CWS Rematch: No. 25 Titans vs. No. 5 Anteaters

April 4, 2008

Friday, Apr. 4 vs. No. 5 UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 6:15 p.m.
[GT, WEB, BWTV, TV]
Saturday, Apr. 5 vs. No. 5 UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 5 p.m.
[GT, WEB, BWTV]
Sunday, Apr. 6 vs. No. 5 UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 1 p.m.
[GT, WEB, BWTV]

GT = Follow the game via Gametracker WEB = Listen for free on fullertontitans.com BWTV - Video on BigWest.tv TV = Cox Cable 3, with Gordon Spencer and Paul Westphal. Check your local listings.

Complete Release in PDF Format

PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday:
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan (3-1, 5.97 ERA)
UCI: RHP, Scott Gorgen (5-1, 1.39 ERA)

Saturday:
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (3-1, 3.27 ERA)
UCI: RHP, Bryce Stowell (4-1, 2.36 ERA)

Sunday:
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso (4-2, 3.96 ERA)
UCI: LHP, Daniel Bibona (4-1, 2.70 ERA)

BATTER UP: The Titans travel to UC Irvine for what should be a most interesting 3-game Big West Conference series this weekend.

It's the return to Anteater Ballpark of Coach Dave Serrano and his staff, who led the Anteaters to the College World Series last season before returning to Cal State Fullerton upon the departure of Coach George Horton. And on the line are national rankings and the early upper hand in the conference standings.

UCI is off to a 19-3 start while the Titans have won seven of their last eight to improve to 16-9. Both teams won their opening Big West series by 2-1 margins -- UCI over Cal Poly and CSF over UC Riverside.

THE LAST FOUR GAMES: A dramatic come-from-behind victory got the Titans off on the right foot Friday night. A pinch-hit 3-run home run by Khris Davis and a two-out, two-run triple by Erik Komatsu were the big blows in a 5-run ninth inning that forged a 6-6 tie. Neither team would score again until Komatsu tripled with one out in the 16th inning and came home on Chris Jones' sacrifice fly. Adam Jorgensen struck out 14 of 22 batters he faced while allowing only two singles in 6.2 innings of brilliant relief to get the win.

UCR returned the favor on Saturday as Ryan Platt pitched six scoreless innings of relief and UCR logged a 6-4 win in 12 innings. Neither team scored after CSF tied the game in the sixth until the Highlanders pushed across a pair of runs in the 12th.

Drama gave way to a Titan blowout on Sunday as Cory Aribso went the distance for a 12-1 win. A 7-run third inning put the Titans ahead for good.

The strong pitching continued Tuesday at Loyola Marymount where Michael Morrison went a career-high 6 plus innings and didn't allow a hit until the leadoff man in the seventh to key an 8-2 Titan win. Extra-base hits were the weapon of choice as Fullerton got a two-run double from Cory Jones, a solo home run and an RBI double from Khris Davis, a two-run triple from Christian Colon and a run-scoring double from Josh Fellhauer.

VS. UC IRVINE: The Titans have a 64-19 all-time record against the Anteaters since their first meeting in 1976. The teams have just one meeting in the postseason, last-year's extra-inning affair in Omaha, with UCI coming out on top, 5-4, in 13 innings, knocking the Titans from competition. The Titans are 8-2 at Anteater Ballpark since 2002 posting a 6-5 record at Goodwin Field (14-7 overall since 2002).

LAST YEAR VS. THE ANTEATERS: The Titans were 1-3 against the Anteaters in 2007 losing two of three in the Big West series (1-2, 10-2, 6-12) from Apr. 5-7.

In their last meeting... UCI's Taylor Holiday got aboard in the bottom of the 13th on a controversial HBP that led to George Horton's ejection. Holiday was later sacrificed to second, and then thrown out at the plate by a perfect Josh Fellhauer throw on a Matt Morris single to left. The next hitter Bryan Peterson followed with an RBI-single to eliminate the Titans. Dylan Axlrod earned the win for UCI striking out six of the first nine batters he faced in 4 2/3 innings of work. The ballgame was 5:40, the longest game in time College World Series history. Fullerton fell to 0-6 all-time in CWS extra inning games.

TITANS SWEEP CONFERENCE HONORS: Cal State Fullerton's Adam Jorgenson and Erik Komatsu swept this week's Easton Big West Pitcher/Player of the Week Awards with their performances last week against then-No. 14 San Diego and UC Riverside.

