April 7, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Riding their best momentum of the first half of the season, the Titans are a game into a 7-game road swing that could likely dictate the fate of this year's season.
The Titans (16-11, 3-0), winners of nine of their last 11 and four in a row, could be heading to Irvine at the right time, as a lot of weight surely rest son the results of this weekend's three-game series against the defending BWC champ No. 18 Anteaters (17-9, 3-0) .
Fullerton is coming off a big win over No. 3 UCLA on Tuesday night and a dominating series sweep of UC Davis last weekend and look to be gaining speed.
THIS WEEK IN TITAN BASEBALL:
Tues., Apr. 6 W, 6-1 at UCLA (Jackie Robinson Stadium)
Fri., Apr. 9 - at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 6 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 10 - at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 1 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 11 - at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 2:03 p.m.
FOLLOW THE GAMES:
You can hear all here games on Fullertontitans.com and follow all three on CBS College Sports' Gametracker interface. Sunday's game will be broadcast on ESPNU. Game time is 2:03 p.m.
CSF: Noe Ramirez (5-1, 2.94 ERA)
UCI: LHP, Daniel Bibona (4-2, 2.54 ERA)
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (3-2, 5.70 ERA)
UCI: RHP, Christian Bergman (3-1, 6.07 ERA)
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (1-4, 4.91 ERA)
UCI: RHP Eric Pettis (5-0, 3.08 ERA)
TUESDAY AGAINST UCLA:
The Titans powered their way to a 5-0 lead in the first inning against the No. 3 Bruins, drilling three home runs off starter Garett Claypool (3-1).
Despite being held to just two hits over the final eight innings offensively, the Titans needed just one home run (Carlos Lopez's two-run shot) to win as Fullerton held the Bruins to just one run on five hits from the mound. Relievers Dylan Floro (1-0), Daniel Renekn and Nick Ramirez allowed just three hits over the final 4.2 innings.
LAST WEEKEND AGAINST UC DAVIS:
Fullerton swept UC Davis to open the Big West schedule. The Titans devastated the Aggies' pitching for two days with 20-4 and 23-7 routs before coming from behind for a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon.
As a team, the Titans batted .461 (53-for-115) for the series. Gary Brown had the best batting average at .636 (7-for-11), Christian Colon had the most hits with 8 (for 16, .500) and Nick Ramirez had the most RBI (9, while hitting .417). Billy Marcoe batted .583 (7-for-12) and had the game-winning home run in the eighth inning on Saturday. Tyler Pill hit "only" .400 (4-for-10) but had 6 RBI including a game-tying 2-run double on Saturday. Corey Jones (.545, 6-for-11) and Walker Moore (.571, 4-for-7) quietly hit over .500 while Joey Siddons hit .429 (6-for-14) at the bottom of the order.
Noe Ramirez cruised to his fifth victory in a row with 7 innings of work on Thursday. Daniel Renken got a win despite giving up 7 runs in 7 innings on Friday and Kyle Mertins had another strong start (6.2 innings, 2 runs) although Derrick Dingeman got the win for getting one out on Saturday with Nick Ramirez logging the save.
VS UC IRVINE:
Fullerton is 67-22 all-time against UC Irvine dating back to the 1976 season. UCI's program was reinstated in 2002 after a 10-year hiatus, and Fullerton has gone 17-11 against them , 7-2 with John Savage as their head coach, 7-6 with Dave Serrano as their head coach and 3-3 with current head coach Mike Gillespie at the helm. The Titans are 32-7 all-time on the road against UCI but are 10-3 at the new Anteater Ballpark since it opened in 2002. Fullerton holds a 58-20 all-time conference record (SCBA and Big West) against the Anteaters and a 35-16 all-time in Big West play. Last year, the Anteaters beat the Titans on Friday and Saturday, 2-1 an 6-1, before the Titans won on Sunday, 5-4 in 10 innings en route to a dominating 22-2 finish league. The two teams met up in the postseason just once, and that was in the 2007 College World Series, where they set the record for the longest game (time) ever played at the CWS. Irvine won the game 5-4 in extra innings and eliminated the Titans from the series.
