Four-Game Homestand Begins Friday

April 10, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

THIS WEEK
Tuesday, Apr. 8 at USC (Dedeaux Field), Lost, 5-4 (11)
Friday, Apr. 11 vs. CS Northridge (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m., [GT, WEB, BWTV]
Saturday, Apr. 12 vs. CS Northridge (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m., [GT, WEB, BWTV]
Sunday, Apr. 13 vs. CS Northridge (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m., [GT, WEB, BWTV]

GT = Follow the game via Gametracker
WEB = Listen for free on fullertontitans.com
BWTV - Video on BigWest.tv

FRIDAY PITCHING MATCHUP
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan (4-1, 5.76 ERA)
CSUN: RHP, Ryan Juarez (1-1, 6.94 ERA)

SATURDAY PITCHING MATCHUP
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (3-1, 3.05 ERA)
CSUN: RHP, Phil Hann (1-3, 3.40 ERA)

SUNDAY PITCHING MATCHUP
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso (5-2, 3.94 ERA)
CSUN: RHP, Drew Muren (1-2, 4.70 ERA)

FOLLOW THE TITANS: Every Titan baseball game can be heard live on fullertontitans.com. Just click the "listen here" icon on the right of the home page and enjoy every pitch as it happens. And for your viewing pleasure, the Big West Conference will be again providing subscription-based video streams of every Titan home game and Big West Conference game at BigWest.TV. And where technology permits, you can follow the Titan games via CSTV's GameTracker. Just follow the links from the schedule page to find the GameTracker interface.

TITANS ON TV: CSTV announced that Cal State Fullerton will play in one of three Big West Conference baseball games to be televised by the college sports network on May 9. The Titans will be hosting rival Cal Poly with a new game time of 5 p.m. to accommodate CSTV's program scheduling. CSTV will also be televisin g UC Irvine at Long Beach State on Apr. 13 (2:30 p.m.) and UC Riverside at UC Irvine on Apr. 20 (1 p.m.). Check with your cable provider for channel listings.

BATTER UP! The Titans (18-11, 4-2) completed their longest road "trip" (five games) of the season Tuesday night at USC with an extra-inning loss at Dedeaux Field and now return home to host Cal State Northridge (13-14, 3-3) in a Big West Conference 3-game series at Goodwin Field.

RECENTLY: Fullerton is 3-2 in their last five games that includes a key series win over then-No. 5 UC Irvine. The Titans also split their last two midweek games, posting a win at LMU while taking the loss at USC on Tuesday.

At USC, Ryan Ackland allowed his first run of the season after 13 scoreless innings to absorb the loss as Reserve catcher Sebastian Salinas' third hit of the game scored Anthony Vasquez from third base with one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

Fullerton had forced extra innings with a run in the ninth as Erik Komatsu was hit in the foot with the bases loaded to force home pinch-runner Shevis Shima. It was Fullerton's fourth extra-inning game in the last eight and the Titans have lost the last three.

At LMU, Michael Morrison pitched no-hit ball over a career-high 6 innings before allowing a leadoff hit in the seventh and coming out of what became an 8-2 victory.

Khris Davis led an extra-base barrage with a home run and RBI double.

At UCI on Friday night, the Titans jumped on Anteater ace Scott Gorgen early and came away with a 12-5 win. Josh Fellhauer and Erik Komatsu combined for 7 hits, 6 runs and 5 RBI including towering home runs. Corey Jones' 3-run triple broke the game open in the seventh inning and greased the win for Jeff Kaplan, who shut out UCI over the first five innings.

On Saturday night the Anteaters pulled out a 3-2 win in 12 innings. Fullerton left several runners at third base before pushing across a run in the ninth to tie the game at 1-1. Corey Jones' RBI single in the top of the 12th gave Adam Jorgenson a 2-1 lead but UCI tallied two in the bottom half on three singles around a sacrifice and a stolen base.

On Sunday, UCI was in command of the critical rubber game of the series behind crafty lefthander Daniel Bibona. He allowed only two base runners through five innings and UCI manufactured four runs against CSF starter Cory Arbiso. But Arbiso got out of a bases-loaded situation in the fifth and pitched a perfect sixth and seventh inning to give his team a chance to come back.

