in the wins.

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: A who's who of Southern California college baseball coaches found themselves together at LAX Thursday morning as The Titans, USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins all made their way east out of Los Angeles. John Savage of UCLA along with former long-time Fullerton assistant Rick Vanderhook, as well as Chad Kreuter and his volunteer assistant Frank Cruz (former LMU head coach) were all within gates of each other nearing 10:00 a.m. The Bruins were on their way to Oklahoma and were in front of the Titans checking in at the United terminal, while the Trojans and Titans shared the flight into New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport. Not a bad chunk of college baseball history on that flight with the two teams representing 16 Div. I national championships between them.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Daniel Renken ended Stanford's five-game winning streak over the Titans holding the then-No. 14 Cardinal to one run on five hits to earn is first win of the year and secure a Co-Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week honor. The right-hander from Cypress tossed 7.0 innings and struck out seven without a walk and faced just three batters over the minimum in the Titans' 8-1 series-opening victory Friday night. It is the second such honor of Renken's career. Renken joined Joey Centanni of Pacific as this weeks honoree. Centanni went 7.0 innings and held San Diego to four hits and a .190 batting average in the Tigers' 14-6 win in San Diego. Renken's Line: 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 K, 0 BB, .208 B/AVG.

IN GRAND STYLE: Jared Clark hit his third career grand slam on Feb. 27 as a part of a 2-for-4 night with six RBI . The fifth-year senior single-handedly beat the nationally-ranked Stanford Cardinal, in the Titans' 8-1 win at Goodwin Field. The blast off Stanford's Danny Linebrink was his first home run of the year, and the six RBI tied his career-high.

MORE ON CLARK'S GRAND SLAM: With a grand slam on Feb. 27 vs. Stanford, Jared Clark now has three career slams, and he is the only player to have one in the past two seasons. Last year, Clark's fourth home run of season came with the bases full of Titans off Cal State Northridge's Eric Billings on Apr. 13, 2008, capping the Titans' seven-run third inning. It was the only grand slam for Fullerton last year and the first since Matt Wallach's (son of former Titan and longtime major leaguer, Tim) on May 25, 2007 against Long Beach State. Clark missed the 2007 season to injury, but also poked a grand salami in 2006 off Pacific's Joey Centanni. It was the first home run hit in the then-brand new Klein Family Field.

THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Khris Davis had one of the best offensive days in Titan history on Sunday against nationally-ranked Stanford at Goodwin Field going 4-for-4 with three home runs and six RBI to power the Titans to a sweep of the Cardinal. He became the first Titan since Nick Mahin (May 8, 2007 vs. LMU) to hit two homers in a game and first since Aaron Rifkin (June 1, 2001 vs. Mississippi St. in the Super Regional) to hit three in a game. On the week, Davis hit .400 (6-for-15), with three home runs, a double, and eight RBI to help propel the Titans to a perfect 4-0 week over Stanford and San Diego State. To boot, the Glendale, Arizona-native slugged 1.067, walked twice and stole a base.