Titans Begin Road Trip at UCLA Tuesday
April 9, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Fullerton has No. 17 UCLA on Tuesday and south-county rival UC Irvine on their weekly agenda after coming off a 4-0 stretch against San Diego State and UC Davis last week that bumped them up to No. 12 in Baseball America's Top 25.
Fullerton posted consecutive 5-4 come-from behind wins on Thursday and Friday to win their seventh straight series and then finished up the sweep of the Aggies with a dominant 11-0 performance on Saturday. The 3-0 Big West weekend propelled the Titans into first place, a game ahead of second place UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and Long Beach and two games ahead of Irvine.
Clay Williamson's two-run, pinch hit single in the bottom of the eighth erased Davis' two runs in the top of the frame and handed the 5-4 lead over to Michael Lorenzen who locked down his 11th save of the year. Dylan Floro went the first eight innings and picked up his fifth win. Lorenzen also kept the game close from the outfield. His bullet throw to the plate in the top of the eighth on a possible run-scoring fly ball cut down Evan Heptig trying to score and kept the Davis lead at 4-2 heading into the Titans' half of the eighth.
On Saturday another pinch hit, this time off the bat of Anthony Hutting, won it for the Titans in walk-off fashion with Davis' defenders drawn in to cut off the run at the plate. The Titans scored three times on four hits in the ninth off starter Anthony Kupbens, who had pitched like Cy Young for most of the game.
Kupbens had held the Titans to just two hits over seven innings, but a 12-pitch at bat from Richy Pedroza in the eighth inning not only took the lefty from the low 80s to the mid 90s in his pitch count, but resulted in an RBI-single that made it 4-2 going into the ninth.
Willie Kuhl picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief.
A balanced offensive attack led the Titans to thier third shutout of the season and their second sweep of an opponent on Saturday. Big West Player of the Week Richy Pedroza, Lorenzen and Hutting all had two hits with Lorenzen, Hutting, Matt Chapman and Austin Kingsolver each driving in two runs. Grahamm Wiest won with a six-inning, four-hit effort.
The Titans started the week with a 7-1 win over the error-prone Aztecs at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Aztecs committed five miscues that led to four unearned runs. Pedroza had three hits and a couple of RBI in support of winner Koby Gauna who tossed five, two-hit innings and allowed just one unearned run.
THIS WEEK IN TITAN BASEBALL
Apr. 10 at UCLA (Jackie Robinson Stadium), 6 p.m.
CSF - Koby Gauna (3-2, 2.78 ERA)
UCLA - LHP Grant Watson (6-1, 5.36 ERA)
Apr. 13 at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 14 at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 1 p.m.
Apr. 15 at UC Irvine (Anteater Ballpark), 2 p.m. (on ESPNU)
FOLLOW THE GAMES: All four games this week will have free audio broadcasts provided live as the action unfolds at fullertontitans.com. To hear the games presented with our audio partner Stretch Internet, go to our website and click the headphones in the upper right hand corner of your browser - that applies from both your computer or your iPhone and Android smart phones. There will also be video streams of Friday and Saturday's games by the subscription-based BigWest.TV, with Sunday's game being televised nationally by ESPNU. There will also be GameTracker coverage for each games. Just click the GT mark in the rotating scoreboard on the home page of fullertontitans.com, or find the link on the baseball schedule page, and track most all of college baseball in just a few clicks of the mouse.
