Rivalry Renewed: Titans vs. 49ers This Weekend at Blair Field

March 20, 2007

PLAY BALL! Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State renew one of the best rivalries in college baseball this weekend as the No. 13 Titans travel to Long Beach, Calif. for a three-game, non-conference series with the No. 18 49ers at spacious Blair Field. The Weekend series will mark the third-, fourth- and fifth-consecutive games against ranked opponents for Cal State Fullerton.

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Overall Record: 13-9
Big West Conference: 0-0
Home: 9-4
Road: 4-5
Last Five Games: 1-4
Last 10 Games: 5-5

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
Last week's record: 1-1
Tues., Mar. 13, 9-4 win vs No. 11 Pepperdine
Wed., Mar. 14, 1-5 loss vs. No. 22 San Diego

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE/PROBABLE ROTATIONS:
Fri., Mar. 23 at No. 18 Long Beach State (Long Beach, Calif)
6:30 p.m. (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (3-3, 4.22 ERA
LBSU: Vance Worley, RHP (1-0, 3.38 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 24 at No. 18 Long Beach State (Long Beach Calif.)
6:30 p.m. (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (3-2, 3.67 ERA)
LBSU: Omar Arif (1-3, 3.81 ERA)

Sun., Mar. 25 at No. 18 Long Beach State (Long Beach Calif.)
1:00 p.m. (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Sean Urena, RHP (3-2, 3.54 ERA)
LBSU: TBA

TITANS IN THE RANKINGS:
Baseball America: 13
Collegiate Baseball: 16
USAToday.com/Coaches: 15
NCBWA: 12
Rivals.com: 11

49ERS IN THE POLLS:
Baseball America: 18
Collegiate Baseball: 18
USAToday.com/Coaches: 20
NCBWA: 19
Rivals.com: 17

LAST WEEK: The Titans are coming off light week (in terms of number of games last week), but did have to do battle with nationally-ranked foes Pepperdine and San Diego in a pair of midweek affairs at Goodwin Feld last Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Titans, winners of just one game in their last five, took care of then-No. 11 Waves 9-4 on Mar. 13, using a six-run seventh innings to come from behind and snap their three-game losing streak. Jake Vasquez's bases-loaded, two-run single broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the seventh and proved to be the game winner, as Fullerton sent 10 batters to the plate in their half of the inning.

Michael Morrison (2-1), on in relief of Adam Jorgenson, tossed three innings of scoreless baseball allowing just two hits while fanning three in the winning effort. Morrison relieved Jorgenson who made just his third-career start and went six innings, but left trailing 4-3.

Vasquez, Chris Jones and Khris Davis each picked up a pair of RBI in the victory.

One night later, the Titans were three-hit for the third time in the last five games, as Josh Romanski (3-1) took a perfect game into the sixth inning as San Diego downed Fullerton, 5-1. Joel Weeks broke up the no-hit bid with a single to right to lead off the sixth and was followed by singles by Evan McArthur and Clark Hardman to give Fullerton its only run of the night.McArthur was in the starting lineup both nights for the Titans for the first time since the three season openers at Goowin Field against Stanford.

Sean Urena (3-2), Justin Klipp and Wes Roemer could not hold off the Torero offense as they scored five times over the last six innings handing Urena his second straight defeat.

VS THE 49ERS: The Titans are an all-time 104-53 (.662) against the rival Long Beach State baseball club since their first meeting in 1975. The 104 wins are the most against any one opponent in Titan baseball history. The two teams have met just one time in post-season play with the 49ers knocking the Titans out of the 2002 Stanford Regional by a score of 4-0. The rivalry has somewhat evened up over the past ten years under the leadership of George Horton. Since the 1997 season, Fullerton still holds a 37-28 advantage including wins in the last seven meetings. Fullerton took all six games against Long Beach, a feat that had never happened in the Titans illustrious history with the cross-town rivals.

QUICK HITS:

&\#149; The Titans have been out-hit in 11 of the 22 games this season. In those games the Titans have been out-hit, they are just 3-8 against their opponents.

&\#149; Fullerton has been three-hit in three of their last five games, all three resulting in losses.

&\#149; The Titans are 3-3 on Friday nights this season, 4-2 on Saturdays and 4-2 on Sundays.

&\#149;Michael Morrison (RHP, Fr., Cypress, Calif.) has tossed five consecutive scoreless innings in relief earning his second win last Tuesday (Mar. 13) against Pepperdine.

&\#149;The Titans are currently 5-3 against teams ranked in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. (versus UCLA, Rice, Pepperdine and San Diego.

&\#149; Joel Weeks (INF, Jr., Cypress, Calif.) has the Titans' longest current hitting streak at five games. His last hit, broke up San Diego's Josh Romanski's perfect game bid in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's game (Mar. 14) at Goodwin Field. He is the only Titan to have a hit in all three of the game that the Titans were three-hit in.

