Titans in Tempe for Midweek Series with the Sun Devils

March 31, 2009

Cal State Fullerton: 18-4, 2-1 (Big West)
vs.
Arizona State: 19-4, 5-1 (Pac-10)

TITANS IN THE POLLS:
Baseball America: 1
Collegiate Baseball: 2
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: 2
NCBWA: 2
Rivals.com: 1

SUN DEVILS IN TH:E POLLS:
Baseball America: 3
Collegiate Baseball: 7
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: 3
NCBWA: 4
Rivals.com: 5

Complete Release in PDF Format

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Mar. 31, at No. 3 Arizona State (DeMarini West Coast Challenge), 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Apr. 1, at at No. 3 Arizona State (DeMarini West Coast Challenge), 6 p.m.
Friday, Apr. 3, vs. No. 8 UC Irvine (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Apr. 4, vs. No. 8 UC Irvine (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
Sunday, Apr. 5, vs. No. 8 UC Irvine (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m.

CSF PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION:
Tuesday at Arizona State: RHP, Kyle Witten (2-1, 4.74 ERA)
Wednesday at Arizona State: LHP, Kevin Rath (1-0, 6.48 ERA)
Friday vs. UC Irvine: RHP, Daniel Renken (4-1, 2.50 ERA)
Saturday vs. UC Irvine: RHP, Noe Ramirez (3-0, 2.02 ERA)
Sunday vs. UC Irvine: RBP, Tyler Pill (5-0, 3.19 ERA)

PLAY BALL: The top-ranked Titans' rugged schedule continues this week with a pair of non-conference games at No. 3 Arizona State and then a 3-game home conference series against No. 8 UC Irvine, which opened Big West play by sweeping Cal Poly last weekend.

LAST WEEK IN TITAN BASEBALL: Fullerton exorcised its cursed history at the Riverside Sports Complex over the weekend by taking the season-opening Big West series, two games to one. But it took awhile.

The Titans lost for the ninth time in 10 games at UCR on Friday night, 3-1, due to Michael Hur's 3-run home run in the sixth and solid pitching from lefthander Paul Bargas. The Titans outhit UCR, 9-6, but had little luck until two were out in most innings. Daniel Renken's complete-game 6-hitter was wasted.

Things weren't going much better Saturday. Freshman Noe Ramirez was pitching even better than Renken but he was only even, 1-1, as UCR scored an unearned run. The Titans had three men thrown out at the plate including two in the ninth inning. UCR had the winning run at second in the bottom of the ninth but Michael Morrison got out of the jam and eventually got the win. Finally, a tenth-inning, hit-and-run single by Christian Colon on a pitchout seemed to break the spell. Josh Fellhauer's ground ball brought home the go-ahead run and a UCR throwing error set the stage for Jared Clark's 2-run single and a 4-1 win.

The 18-1 win on Sunday erased all demons and Tyler Pill pitched seven shutout innings to go to 5-0. A 9-run fourth inning basically bracketed by a double and a 3-run home run by Khris Davis proved overwhelming but it was the little game that got the ball rolling. Joe Scott and Jeff Newman laid down consecutive push-bunt singles toward first to set up a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

Fullerton outscored UCR, 23-5, and outhit it, 35-17, in the series. Only three earned runs were allowed as the Titans walked only two batters in 28 innings.

VERSUS ARIZONA STATE: The Titans and Sun Devils have a long history dating back to 1975. Fullerton is 21-25 all-time against ASU (11-5 in Fullerton, 9-19 in Tempe, and 1-1 in Omaha at the College World Series). The home field seems to hold the advantage even in the regular season with the Titans going 7-15 in non-postseason matchups at ASU. Postseason play seems to be an even playing ground with both teams going 8-8 (4-4 in Regional Play - 2-4 in Tempe, 2-0 in Fullerton; 3-3 in Super Regionals (all six in Fullerton) and 1-1 in Omaha. Former Titan skipper George Horton held the best record against the Sun Devils in his tenure, going 10-5 all time. Augie Garrido was 10-19, while Dave Serrano is 1-1.

