Titans Host Golden Eagles This Weekend at Goodwin Field

March 7, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton (5-4) has turned the page from last week's breakdown at Stanford and has prospered so far this week with a pair of wins over nationally-ranked UCLA on Tuesday and Wednesday. Now the Titans prepared for the weekend series with Conference USA's Southern Miss (6-3), coming to Fullerton in the two team's first-ever meeting.

Fullerton is set to go with a rested bullpen after strong midweek outings by both Jeff Kaplan and Daniel Renken, and an invigorated offense that outscored the Bruins 20-3 in the two games earlier this week. Adam Jorgenson will get the call Friday night, with Cory Arbiso and Kaplan again on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. They will go up against a Southern Miss team that is led by Friday night hurler, Barry Bowden, who was a national player of the week after shutting out No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette with 10 strikeouts in his first start of the year.

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THIS WEEK:
Tue., Mar. 4 vs. UCLA (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m., W, 7-1
Wed., Mar. 5 at UCLA (Jackie Robinson Stadium), 6 p.m., W , 13-2
Fri., Mar. 7 vs. Southern Miss. (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m., (WEB, GT, BWTV)
Sat., Mar. 8 vs. Southern Miss. (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m., (WEB, GT, BWTV)
Sun., Mar. 9 vs. Southern Miss. (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m., (WEB, GT, BWTV)

GT = Follow the game via Gametracker WEB = Listen for free on fullertontitans.com BWTV - Video on BigWest.tv

FRIDAY PITCHING MATCH-UPS
CSF: RHP, Adam Jorgenson, 0-0, 6.75 ERA
SM: RHP Barry Bowden, 2-0, 0.63 ERA

SATURDAY PITCHING MATCH-UPS
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso, 0-2, 6.30 ERA,
USM: RHP David Clark, 1-0, 3.09 ERA

SUNDAY PITCHING MATCH-UPS
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan. 2-1, 4.97 ERA
USM: RHP Josh Billeaud , 0-1, 4.85 ERA

VERSUS SOUTHERN MISS.:This will be the first meeting between the Titans and the Golden Eagles (Hattiesburg, Mississippi).

AGAINST SCHOOLS FROM MISSISSIPPI: Fullerton is 5-1 all time against schools hailing from Mississippi. Fullerton has met Mississippi State six times overall, five times in the postseason (once at the College World Series) and once at the Kia Baseball Bash at Goodwin Field back in 2000.

UCLA MIDWEEK RECAP: The Titans looked nothing like they did last weekend vs. Stanford, showcasing dominant pitching performances and an efficient and potent offensive against the No. 3 team in the country in UCLA.

On Tuesday night (Mar. 4), Jeff Kaplan avenged last week's one-inning outing against the Cardinal with a scoreless, two-hit, six-inning performance against the Bruins upping his record to 2-1 in the 7-1 Titan win. Fullerton combined for five runs in the first three innings, and seven on the night, the highest run total to date by and Bruin opponent. Joel Weeks led the team with three hits, while Josh Fellhauer, Jared Clark and Corey Jones finished with two apiece. Erik Komatsu, Jeff Newman, Clark Jones and Weeks each drove in a run in the victory. Jason Dovel, was lights out, striking out four over his two innings of work in relief.

Wednesday night, (Mar. 5) the setting changed, but the outcome did not as the Titans beat up on the Bruin pitching again (this time at Jackie Robinson Stadium) and received an outstanding performance by freshman right-hander Daniel Renken. Renken tossed a career-high seven innings, allowing just a run on three hits, while striking out 10. Five Titans had hits in double figures, and were led by Jeff Newman (four RBI), Khris Davis' (three-run HR) and Chrstian Colon's (two-run double) combining for nine RBI in the 13-2 win. Davis' home run was a pinch-hit homer off the scoreboard in right center field. He and Jared Clark both homered.

LAST WEEKEND RECAP: The Titans woes at Sunken Diamond continued last weekend as the Cardinal swept the Titans in the three-game series and extended to a 10-game winning streak versus the Titans in Palo Alto dating back to 2002.

Friday evening, Jeff Kaplan had the shortest outing of his career, lasting just one inning while allowing seven runs (five earned) as the Cardinal went on to win, 12-5. The Titans walked a season high nine batters, four of which came around to score. Randy Molina, Stanford's first baseman, was the leader offensively, going 2-for-3 with five RBI. Erik Komatsu and Christian Colon each had a pair of hits for Fullerton in the loss.

The Titans scored five times in the top of the seventh inning to pull within 9-7 on Saturday, but Stanford held off the late rally and eventually won 11-7 for the series win. The Cardinal again jumped on the board early, with three runs in the first off Cory Arbiso. The first five of the Cardinal's 15 hits off of the Titan starter were doubles. He lasted just four innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits. Jeff Newman picked up his first career hit and finished with two hits and a pair of RBI for Fullerton, but Stanford's Jason Castro trumped Newman with a career high 4-for-4 day with two RBI and three runs scored.

The Titans nearly walked away with one on Sunday, but Stanford homered in the eighth to tie and had a walk-off double in the ninth to complete the sweep. The Titans' Gary Brown, making his first start in the leadoff spot, drove home three of the Titans runs, one on a fourth-inning double to give Fullerton a brief 2-1 lead. Josh Fellhauer continued his hot hitting, picking up another three hits on Sunday to finish the weekend with a team-leading six hits.