Christian Colon, the Big West player of the week, singled home Fellhauer for a run in the sixth and the Titans got four consecutive two-out hits - from Dustin Garneau, Gary Brown, Fellhauer and Colon - for a 4-run seventh inning to take the lead. Garneau laid down a successful safety squeeze bunt in the eighth for a 6-4 advantage that stood up as Travis Kelly retired all six men he faced for his first collegiate save.

VERSUS CSUN: The Titans hold a 39-14 all-time advantage over the Matadors and are currently riding a 15-game winning streak against the squad from The Valley. The last time Northridge defeated Fullerton was Apr. 11, 2003 at Matador Field. The last series win for CSUN was back in 2002 when they were ranked No. 23 in the nation (Apr. 26-28, 2002). That was also the last time the Matadors beat the Titans at Goodwin Field.

Last year, Fullerton swept Nothridge (4-3, 9-4, 7-6), but needed "new" first baseman Matt Wallach to provide late inning heroics on Friday (RBI single) and Sunday (home run). Wallach was forced into action after Jake Vasquez broke his wrist in three places when a runner collided with him as he was reaching for a ball up the line. The injury ended the senior's career. Corey Jones was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate on Saturday and Jeff Kaplan went 7.2 innings of five-strikeout ball for his fourth win of 2007.

COLON NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman shortstop Christian Colon (Corona, Calif., Canyon High School) was named the Easton Big West Player of the Week by the Irvine-based conference office Monday morning for the Week ending Apr. 6.

Colon helped the Titans to a 3-1 week on the road that included a series win against then-No. 5 UC Irvine in a key Big West Conference series at Anteater Ballpark and a win at Loyola Marymount.

Typically known for his glove-work, Colon, hit in all four games posting a team-leading .438 average (with a team-leading seven hits) with two doubles a triple and five RBI. He also posted the team-best .688 slugging percentage, while drawing two walks, laying down two sac bunts and getting hit by a pitch.

Colon had a game-high three hits including the go-ahead single in the decisive 6-4 Titan victory on Sunday (Apr. 6) in Irvine. His infield hit capped a four-run seventh inning for Fullerton and paved the way for the series win.

In the extra inning loss on Saturday night (Apr. 5), Colon collected two of the Titans nine hits on the evening, and singled and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning to give Fullerton a brief one-run lead.

Colon singled, drove home and scored a run in the 12-5 victory over UC Irvine and All-American Scott Gorgen on Friday night. He helped the Titans score more runs against the Anteaters than any of their 2008 opponent.

On Tuesday at LMU, Colon's ninth inning, two-run triple, added a pair of insurance runs in the Titans 8-2 win in Los Angeles.

This is Colon's first player of the week nod, the fifth of the season for Fullerton and fourth in the last three weeks for the Titans.

HITTING STREAKS: Erik Komatsu is currently enjoying the longest hitting streak by a Titan in 2008. His current 13-gamer has seen him post a .429 batting average with a team-leading 24 hits (56 ABs), including four doubles, two triples, two round-trippers and eight RBI. The outfielder has also stolen four bases, drawn six walks and has been hit five times over that span, good for a team-leading .522 OB%.

Joel Weeks has the next-longest string going at four games. Corey Jones (seven-game) and Christian Colon (six-game) each had their hitting streaks snapped Tuesday night (Apr. 8) at USC.

AT HOME: The Titans are 10-2 at home and are hitting.321 as a team. Erik Komatsu (.465) and Josh Fellhauer (.423) continue to chew up opposing pitchers at Goodwin Field as both have two home runs in front of the home fans. Komatsu has driven in 11 runs while Jared Clark is leading the RBI category with 14 at home. On the hill, Cory Arbiso is a perfect 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA while Daniel Renken and Jeff Kaplan have both contributed a pair of wins each. Ryan Ackland and Brian Wilson have yet to surrender a run in front of the home crowd while Jason Dovel and Adam Jorgenson have combined for 46 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

BADGE OF HONOR: Fullerton batters were hit by a pitch four more times last week and once on Tuesday night at USC to bring their Big West Conference-leading total to 62. The Titans rank fourth in the nation in hit by pitches, trailing South Florida by 14 for the nation's top spot. Christian Colon and Khris Davis are leading the bruised Titans with eight HBPs apiece with Erik Komatsu and Dustin Garneau right behind with seven each.

