Trojans in Town for Tuesday Night Tilt

April 10, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

THIS WEEK:
Apr. 10 vs. USC, 6 p.m. (Goodwin Field)GT, WEB, BWTV
Tuesday Starters:
CSF: Michael Morrison, RHP (2-1, 4.76 ERA)
USC: Tommy Milone, LHP (2-2, 6.53 ERA)

Apr. 13 at UC Davis, 2:30 p.m. (Dobbins Baseball Complex) GT, WEB
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (4-4, 3.58 ERA)
UCD: Trevor Fox, LHP (3-4, 3.59 ERA)
Apr. 14 at UC Davis, 1:00 p.m. (Dobbins Baseball Complex) GT, WEB
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (5-2, 3.62 ERA)
UCD: Brad McAtee, RHP (1-2, 4.65 ERA)
Apr. 15 at UC Davis, 1:00 p.m. (Dobbins Baseball Complex) GT, WEB
CSF: TBA
UCI: Jeff Reekers, RHP (4-2, 3.86 ERA)

TITANS IN THE POLLS:
Baseball America - 18
Collegiate Baseball - 21
USA Today - 18
NCBWA - 18
Rivals.com - 17

TROJANS IN THE POLLS:
The Trojans are not ranked by any of the five polls this week.

LAST WEEK: Fullerton is coming off its first home conference series loss since 2002 after losing two of three games to then No. 23-ranked UC Irvine. The Anteaters hadn't won a series from Fullerton in 27 years -- of course, they didn't have a team for nine of those seasons. The pivotal game occurred Thursday night and then the teams exchanged laughers.

UCI won the opener, 2-1, when the Titans failed to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Scott Gorgen was staked to an early 2-0 lead over Wes Roemer, who would retire the final 23 Anteaters for naught. In the bottom of the ninth, UCI closer Blair Erickson loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks. Dylan Axelrod took over and gave up an infield single to Matt Wallach to make it 2-1. Axelrod then bounced a pitch toward the backstop. Pinch runner Dennis Gerbasi tried to score from third and was thrown out. Axelrod then struck out Khris Davis and got Corey Jones on a ground ball to log the save.

Wallach got the Titans going on Friday night with a 3-run home run in the first inning that headed UCI starter Wes Etheridge toward his first loss after eight victories, 10-2. Wallach had two more hits and finished with 5 RBI. Jeff Kaplan got his fifth win with late help from Nolan Bruyninckx.

UCI used an 8-run second inning against loser Sean Urena and reliever Adam Jorgenson to quickly take the suspense out of Saturday's game. The final was 12-6 and the two teams are now tied for second place at 4-2 behind Cal Poly. Nick Mahin was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, and Clark Hardman tacked on three hits in the losing effort.

TITANS ON THE NET: All Titan baseball games can be follwed from your computer with links directly from fullertontitans.com. Follow the audio broadcast with Justin Alderson, Mel Franks and Jonathan Khamis as they bring all the play-by-play action as it happens. All Titan home games are video streamed lived via BigWestTV at bigwest.org/tv. Track the progress of the game pitch-by-pitch with GameTracker. Links for GameTracker are conveniently placed on the schedule page for Titan baseball on the team's website.

TUESDAY'S STARTER: Right-handed freshman Michael Morrison (2-1) has strung together seven consecutive scoreless innings over his last three outings while surrendering just three hits and has also struck out eight over that same period. As a starter, Morrison is 1-1 getting a win and a loss against San Diego State on Feb. 20 and 27. Over his last six outings the hurler has seen his ERA drop nearly six points.

VERSUS THE TROJANS: Over the years Fullerton and USC have played each other fairly close as the Titans hold a slim 38-33-1 advantage all-time over the Trojans since 1976. Narrowing it even further, the Titans hold just a 13-12 advantage under the tutelage of George Horton (since 1997). The two teams have squared of seven times in the post season and once in the College World Series. USC has won four of the seven, but the Titans won the one that mattered most...the 1995 National Championship Game at Rosenblatt Stadium by a score of 11-5.

HISTORIC SERIES: The Titans lost their first home conference series since 2002 when they dropped two out of three Big West meetings last weekend at Goodwin Field. The last time it happened was back on Apr. 26-28, 2002 when then-No. 24 Cal State Northridge swept the Titans, 2-1, 8-6 and 12-3. The win was also the first series win by the Anteaters over the Titans since 1980.