&\#149; Since snapping his 16-game hitting streak on Feb. 27, catcher John Curtis (Sr., Newhall, Calif.) is just one for his last 23 (.034). His OB% is .344 though having picked up eight walks over that time period as well as two hit by pitches.

&\#149;Over the last 10 games, right fielder Chris Jones (So. San Clemente, Calif.) has been putting up team-leading numbers, boasting 14 hits, four doubles, a homer and 10 RBI while racking in 21 total bases.

&\#149; Clark Hardman (CF, Jr., Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) sits just 10-RBI away from tying his career-high of 31 set back in 2004 when he earned freshman All-American honors. His current .370 average is 30 points higher than his first season and his two home runs is a career-high. His six stolen bases leads the team and with two more swipes he will tie his career-mark in that category too.

&\#149; "The General" Evan McArthur got back on the horse last week making a pair of starts on Mar. 13-14, his first Feb. 4. The senior from Medford, Oregon, made both starts at shortstop, a position he has played, but never started at for the Titans. He was out recovering from surgery that removed a fractured hamate bone from his left hand. Tuesday night he went 0-for-2 (bunting on both occasions) in his first night back, then picked up his first hit since Feb. 4 in the Titans' 5-1 loss to San Diego.

&\#149;Musical Positions...With the return of Evan McArthur (Medford, Ore.) to the lineup at shortstop, Head Coach George Horton did some switching to his lineup card. In moving McArthur from third to short, Joel Weeks (Cypress, Calif.), the second baseman for the first 20 games of the year, moved to third. Joe Scott (Coronoa, Calif.), who spent 20 starts at short, moved from the six hole to second.

&\#149; In his last two starts/games, Josh Fellhauer (OF, Fr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has done just what he has been asked, going 4-for-8 with a pair of RBI. He and Khris Davis have split time in left field over the last four games.

&\#149;The Titans have committed 33 errors in the 22 games they have played so far (averaging 1.5 a game). Their 2007 fielding percentage (.959) is as low as it has been since the 1994 season when it was .958. The Titans are coming off back-to-back seasons with the school's best fielding percentages of .977 in both 2005 and 2006.

&\#149; Despite hitting just .231 with the bases empty, the Titans as a team are doing the job at hitting with runners on base. The Titans are hitting .317 with runners on base, .361 when the bases are loaded and .362 with runners in scoring position. It is also good to note, when runners are advanced to third base with less than two outs, Te Titans have driven in 75 percent of the runners (51 RBI in 68 opportunities)

BIG WEST STAT RANKINGS:

Average: Clark Hardman - 6th (.370), team - 5th (.273)
Hits: Clark Hardman - t-6th (34), team - t-6th (197)
RBI: Chris Jones and Clark Hardman - t-5th (21), team - 4th (134)
Stolen Bases: Clark Hardman - t-7th (6)
Strikeouts: Wes Roemer - 1st (52), team - 4th (176)
Opposing Batting Average: Sean Urena - 5th (.222), Jeff Kaplan - 10th (.265), team - 5th (.274)

WICKED PITCH OF THE WES: Friday night starter Wes Roemer (RHP, Glendora, Calif) amazed the country with his pinpoint control walking just seven batter all last season in 155 innings pitched. The then-sophomore started the 2006 campaign by going 65 2/3 innings without issuing a free pass. That amazing control helped the sophomore earn Collegiate Baseball's Co-National Player of the Year honor and unanimous first-team All-American status. Though he hardly walked anyone last season, he did however, keep the hitters honest, hitting a school record 23 batters to break his own record set as a freshman (18 HBPs in 2005). This season, Roemer is continuing his consistent ways, posting a 36:1 strikeout-towalk ratio while hitting four.

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Wes Roemer (JR, RHP, Glendora) will again be the center of attention as he has already been recognized as a Preseason All-American (Baseball America, NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, Rivals.com) and as a 2007 National Player of the Year Candidate (Collegiate Baseball, CSTV.com, Brooks Wallace Awards, Roger Clemens Award) and has been projected by Baseball America as the Big West Conference's top draft pick in the 2007 MLB Amatuer Draft... Roemer was 13-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 2006 striking out 145 in 155 innings pitched with just seven walks.

LEGENDARY COACH: In October, 2006, Horton was honored to take part in a documentary called "Legendary Coaches" that will be released as a special feature on the forthcoming "We Are Marshall" DVD. Horton is one focus of a six-segment feature with other legends Lute Olson (Arizona, men's basketball head coach), Pat Summit (Tennessee, women's basketball head coach), John Wooden (former UCLA basketball head coach), Bobby Bowden (Florida State, football head coach) as well as 1971 Marshall football Head Coach Jack Lengyel.