The Titans have one of their longest weeks of the year, with a home-and-home midweek series of games against UCLA on Tuesday and Wednesday before hosting Southern Miss in a three-game weekend series at Goodwin Field.

INJURY REPORT: Junior infielder Joe Scott had successful surgery on Feb. 26 to repair a sports hernia suffered late in the fall. Scott is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The Corona-native traveled to Palo Alto and was in the dugout for the three game series at Stanford.

Senior Brad Barrager received some bad news late last week. The right-hander, who head Coach Dave Serrano praised highly coming into the spring, has had another major set-back, all-but ending his Titan career. Doctors have diagnosed a pre-existing torn labrum that he was working through, and will now needs surgery to repair his shoulder. The transfer from Alta Loma College in 2007 missed all of last year due to a broken arm and Tommy John surgery. He never pitched in a game at the DI level.

Senior Paul Canedo is still out recovering from an injury to a finger on his pitching hand (left). The southpaw lacerated his ring finger in a weight room accident just weeks before the start of the season. He will not resume his throwing routine for at least a month.

THE BATTLE OF MIDWEEK: The Titans are taking care of business in its three non-weekend games thus far. Fullerton has but together a 3-0 record with wins against LMU (1) and nationally-ranked UCLA (2). The Titans in those three games have hit a combined .320 as a team have outscored their opponents 24-3 and are a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases. On the mound, the Titans are just as dominant, posting a 3-0 record, with an ERA of 1.00 and 35 strikeouts.

PULLING RENK: Freshman Daniel Renken (Cypress, Calif. / Orange Lutheran HS) has made quite an impression on the Titans' coaching staff and has been a force to be reckoned with on the hill in his three appearances so far. The right-hander is just off three-hitting No. 3 UCLA for seven innings on Mar. 5, when he allowed just a run over seven innings while striking out 10. He has been quite a competitor with great poise, and has tallied 13 innings as a starter and reliever, striking out 18 with just two walks. He has picked up victories in his two starts without a loss.

HELLO NEWMAN: The Titans' fourth outfielder Jeff Newman has worked his way into the starting lineup the last four games and has posted numbers worthy of staying there. The junior from Ontario, Calif. has hit a team-leading .700 over the past four games (7-for-10) with a team-leading seven RBI and three-runs scored.

STREAKING FELLHAUER: Josh Fellhauer (Soph., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has been the team's most consistent, posting hits in eight of the first nine games the Titans have played this year. He is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak, and leads the team in hits (17) and multiple-hit games (5). Over the seven-game hitting streak, the outfielder is hitting .433 (13-for-30) with a home run, four doubles and two RBI. He also has a tie for the team lead in stolen bases over that period with four.

THEY RUN LIKE THE WIND BLOWS: the Titans are 29-35 in the stolen base department (3.22 per game) to lead the Big West Conference. In comparison, the Titans' opponents in the first nine games of the season have only swiped six bags. Josh Fellhauer (Soph., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) leads the team with six steals in seen attempts. Fullerton stole 53 bases in 63 games last year.

THE LAST FIVE GAMES: &\#149; Titan freshman shortstop Christian Colon has picked up the pace with the bat over the last five games, hitting .333 (7-for-21) with a double and two RBI after hitting just .154 through the first four games.

&\#149; Though he has a four RBI in the last five games, Erik Komatsu has cooled down a bit hitting just .211 over the last five games. Komatsu started the year hitting .385 with 2 HR, a double, a triple, 7 RBI with six walks over the first four games.

&\#149; Billy Marcoe is 3-for-3 over the last five games the Titans have played. Not only did he pick up his first-career hit at Stanford, but knocked in his first career-run at UCLA. This is Marcoe's third year in the Titan program.

&\#149; Large-in-part to the Stanford series, The Titans' ERA over the last five games is 5.53 versus the 2.06 ERA they posted over the first four games. Fullerton's team ERA dropped from 4.70 to 3.96 due to the pitching efforts versus UCLA this week.

HAPPY LANDING: Last Sunday night (Mar. 2), on the return flight from San Jose, the baseball team (and the pilot) made a successful but white-knuckle landing at Ontario Airport. With Santa Ana winds buffeting the runway, the Southwest Airlines jet looked like a Tim Wakefield knuckleball approach and the wing tips nearly scraping the runway before touchdown. The erratic approach also caused a late touchdown which necessitated heavy braking. But all walked away unscathed.

\@**\# SUNKEN DIAMOND: Call it a hex, or a curse, but the Titans' recent history at Sunken Diamond on the campus of Stanford University has just not played out well for the men in pinstripes. Fullerton is 11-27 all-time at Stanford and just 1-17 (currently losing 10 in a row) in their last 18 meeting in Palo Alto dating back to 1996.

TRADING PLACES: The Titans have a nemesis in Stanford and know what it feels like to struggle with one particular team. But it seems the Titans may be that team for UCLA. Fullerton with a pair of midweek wins against the No. 3 Bruins, upped their record to 51-23-2 all-time against UCLA, but better yet, the Titans have come away victorious in 29 of the last 34 meetings dating back to 1992. The Titans have won the last six meetings with the Bruins, including a sweep of last year's Fullerton Super Regional that sent Fullerton to Omaha for the 15th time in school history.