FRIDAY NIGHT STARTER:
Sophomore right hander Noe Ramirez (East Los Angeles, Calif.) won his fifth straight decision with a solid performance in a blowout game at Goodwin Field last Thursday night. Ramirez, in his third start as the "Friday night guy" (even though the game was on Thursday), allowed just two earned runs over seven innings of work and struck out seven without a walk in the Big West Conference opener. The right-hander scattered eight hits and dropped his ERA (2.94) below 3.00 in the win. Over his last five starts, Ramirez has averaged 8.1 innings and nearly nine Ks per start.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON STARTER:
Junior Daniel Renken (Cypress, Calif.) is coming off his best start of the year last Friday against UC Davis. Despite giving up seven runs, the right-hander worked seven innings and struck out five without a walk. The 7.0 innings was the longest outing of the year in seven starts. Renken pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Tuesday at UCLA.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON STARTER:
Sophomore Tyler Pill (Covina, Calif.) has not pitched since his 1.2inning start at home against Hawaii. Last weekend, Pill was given the weekend off to rest a tired arm (no injury involved) after quite a bit of work over the previous 2-3 weeks. From Mar. 11-28, he made four starts over 18 days.
&\#149; With the win over UCLA on Tuesday night, the Titans are now 58-24-1 all-time against the Bruins dating back to the Titans' first season at the Div. I level in 1975. Fullerton has been in control in the most recent history winning of 10 of its last 12,15 of its last 18, 22 of its last 27 and 37 of its last 45. With John Savage at the helm of the Bruins, the Titans are 17-3 against the Bruins, including 4-1 in postseason play.
&\#149; With the win over No. 3 UCLA on Tuesday night it marked the third time this year a Cal State Fullerton team has come up with a big victory over the Bruins. Even though it has become expected for the baseball team to beat UCLA, the Titan basketball and volleyball programs have had little success against the Bruins over the years . But in 2009-2010, both picked up huge victories. The volleyball team beat then-No. 7 UCLA, 3-2, at home on Sept. 18, 2009, marking their first win over a ranked opponent in the history of the program, and the first over UCLA since 1980 (14 matches). The basketball team needed two overtimes, but downed the Bruins 68-65 on Nov. 16, 2009, at Pauly Pavilion for the first time in programs history (10 meetings).
&\#149; For those who don't weigh midweek games all that heavily: The Titans are 11-2 over the last four weekend series (San Diego State Tournament, Washington, Hawaii and UC Davis).
&\#149; Fullerton outscored UC Davis 46-13 in the three-game series in Fullerton. With scores of 20-4, 23-7 and 3-2, the Titans put up back-to-back 20-run games and scored the most runs in back-to-back-games for the first time since 1980 - when they did it in three straight games against three different opponents (30 runs on 4/26/80 vs. Pepperdine, 20 runs on 4/27/80 vs. Cal State LA, and 26 runs on 5/2/80 against Long Beach State).
&\#149; Fullerton scored a season-high nine runs in the sixth inning of last Thursday (Apr. 1) night's game against UC Davis. They scored nine runs on just three hits, were walked six times and hit twice, all before the second out of the inning was recorded.
&\#149; The Titans hit .461, had a .553 OB%, was 7-for-10 in stolen bases in the three games last weekend against UC Davis.
&\#149; 24 of the Titans last 60 hits have gone for extra bases. Nineteen of the Titans' 53 hits against UC Davis went for more than a single (12 doubles, 2 triples and five home runs), as did five of their seven knocks against UCLA (3 homers, two doubles).
Last week, right-hander Noe Ramirez (5-1, 2.94 ERA) accepted an invitation to the USA Baseball trials in Cary, NC, later this summer. He will be vying for a roster spot with teammates Tyler Pill and Nick Ramirez where they will pitch under pitching coach Dave Serrano. The third-year Titan skipper, Serrano, will join Bill Kinneberg's (Utah) Team USA coaching staff as the pitching coach in 2010. He will become the first coach to ever represent the Titans while with Team USA. Serrano will get is first taste of international play as the team is scheduled to participate in both Taiwan for four games with Chinese-Taipei and Japan at the V FISU World University Championships. Pill and Nick Ramirez had already accepted invitations to the trials to be held July 6-11 in Cary. Junior Christian Colon (SS, Corona, Calif., Canyon HS) has played the past two seasons with Team USA and was named Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year in 2009.
WHAT A RELIEF:
Over its last 11 inning of work, the Titan bullpen has not allowed an earned run, giving up just eight hits while striking out 12. Over the last seven games, the pen is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA. They have allowed 18 hits over 22.1 innings with 21 strikeouts to just five walks. Opponents are hitting just .225 against the eight arms that have thrown. Of the eight pitchers that have thrown in relief over the past seven games, just two have allowed earned runs (Nick Ramirez - 1 run in 5.0 IP, and Dylan Floro - 3 runs in 6 IP).