COOL RUNNINGS: Fullerton has stolen 13 of 17 bases in the last four games and have regained the No. 1 spot among the nine Big West Conference teams. Fullerton ranks sixth in the county in stolen bases per game (coming into the week with 2.39 per game) while ranking eighth in the nation with 70 total bags on the year. 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 135 bags in the 56-game regular season. Leading the way is Josh Fellhauer who swiped four bags last week, totaling 12 for him on the year, good for fifth place in league.

OVERTIME: The Titans had played three extra-inning games over a span eight games just twice in the recorded history of the baseball program. On Tuesday (Apr. 8), the Titans and Trojans locked horns, marking the fourth time in eight games the Titans had gone into extra frames. The Titans are 1-3 in extras this year with the only win coming on Mar. 28 when they tied the longest game in Titan history with a 16-inning victory over UC Riverside. Dating back to 2006, Fullerton has posted just that one win it its last eight extra inning affairs.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Junior outfielder Erik Komatsu owns the opponent pitching in the opening game of three-game series. The left-handed hitting Komatsu hasp posted a .548 batting average (17-for-31 including two doubles, three triples and two home runs. To go along with that, Komatsu has driven in 12 runs and has a slugging percentage of 1.000. The Camarillo native has also reached base via two walks and three HBPs and also has a sac-fly to his credit over the seven weekend openers thus far.

TROJANS SNAP SCORELESS STREAKS: Sophomore reliever Ryan Ackland allowed his first run of the season on Tuesday night at USC and absorbed the 5-4 extra-inning loss. The side-winder held his opponents scoreless for his first 13 innings of the season over 15 appearances. His ERA is still 0.69. He has picked up his first two saves on Mar. 20 and Mar. 25.

Tuesday night's starter Michael Morrison surrendered a run in the first inning of Tuesday's loss in Los Angeles as well, snapping a 12.1 inning span in which he had not allowed a runner across. Over the span, the right-handed sophomore struck out 10 and walked six (two intentionally) surrendering just three hits.

MORE ON MORRISON: Michael Morrison tossed six innings of one-hit ball in Cal State Fullerton's 8-2 victory over LMU last Tuesday (Apr. 1). The right-hander, who was scheduled to throw just a few innings on the "staff day," extended his outing by holding the Lions hitless for six-plus innings. Morrison, came out for the seventh inning with the no-no still in tact, but was greeted by LMU,s Ryan Wheeler, who broke the no-hitter with a leadoff double. The right-hander finished the day allowing just one hit while striking out three in picking up his first victory of the year. Morrison finished the week (2 APP from Apr. 1-6) with a 1-0 record and 7.1 (including 1.1 innings of one-hit relief at UC Irvine) innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts, all the while holding the opponents to a .087 batting average against him.

BIG GAME PITCHER: Senior Jeff Kaplan has been at his best and has come through for the Titans in three starts against Top 5 teams in the nation. The right-hander has gone 2-0 in three starts against No. 3 UCLA, No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine posting a 2.70 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. He picked up wins against the Bruins and Anteaters and held the top-ranked Wildcats to two runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings in the no-decision.

"KOMO" ARIGATO MR. ROBOTO: A hitting machine over the last 13 games, outfielder Erik Komastu has hit safely in all 13 games, the longest streak by any Titan in 2008. Over the streak, Komatsu has posted a team-high .429 average, nearly 100 points higher than the next best Titan, Josh Fellhauer. Eight of his 24 hits have gone for extra bases (4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR) and he has reached base 11 times via the walk or HBP.

DAYTIME FRIEND: Sunday's daylight has treated Cory Arbiso (5-2) well since being moved to the Sunday slot in the Titans rotation back on Mar. 8. The right-hander from La Mirada has recorded five straight wins and has averaged 7-plus innings in each of his starts. The junior posted his first complete game on Mar. 30 where he fanned a career high 10 hitters as he seven-hit UC Riverside. He has also posted wins over No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine in that slot in the rotation. Arbiso started the season as the Saturday night pitcher, but was moved to Sunday when Daniel Renken broke into rotation. Arbiso ranks seventh in nation, issuing just 0.79 walks per nine innings.