Jorgenson, who picked up the weekly conference honor for the second straight week, turned in one of the more dominant pitching performances Titan history out of the bullpen Friday night (Mar. 28), earning the win in the Big West Conference opener at Goodwin Field. The 16-inning game tied the longest game in innings ever played by the Titans.

The right-hander, tossed the final 6.2 innings of the 16 inning marathon against UC Riverside, striking out 14 of the 22 batters he faced. He struck out nine of 10 from the 12th to the 15th (including the sides in the 14th and 15th) and fanned 11 of the last 14 hitters he faced to improve to 1-0. The Costa Mesa native surrendered just two singles and did not issue a walk.

Jorgenson over his last 9.1 innings (last two weeks) has struck out 19, given up just two hits and walked one. Erik Komatsu led the Titans in hitting last week (.450) collecting a team-leading nine hits and five runs to help the Titans to a 3-1 week, also extending his team-leading hitting streak to eight games.

After singling and scoring a run at San Diego (Mar. 25), the junior form Camarillo went 5-for-7 in the Titans' 16-inning game on Mar. 28. The outfielder's two-out, two-run triple capped a five-run comeback and tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and his one-out triple in the 16th inning set up a sacrifice fly by Chris Jones that gave Cal State Fullerton the dramatic 7-6 victory. He also had a double and a pair of singles in the win.

The left-handed hitter collected a hit on Saturday (Mar. 29) and went 2-for-3 with his team-leading fourth home run of the year and two runs scored in Sunday's (Mar. 30). Komatsu led the team in slugging (.850), walked once, was hit twice, posted a .522 on base percentage and was 1-for-1 in stolen bases on the week.

This is Komatsu's first weekly honor and the Titans' fourth of the year.

CONFERENCE OPENERS: With a series win over UC Riverside last weekend, The Titans continued their historically strong start in opening series of conference play. The boys in pinstripes have won 28 of the 34 series with a 2-1 or 3-0 record (16 sweeps). They have lost just five conference-opening series and tied one (1-1) with UC Irvine in 1985. Fullerton has posted an overall record of 78-24 in the first three-game series of each season. Since 2000, the Titans are 24-4 in the first league series of the year, with their only series loss coming in 2002 against Cal Poly.

COOL RUNNINGS: The Titans entered the week three behind (CSF 57, UCI 60) UC Irvine for the top spot in the conference in stolen bases. The Titans came into the week ranked eighth in the nation in stolen bases per game (2.38) and 11th in total swipes. On Mar. 25 (at San Diego) Fullerton stole its 53rd base in its 21st game, tying last year's total set in 63 games. The Titans are on pace to steal 141 bags in the 56-game regular season. Leading the way are Gary Brown and Josh Fellhauer with seven apiece, while four others have swiped six.

WALKS PER GAME: Fullerton pitchers have been pretty good about keeping the ball in the strike zone when it counts. Fullerton hurlers came into the week ranked 13th in the nation in fewest walks per nine innings with 2.75. Big West rival Long Beach State leads the country with just 2.05 walks per nine innings. Fullerton arms have a .261 batting average against and a 4.34 team ERA, The Titans' pitching staff has a 3:1 Strikeout to walk ratio (217:73).

ON THE ROAD: The Titans are 6-7 on the road this year and have hit .277 as a team, while the pitchers have posted an ERA of 5.71. Jeff Newman (8-for-20, .400) and Josh Fellhauer (21-for-55, .382) boast the team's best averages while Erik Komatsu continues to lead with 10 RBI away from home. On the hill, Ryan Ackland is the only Titan no have not allowed an earned run in eight appearances. No other Titan pitcher has recorded more than one win or an ERA under 3.38. Daniel Renken has posted 19 of his strikeouts on the road in 16 innings of work.

STREAKING TITANS: Reigning Big West Player of the Week Erik Komatsu is enjoying a nine-game hitting streak to currently lead the team. Over that span, Komatsu has posted a .410 batting average with a team-leading 16 hits (39 ABs), including three doubles, two triples, a home run and five RBI. The outfielder has also stolen two bases, drawn a pair of walks and has been hit four times over the nine games, good for a .489 OB%.

Jared Clark has put together a respectable seven-game hitting streak as well. The First baseman is hitting .321 over the last seven games, going 9-for-28 with a team-leading 10 RBI. Clark is also leading the team with 5 doubles and seven runs scored during his streak.