TOP TITAN PERFORMANCE (HITTING): Jared Clark (Castaic, Calif.) helped lift the Titans to a 2-1 series win over the Highlanders last weekend. He tallied a team-high six hits and five RBI in three games over the Highlanders on the road. He did not win this week's conference player of the week, but was instrumental to the team's success over nationally-ranked UC Riverside. In the opener, the senior first baseman drove home the Titans' only run with a single through the right side off winning pitcher Paul Bargas. That was Clark's first of three hits in four at bats on the night. On Saturday the Castaic native drove home two key insurance RBI in the Titans' three-run 10th inning to help lift the Titans to a 4-1 win, evening the series. Again he had a multi-hit game and he also walked and stole a base in the Titans' first extra-inning affair of the year. After a nine-run fourth, the Titans scored four more times in the seventh on Sunday. The last two runs of the frame were courtesy of Clark's two-run doubled that was laced down the left field line. In the Titans' dominating 18-1 win over UCR, Clark had a .636 on base percentage and was perfect from the field defensively at first base. Clark's Line for the Week: 6-for-11 (.545), 1 double, 5 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, 1-for-1 SB, 1 HBP

TOP TITAN PERFORMANCE (PITCHING): Cal State Fullerton freshman Tyler Pill (Covina, Calif.) was the beneficiary of a season-high,18-run offensive outburst as he improved to 5-0 with seven innings of 5-hit shutout ball. He struck out six and walked none. The right-hander from Covina, faced just four batters over the minimum in earning the win over nationally-ranked UC Riverside on Sunday. Pill's Line for the Week: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 K, 0 BB

YOUNG GUNS: The Titans'current weekend pitching rotation consists of a sophomore (Freshman All-American Daniel Renken) and two freshmen (Noe Ramirez, and Tyler Pill) that have combined for a 12-1 record, with a 3.49 ERA with 100 K and 23 BB between them.

TITAN TIDBITS:
&\#149; The Titans are 4-1 in their last five games and 8-2 over their last 10
&\#149; Fullerton now has a record of 7-2 versus ranked opponents
&\#149; The Titans were 1-8 at the Riverside Sports Complex going into this week's games at Riverside (since UCR's first year in the Big West in 2002). The Titans come away with the series win and improve to 3-9
&\#149; The Titans won their 31st opening weekend series of conference play in 35 years. The Titans have not lost a Big West Conference opening weekend series since 1997 (vs. Long Beach), and have dropped just that one since the beginning of the current-day Big West Conference in 1990
&\#149; The Titans out-scored the Highlanders 23-5 on the weekend, and outhit them 35-17
&\#149; Fullerton posted a team batting average of .318 on the weekend, while the Titan pitching staff held the Highlanders to just a .177 batting average
&\#149; Joe Scott tied the NCAA record for sacrifices in a game with four sac bunts on Mar. 28 at UC Riverside. He now shares the record with Tommy King of South Carolina (vs. Arkansas on March 8, 2004) and by Andy Sawyers of Nebraska (vs. Kansas State on Apr. 4, 1998)
&\#149; The 18-run outburst on Sunday at UCR was the highest run total of the year for Fullerton
&\#149; The Titans have had 10-or more hits in 14 of their last 16 games, and have had nine-or-more hits in 16 of their last 16
&\#149; The Titan pitching staff held the Highlanders to just three-earned runs on the weekend (five total runs) and lowered its staff ERA to 3.34. They finished with a line of: 2-1, 0.97 ERA, 28 IP, 17 H, 2 BB, 20 K
&\#149; The Titans' 4-5-6 hitters (Jared Clark, Nick Ramirez, Khris Davis) combined to go 16-for-35 (.457) with three doubles, a home run and eight combined RBI last weekend versus UC Riverside
&\#149; Jared Clark has a 6-game RBI streak is still alive -- he was 6-for-11 at UCR. Nick Ramirez was 6-for-13, Khris Davis was 4-for-11 with two doubles and a home run and extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest active streak on the team. Dustin Garneau was 5-for-7 on the weekend
&\#149; The Titans are hitting .353 with 17 home runs on the road this season
&\#149; The Titans have a 2.66 staff ERA on the road