Gary Brown hit his sixth triple of the year last weekend against UC Davis, and now sits just three off the all-time CSF mark with 15 three-baggers. If he can speed his way around to third three more times, he will tie the 16-year old record held by former first-round draft pick Dante Powell (18 triples from 1992-94). His six triples in 2010 ranks tied for seventh all-time in a single season. The record is nine, held by Powell in 1992.
TOUGH WITH TWO OUT:
Centerfielder Gary Brown is hitting .417 (15-for-36) with nine RBI with two outs in an inning - leading the team in both categories. Billy Marcoe has 14 hits and eight RBI right to place right behind Brown.
WHEN IT COUNTS:
Gary Brown (17-for-30, .567) and Nick Ramirez (15-for-40, .375) are pacing the offense when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position. Tyler Pill is 10-for-19 (.526) in that department and is right behind Brown for the top batting average in that spot. Brown is also a 7-for-8 in converting a run with runners at third with less than two outs. Nick Ramirez has driven the run home in that same situation 14 times in 17 chances (82.4 percent of the time).
IN A PINCH:
Titan pinch hitters are 7-for-30 (.233) on the year, with catcher Billy Marcoe leading the team with a pair of knocks from the bench. Both pinch hits extended his current hitting streak of 13 games. Anthony Hutting has the most trips to the plate from the bench (7) but has just one pinch hit to show for it.
HIGHS AND LOWS:
Highs - On Saturday (Apr. 3) against UC Davis, the Titans score 23 runs in a game for the first time since their 24-0 shutout at Cal State Northridge on April 10, 2005. The Titans' also tallied 25 hits that same day, logging 25 hits for the first time since May 1, 2004 against Cal Poly. Lows - Fullerton has been shut out twice this year (Feb. 20, vs. Pepperdine, 0-6; Mar. 11, vs. Fresno State, 0-5) and was held to a season-low three hits on Feb. 26 against TCU.
In the second inning of Apr. 2's 24-7 blowout against UC Davis, the Titans scored six times, four off the bat of Nick Ramirez, who blasted a grand slam home run into the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum beyond the right field wall. It was the first grand slam of his career, and the first for a Titan since Jared Clark did it on Feb. 27 of last year against Stanford. Ramirez finished 3-for-6 with a career-high six RBI.
OPENING DAY ROSTERS:
Cal State Fullerton has had 47 of its former players ascend to the big league level and six of them made their way onto on 2010 MLB Opening Day rosters. Mark Kotsay, Chicago White Sox - The longest tenured Titan in the bigs will begin his 13th major league campaign, in his first full season with the White Sox. Kotsay has played with six different big league teams. Kurt Suzuki, Oakland A's - Is beginning his fourth season with the A's and third as the team's starting catcher. In addition to playing at the big league level, Suzuki and his wife, Renee, will be honored this year by Cal State Fullerton with the Recent Graduate Achievement Award, the highest honor given to an alumni at the Visions and Visionaries ceremony later this year. He was one of 30 nominees for MLB's 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contribution to their team. Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays - Looks to headline a young Toronto rotation after being the top arm behind Roy Halladay in 2009. Romero is in his second season at the Major League level. Aaron Rowand, San Francisco Giants - Begins his 10th major league season and third in San Francisco. Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers - After two years in the NL with Chicago, Johnson returns home to be the Dodgers' fourth outfielder in his eighth big league season. Mike Lamb, Florida Marlins - After a year out of the big leagues in the Mets minor league system, Lamb returns for his 10th season with his fifth team.
TITAN HALL OF FAMERS MANAGING:
Titan Hall of Famers and Golden Spike Award winners Tim Wallach (1978-79) and Phil Nevin (1990-92) will both be managing in the minor leagues this coming season. Wallach will be in his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers AAA affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. Last year he led the Isotopes to a postseason berth with a 76-63 record and was later ranked the best managerial prospect in the Pacific Coast League by Baseball America. Nevin will get his first opportunity to manage in affiliated baseball after coaching the independent Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League in 2009. Nevin will manage the AA Erie SeaWolves in the Detroit Tiger organization. Nevin played three of his 12 major league seasons for the Tigers. In 1997, he and Matt Walbeck were traded from Detroit to the then-Anaheim Angels. Walbeck managed Erie to the Eastern League playoffs in 2007.