TO COACH OR NOT TO COACH?: Volunteer Assistant Coach Bill Kernen has a tale (or two) to tell you, that not many in the baseball business could fathom. Kernen, a veteran collegiate coach, left the game after more than 20 years and moved to New York to become a playwright in 1995. He went to Columbia University in New York to study writing and while there, penned "And Other Fairy Tales" and "A Graveyard Symphony" within his first two years. Two more, "Galleria degli Angeli" (1998) and "Musica de Mariposa" (1999), would follow in the next two years, with his 1998 effort being honored as a finalist in the Oglebay Institute National Playwriting Competition. Kernen's play "Snapshot of Molly and Her Man" (2002) was turned in to a 16 minute short film in 2002, with the Titan pitching coach earning credit as the film's casting director as well. Kernen was the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1989-95 where he accumulated a 240-154-3 (.609) career record, just missing a trip to Omaha in CSUN's first year at the Div. I level.

INCOMING!: Baseball America has ranked Cal State Fullerton's Khris Davis (19th, .592, 10 HR, 50 RBI in 2006 with Deer Valley HS in Glendale Ariz.) and Nate Bridges (22nd, .461, 9 HR, 33 RBI in 2006 with Villa Park HS in Villa Park, Calif.) in their Top 50 Incoming Freshman for both their immediate impact as well as their long-term potential. Davis has posted a .265 batting average in 15 games for the Titans splitting time between being the team's left fielder and designated hitter.

BASEBALL AMERICA PREDICTS: The baseball publication looked into their crystal ball and saw that the Titans would again repeat with a Big West Conference Championship in 2007. They also mentioned that junior centerfielder Clark Hardman (Trabuco Canyon, Calif) will be the leagues most valuable player. Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) was also slated to be the conference's best pitcher and top major league prospect.

MILESTONES AHEAD: 11th-year Head Coach George Horton is 35 wins away from his 500th career win. Last season Horton tallied his 188th career Big West Conference win, tying him with Fresno State's Bob Bennett for second place on the all-time Big West leader board. His next conference victory will put him in sole possession of second place behind former Long Beach State skipper Dave Snow's 218 Big West wins.

TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 28 NCAA regional appearances in their 32-year Div. I history and have not missed the post-season since 1991. The 15-year run is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (34), Florida State (29), and Clemson (20), have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 14 times, coming away with College World Series Titles in 1979, 1984, 1995, and 2004.

A WINNING TRADITION: On May 23, 2006, the Titans captured their 22nd 40-win season with a 6-3 win over USC. The Titans also picked up their eighth 50-win season as they defeated Clemson, 7-6, in the College World Series. Fullerton has never had less than 30 wins or finished the season with a losing record (since 1975, first year at Div. I). Larry Cochell's Titans captured the lowest win total in the school's history with a 30-27 overall record in 1989.

BEST IN THE BIG WEST: The Cal State Fullerton baseball has been picked to claim its fourth-consecutive Big West Conference championship as shown in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll. George Horton's Titans garnered seven of the eight first place votes (63 total points) giving them the edge over UC Riverside who finished in second with 50 total points. UC Irvine and Long Beach State finished close behind in third and fourth places, respectively.

TOP 10 RECRUITING CLASS: Cal State Fullerton baseball's recruiting effort was rewarded with a pair of "top ten" rankings by the two major college baseball publications in 2007. The Titans' incoming class, assembled by Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach Jason Gill, has been ranked 8th by Collegiate Baseball and 9th by Baseball America. "It is nice to be recognized on a national level for our recruiting class and we are happy with the talent we have coming in," Gill said, "but we have a lot of new names on the backs of our jerseys, and we have to wait to see how well they adapt to playing for the name on the front." Following the College World Series last June, the Titans lost three-fourths of arguably the best defensive infield in the nation, two-thirds of both the outfield and starting pitching rotation, a setup man and a closer to last year's MLB draft and free-agency.

TO THE SHOW: Three former Titans made their big league debuts in 2006 boosting the school's total number to 43 former Fullerton players that have played a big league gamee. Mike Rouse (with CSF in 2001) and Jason Windsor (with CSF from 2003-04) both made appearances with the Oakland A's, while Wes Littleton (with CSF from 2001-03) debuted with the Texas Rangers. The trio joined Shane Costa, KC (with CSF from 2001-03), Reed Johnson, TOR (1997-99), Chad Cordero, WAS (2001-03), Brandon Duckworth, KC (1997), Mark Kotsay, OAK (1994-96), Mike Lamb, HOU (1995-97), Phil Nevin, TEX-CHC-MIN (1990-92), Aaron Rowand, PHI (1996-98), Kirk Saarloos, OAK (1998-2001) and Matt Wise, MIL (1996-97), to bring the current total of Fullerton products in the bigs to 13.