New Season Begins Thursday: Titans Open BWC Play

March 30, 2010

Fullerton, Calif. - FULLERTON - The Titans (12-11) open the Big West Conference schedule this weekend, hosting UC Davis (11-9) in a 3-game series Thursday through Saturday.

Fullerton begins the week with a 12-11 record after a 2-2 effort last week. The Titans, who were 11-12 after 23 games in their 2004 NCAA championship season, lost (4-2) at LMU on Tuesday and to Hawai'i (10-7) on Sunday to bracket a pair of wins over Hawai'i (3-0 and 13-6).

Tyler Pill took both of the losses - he pitched well enough to win on Tuesday but got knocked out in the second inning on Sunday when the Titans' offense was more productive.

Noe Ramirez took no chances. The sophomore right-hander threw a 5-hit shutout on Friday embellished with 14 strikeouts. Gary Brown keyed the offense, scoring the first run after a leadoff triple in the fourth and getting hit by a pitch to trigger a 2-run sixth against Hawai'i ace Josh Stlaats. Carlos Lopez' double keyed the inning.

On Saturday, Nick Ramirez broke a 6-6 tie with a solo home run and the Titans erupted late to give Kyle Mertins a win in relief of Daniel Renken.

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THIS WEEKEND IN TITAN BASEBALL:
Thurs., Apr. 1 vs. UC Davis (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
CSF: RHP, Noe Ramirez (4-1, 3.00 ERA)
UCD: LHP, Dayne Quist (4-1, 2.90 ERA)

Fri., Apr. 2, vs. UC Davis (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (2-2, 5.22 ERA)
UCD: LHP, Anthony Kupbens (3-2, 3.71 ERA)

Sat., Apr. 3 vs. UC Davis (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m.
UCD: RHP, Tyler Pill (1-4, 4.91 ERA)
UCD: RHP, Scott Lyman (1-2, 6.08 ERA)

LISTEN: Listen to live baseball broadcasts all this week at fullertontitans.com. Just click the headphone icon in the upper right hand corner of fullertontitans.com, and pick the game you would like to listen to.

TRACK THE GAME: Track this week's games via CBS College Sports' Gametracker. Click the GT link on the main page scrolling schedule/results bar, or the Gametracker logo on the baseball schedule page to follow the game pitch by pitch from your computer.

BUILDING FUTURE TITANS: Please go check out team photographer Matt Brown's latest "commercial" on the Titans Vimeo page by clicking here. It is a video that follows a kid named Malcolm who sets off to go play some baseball with a friend.

MIRACLE LEAGUE CLINIC:For more than a decade the Cal State Fullerton baseball team has been holding clinics for developmentally disabled children - and this year will be no different. On Wednesday, Mar. 31, the Titans will host the kids of the Miracle League at Goodwin Field from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Players from the Miracle League, and their parents, will be welcomed down on the field by the entire 2010 Cal State Fullerton baseball roster, and will spend time with their favorite players in drills on the infield, in the outfield, in the batting cages bullpens. Following the workout, everyone will gather for pizza dinner at the ballpark. Over the years, the kids of the Miracle League have become some of the collegians' most loyal fans. Campus will be closed, so parking for the event will be free. For more information on this year's Miracle League clinic, please call the baseball office at (714) 278-3789. VS. UC DAVIS: Cal State Fullerton has a relatively short history with UC Davis at the Div. I level dating back to the 2005 season. The holds a 13-2 all-time record against the Aggies and a 5-1 mark in Big West Conference play (since 2008). The Titans are 4-2 against the Aggies at Goodwin Field, and 9-0 in Davis. CSF and UCD have never met in the postseason. The two teams open Big West Conference play this weekend with Fullerton having won the last four meetings.

CONFERENCE PLAY: The Titans have a 615-220-1 (.736, 35 years) record all-time in conference play dating back to the 1975 season. Fullerton is 442-174 (.718, 27 years) all-time in PCAA/Big West games and 173-46-1 (.789, 8 years) while playing within the SCBA.

NOE EARNS NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE HONORS: Sophomore Right-hander Noe Ramirez (East Los Angeles, Calif, Alhambra HS) picked up Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week accolades after tossing a five-hit, complete-game shutout last Friday (Mar. 26) against the University of Hawaii. The hurler set a new career high by recording 14 strikeouts, breaking his old mark of 10, and faced just five batters over the minimum. From the fourth to the sixth innings, Ramirez struck out seven of nine batters including five in a row, and the entire side in the fifth. This is Ramirez's first career national honor and second career BWC weekly honor. He also won the league award back on Mar. 8.

Christian Colon (SS): Christian Colon got his batting average up over .300 (.301) for the first time in 2010 after going 5-for-16 (.313) last week against LMU and Hawaii. The shortstop was one of three Titans to homer last week, belting his team-leading sixth home run in Saturday's 13-6 win over Hawaii. Colon now has 18 career home runs and 92 RBI in three seasons. He is one hit away from his 200th career hit. Has hit in three straight games, his longest streak of the season. Colon is hitting .486 (18-for-39) as a leadoff hitter of an inning.