BADGE OF HONOR: The Titans entered the week ranked No. 3 in the country when it comes to getting hit-by-pitch with 57 (57 at the beginning of the week, 59 currently) plunks in 25 games thus far. Khris Davis is leading the bruised with eight in just 13 starts. Dustin Garneau, who was hit four straight times last week, and Erik Komatsu each have been hit six times apiece. The Titans trail just South Florida and Prairie View for the nation's top spot.

TOUGH TO PUNCH OUT: Coming into the week, Joel Weeks ranks in the nation's top 70 toughest hitters to strikeout. Weeks ranks 69th in the country, fanning every 14.7 at bats. The third baseman has struck out just six times coming into the week.

LEADING THE NATION: Junior right-hander Cory Arbiso (La Mirada, Calif.) is doing his best Wes Roemer impression when it comes to his control. The Titans' Sunday starter is currently leading the nation in fewest walks per nine innings (.23), having allowed just one free pass in seven starts (38.2 IP) this year. Arbiso has struck out 29 opponents in that same span. In nine-career starts, Arbiso has walked just two batters in 46 innings, while collecting 33 strikeouts.

PUNCH OUTS: The Titan pitching staff recorded 47 strikeouts over the weekend versus UC Riverside. Standout performances came from Adam Jorgenson (14 Ks in 6.2 Innings), Jason Dovel (7 Ks in 3.1 innings), Michael Morrison (4 Ks in 2.1 Innings) and Cory Arbiso (10 Ks in a complete game). The Titans fanned 25 in Friday night's 16-inning affair.

MISSING BATS: Freshman Jason Dovel has struck out 10 of the last 14 batters he has faced over his last three appearances. On Mar. 29 vs. UC Riverside, Dovel tossed three innings setting down six of the 10 Highlanders he faced by way of the strikeout. From there, the southpaw has set down four in a row (1 K, 1 BF on Mar. 30, 3 K/3BF on Apr. 1) over two relief appearances heading into this weekend vs. UC Irvine. Dovel is averaging 10.74 strikeouts per nine innings and ranks 42nd in the nation in that category.

THE ACK: Sophomore reliever Ryan Ackland has quietly put up strong numbers out of the bullpen when provided the opportunity. The side-winder has yet to allow a run in 11 innings of work (12 appearances) and has struck out eight while surrendering just one walk. The righty is holding the opponents to a .233 batting average. He has picked up saves in two of his last three appearances (Mar. 20 and Mar. 25).

FOUR SCORE: Titans have scored four or more run in an inning 13 times in the first 25 games. They have scored four runs three times, five runs eight times, and seven runs (Mar. 9 vs. Southern Miss, bottom of 7 and Mar. 30 vs. UC Riverside, bottom of the third) in an inning twice. Conversely, opponents have scored four or more runs in an inning seven times, with a nine-run first by Pepperdine (Mar. 18) being the biggest inning by an opponent.

TWO OUT NIGHTMARES: The Titans have driven in 39 percent of their runs (66 of 169 total runs scored) when hitting with two outs. Forty-five percent of the team's total RBIs are with two down as well (66 of 145 total RBIs). Erik Komatsu is the Titans' leading inning extender, going 16-for-37 (.432) while also driving in 14 of his 21 total RBI with two down.

OH BROTHER! Freshman pitcher Jason Dovel (Buena Park Calif.) made his home debut on Feb. 26 against his older brother Sean's LMU team. The younger Dovel was next in line to pitch in the Titan's staff day effort when an error prolonged the inning, allowing Sean to bat and make the last out of the inning against Daniel Renken. Dovel entered the game the next inning and went on to face eight batters over two innings facing everyone except ...you guessed it, Sean, who was left on deck when the third out was recorded.

OH BROTHER! PART II: Apr. 1 freshman Jason Dovel finally got his chance to face his brother, Sean, a catcher at LMU as the elder got a pinch-hit opportunity in the bottom of the ninth with his team trailing 8-2. Jason jumped ahead quickly 1-2 but then came in to Sean who hit a 350-foot screamer, foul and out of play. The southpaw then was set up to throw for one of his 12-6 curveballs that his brother swung over the top of for the second out of the inning. In what likely could be the list time they ever face each other, the younger Dovel prevailed, striking out the side in the ninth.