VERSUS THE BRUINS: Cal State Fullerton is 61-26-2 all-time against UCLA 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 13 of its last 16,18 of its last 22, 25 of its last 31 and 40 of its last 49, but UCLA won two big ones in 2010 with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Fullerton won the first game of the 2010 Super Regional 4-3, but lost the final two games, 7-11 (10) and 1-8. With John Savage at the helm of the Bruins, the Titans are 20-5 against the Bruins, including 5-3 in postseason play. Over the years, the Titans and Bruins have met up 11 times in the postseason, with Fullerton holding a 7-4 advantage. The Titans are 4-2 in Regional Play (2-1 in 1979 and 2-1 in 2008) and 3-2 in the Super Regionals (2-0 in 2007 and 1-2 in 2010). The Titans are 26-14-1 when playing at UCLA, and 33-11-1 at home. Last year, Tyler Pill and Carlos Lopez each drove in a pair of runs and Raymond Hernandez pitched three scoreless innings for the save in the Titans' 5-3 win in the teams' first meeting since the 2010 NCAA Super Regional. The game at Jackie Robinson in May was cancelled not because of a swarm of bees that set up camp behind home plate, but because of an electrical problem that blew out a number of banks of lights just before game time.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Michael Lorenzen's 11 saves ties him for eighth all-time in the Titans' single-season record book with Nick Ramirez (2010), Adam Jorgenson (2008) and Mark Kotsay (1995). Next on the list are Chad Cordero (12 in 2002), Ted Silva (13 in 1994) and Vinnie Pestano (13 in both 2005 and 2006). The all-time single season leader is Scott Wright, who locked down 22 saves in 1984.
LEADING THE NATION: In the latest NCAA statistical report the Titan pitchers are leading the nation in fewest walks per 9 IP, issuing just 1.92 free passes per game. They are led by junior Dylan Floro (0.75 bb/9inn) freshman RHP Koby Gauna (1.26 bb/9inn), who rank 16th and 49th in the nation, respectively.
TITAN HITTING TIDBITS:
&\#149; Over the last two weeks, the Titans have raised their team batting average from .262 to .281. In this nine games, the team has hit .322 and has averaged 5.9 runs and 11 hits a game.
&\#149; The Titans are averaging 9.26 hits and 4.90 runs per game in 2012. The opponents are averaging 8.52 hits and 3.61 runs against them.
&\#149; The Titans are doing a good job of setting the table each inning. Leadoff hitters of each inning are getting on base 37.3 percent of the time (100 have reached in 268 opportunities)... Over the last four games they have done a much better job of scoring them, upping their average with runners in scoring position from .252 to .278.
&\#149; There is some room for improvement with the team's two-out hitting. The quad is batting just .260 with two down. Mr. Clutch so far has been Richy Pedroza who leads the team (by seven RBI) with 12, two-out RBI and a .344 average (11-for-32).
&\#149; Reserve infielder, junior Matt Orloff, has hit in each of his last four games, going 4-for-12 (.333) with an RBI and three runs scored in three starts.
&\#149; Catcher Jared Deacon got his first hit since May 29, 2011 at Cal State Northridge. The sophomore catcher has appeared in just three games this season and has had 8 plate appearances.
TITAN PITCHING TIDBITS:
&\#149; Michael Lorenzen is currently third in the nation with 11 saves behind San Diego's Michael Wagner who has closed out 14 ball games thus far.
&\#149; Since returning home from the Texas A&M series (16 games), the Titans pitchers have lower their overall team ERA by more than half a run (from 3.55 to 2.96).
&\#149; Christian Coronado made his first appearance on Saturday against UC Davis in nearly a month. He left the Mar. 9 game at Texas A&M with some shoulder discomfort and has been recuperating since. Coronado pitched 2.0 innings on Saturday against the Aggies and has not allowed an earned run in his last 6.1 innings of relief.
&\#149; Starter Dylan Floro has worked 8-plus innings in six of his eight starts and has hurled four consecutive quality starts that have resulted in four consecutive wins. The right-hander from Merced, Calif., has five 8-inning efforts and one complete-game under his belt and has seen his ERA dip to 2.25, good for 7th in the Big West.
&\#149; Right-hander Koby Gauna has allowed just 1 earned run over his last three appearances totaling 10.2 innings. In that span he has a win at San Diego State, and was the unlucky loser of a 1-0 loss at ranked Arizona State.