Gary Brown (CF): Gary Brown has hit safely in 22 of the Titans 23 games this season and leads the team with a .448 batting average. After starting the season with a 14-game hitting streak, he is now on an eight-game stretch where he has "cooled off" slightly, hitting .486 with a team best 18 hits and six stolen bases. Brown has had more than one hit in nearly 2/3 of the games he has recorded a hit (14 of 22).

Carlos Lopez (DH): After going 2-for-15 (.133) with no homers and no RBI over the first six ballgames of his career, Carlos Lopez has gone on to hit in his next 17 straight, bringing his overall average up to .398. His current streak has seen him go 31-for-68 (.456, second only to Gary Brown in that span) with seven doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI. The 17-game streak is among 25 other players with 17-game streaks alive going into this week. Lopez has also made quite a bit of contact this year, striking out just four times in 94 plate appearances.

Tyler Pill (RF): Tyler Pill hit a solid .385 (5-for-13) with three of his hits going for extra bases (2 doubles and 3 triples). He also drove in three runs and upped his season average to .370. Missed hitting for the cycle on Sunday (Mar. 28) by a home run, going 3-for-3. Pill has hit for himself in his last two starts on the mound and he has gone 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and a triple.

Corey Jones (2B): Corey Jones jumped his average from .232 to .298 after hitting a team best .600 (9-for-15) last week in four games against LMU and Hawaii. The senior infielder is tied for the team lead in walks (10) and is second on the team with 6 HBPs. Jones is currently amidst a modest four-game hitting streak.

Billy Marcoe (C): Over the past two weeks, senior Billy Marcoe has put up the team's best batting average at .448, going 13-for-29 with 2 home runs and eight RBI while hitting in all nine games. The nine-game streak is a career high, and the two home runs are the first and second of his career. Marcoe has also stolen a pair of bases and has played perfect defense behind the plate in seven starts.

Nick Ramirez (1B): Nick Ramirez lead's the team with 20 RBI and seven multi-RBI games. Last week he hit .429 (6-for-14) and drove in a team-leading 5 RBI in helping the Titans to a series win over Hawaii. On Tuesday, in the Titans' 4-2 loss to LMU, the first baseman drove home the first of two Titan runs in the ninth inning and came around to score the second. On Saturday night, his first home run of the year broke a 6-6 tie and wound up being the game-winning hit and run. Also in that game he doubled twice and drove in two additional runs. In all, Ramirez hit in three of the four games on the week, including a 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, and 2-for-4 with 1 RBI in the last two games of the week. The sophomore southpaw also tosses three innings of relief on Sunday allowing just one run on three hits with three Ks and also played a perfect first base defensively.

Noe Ramirez (RHP): Since his first-start loss and a no-decision, Noe Ramirez has put on quite a show on the mound. Since Mar. 6, he has gone 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA working in at least eight innings in all four, while finishing two. Over his last four starts he has 37 strikeouts and just 5 walks over 34 innings. He is the reigning Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week and a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after a complete-game shutout in which he struck out a career-high 14 Hawaii batters while surrendering just 5 hits. In six starts this year, Ramirez has held the opposition to just a ,212 batting average.

PACING THE NATION: Gary Brown is ranking in the nation's Top 10s in both hits (4th with 47 hits) and triples (5th with five triples) and Noe Ramirez is 7th in the country with 53 Ks from the mound. He is just 6 strikeouts behind the Citidel's Asher Wojciechowski, who leads the NCAA with 59.

SEEING TRIPLE: Gary Brown hit his fifth triple of the season on Sunday against Hawaii and is now tied with Blake Davis (2004-06) for second on the all-time Cal State Fullerton career Top 10 list in triples. Brown sits just four more three-baggers away from tying the school record of 18 set by former outfielder and first-round draft pick Dante Powell from 1992-94.

TOUGH WITH TWO OUT: Centerfielder Gary Brown is hitting .438 (14-for-32) with eight RBI with two outs in an inning - leading the team in both categories. Billy Marcoe has 10 hits and six RBI, while Nick Ramirez and Christian Colon each have nine hits and six RBI with two down behind Brown to pace the team.

WHEN IT COUNTS: Gary Brown (14-for-26, .538) and Nick Ramirez (12-for-33, .364) are pacing the offense when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position. Tyler Pill is 7-for-13 (.538) in that department tied with Brown for the top batting average in that spot. Brown is also a perfect 6-for-6 in converting a run with runners at third with less than two outs. Nick Ramirez has driven the run home in that same situation 11 times in 14 chances (nearly 80 percent of the time).

IN A PINCH: Titan pinch hitters are 6-for-27 (.222) on the year, with catcher Billy Marcoe leading the team with a pair of knocks from the bench. Anthony Hutting has the most trips to the plate from the bench (6,) but has just one pinch hit to show for it.

NI-RAM, NO-RAM CONNECTION: All three of southpaw reliever Nick Ramirez's saves have com on the tail end of Noe Ramirez's starts. The duo (not related) has nailed down road victories at Arizona, San Diego and Washington.