A CRYIN' SHAME: After the Titans squandered a bases-loaded no-out opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, junior right-hander Wes Roemer came up on the losing end in Friday night's 2-1 loss to UC Irvine. After giving up a pair of runs in the first 1 1/3 innings on four hits, Roemer more than settled down and retired the remaining 23 Irvine hitters in a row tossing his second-consecutive and fourth-career complete game. And for the third time this year and sixth time in his career, Roemer struck out 10-or-more hitters, fanning 10 Anteaters.

MORE ON ROEMER: The 2006 Collegiate Baseball Co-National Player of the year, struggled early this season to fine the form he possessed over the past two seasons. In his last two starts, the Roemer of old have reared it head tossing two complete games and surrendering just five runs in 18 innings. Over that two-game span, Roemer has posted a 19:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has held his opponents (Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine) to just a .200 combined batting average.

HOME COOKING: Clark Hardman continues to devour visiting pitching when playing at Goodwin Field. The junior centerfielder is hitting .429 in front of the home crowd, tallyin seven doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs while driving in a team-leading 14 RBI (tie with John Curtis and Chris Jones).

AT GOODWIN: Fullerton is 10-6 in 2007 at home this season and 351-108 (.765) all-time at Goodwin Field. The Titans are drawing an average of 2,355 fans per game and 37,680 total fans over 16 games thus far. The team is hitting .284 at home while the pitchers have posted a 4.12 ERA in front of the home crowd.

THE RIGHT SIDE IS ON THE MEND: Jake Vasquez and Joel Weeks continue to recover from fractures that have kept the duo out of the starting lineup. Weeks fractured his right fibula on Mar. 21 while Vasquez fractured his wrist in three places two series ago at Cal State Northridge. Both had a recovery time of six to eight weeks.

IN THEIR PLACE: Corey Jones has posted a .216 (8-for-37) batting average in nine starts at second base with a double and seven RBI in place of the injured Joel Weeks. The freshman from Camarillo has yet to make an error in 30 chances at second base...Matt Wallach has posted the team's second-best average over the last six games in place of Jake Vasquez, hitting .318 (7-for-22) with 2 home runs and a team-leading eight RBI. In the six games Wallach has proved invaluable to the lineup and has been the team's most clutch hitter with a game-tying home run and game-winning hit in Northridge and a game winning hit and five RBI last weekend in the Titans' only win over UC Irvine.

TWO-OUT NIGHTMARES: Both John Curtis and Clark Hardman have been the Titans' Best hitters with two outs, each posting 15 of their total hits with just one out left in the inning. Curtis is 15-for 36 (.417) while Hardman is 15-for-40 (.375). The duo have each also driven in a team-leading nine RBI with two out.

PUTTIN' ON THE HITS: The Titans have collected double-digits in hits in nine of the last 12 games. In those games since Mar. 11 that Fullerton has reached the 10-hit mark, the Titans have gone 6-3.

FEATHER IN HIS KAP: Jeff Kaplan became the Titans' first five-game winner with a 7 1/3 inning performance last Friday night against UC Irvine. He recorded the only win on the weekend for Fullerton, holding the Anteaters to just two runs on five hits in the Titans first of two televised games in the regular season.

U-TRAIN DERAILED: Averaging over 5 1/3 innings per start in his first season in the Titan rotation, freshman Sean Urena had his shortest outing of the year last Sunday (Apr. 7), lasting just 1 1/3. He surrendered five runs (2 earned) on five hits, walking one while facing just 11 batters in his tenth start of the year. The right-hander was the eventual loser in the game that saw UC Irvine score eight times in the top of the second inning, a lead the Titans were unable to battle back to win.

LEADING (HARD)MAN: Clark Hardman continues to put up numbers that could result in his second All-American honor. Last weekend versus UC Irvine at Goodwin Field, the centerfielder hit a cool .462 (6-for-13) to lead the team in both hits and average smacking three doubles and scoring a team-leading five runs. The junior from Trabuco Canyon, Calif. is leading the team with a .353 overall average, and is second on the team with 25 RBI, just six off his career-high mark of 31, set in 2004.

STRUGGLING JOE: Since going 9-for-12 in the Titans season opening three-game series against Stanford, sophomore shortstop Joe Scott has really struggled at the plate hitting just .115 collecting just 10 additional hits over the last 28 games. The Corona-native is the only Titan regular hitting below .200 (.192).