Top-Ranked Titans Host UC Davis This Weekend

April 13, 2006

Fullerton, Calif. -

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LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
Win, 7-0 @ UC Irvine
Loss, 2-0 @ UC Irvine
Win, 8-4@ UC Irvine

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE:
Thur., Apr. 13 vs. UC Davis - 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field (WEB, GT)
Fri., Apr. 14 vs. UC Davis - 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field (WEB, GT)
Sat., Apr. 15 vs. UC Davis - 1 p.m. at Goodwin Field (WEB, GT)

(WEB - fullertontitans.com, GT - GameTracker) Times are Pacific.

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION:
Fri., Apr. 7: Wes Roemer, (6-0, 1.71 ERA) vs. ?Michael Potter (1-2, 2.88 ERA)
Sat., Apr. 8: Lauren Gagnier (7-2, 2.64 ERA) vs. ? Brent Nichols (0-1, 4.88 ERA)
Sun., Apr. 9: Dustin Miller (6-1, 3.40 ERA) vs. Bryan Evans (3-4, 3.50 ERA)

KICKED UP A NOTCH: The Titans became the Consensus No. 1 team in the country as Collegiate Baseball bumped the Titans to the top spot Monday Morning. Fullerton, on the coattails of a 2-1 week versus conferences foe UC Irvine, look to continue their winning ways against UC Davis at Goodwin Field Thurs. thru Sat. Last season the Titans swept a three-game series up north, 5-1, 12-7, and 5-2 in their first-ever meeting with the Aggies. Last weekend the Titans won their eighth season series in 10 opportunities with 8-4 victory over UC Irvine Sunday afternoon. The only two losses the Titans have accumulated this season to unranked teams have come to UC Irvine (Other Losses: 1 to Pepperdine, 2 to Rice, and 3 to Stanford).

AGAINST THE AGGIES: Fullerton swept the Aggies in the teams first-ever meeting last season. Ricky Romero, Wes Roemer and Scott Sarver each picked up a win and Vinnie Pestano two saves at the Titans defeated the Aggies (5-1, 12-7, and 5-2. The middle game of the three game set was played at Raley Field, a minor league stadium in Sacramento.

SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton has won 17 of its last 19 games and have won eight of the ten weekend series they have competed in, six of them coming via the 3-0 sweep. The Titans have dropped just two series, one to Stanford (0-3) and the other to Rice (1-2) with both losses coming with tie games going into the ninth inning.

LAST WEEK WRAP UP: It was feast or famine for the Titans' offense. On Friday night, the Titans rolled a five in the top of the first inning to stake Wes Roemer to a seemingly insurmountable lead. Brandon Tripp's 3-run home run was the crowning blow. Roemer allowed only 4 hits, hit one and walked none in 8 innings to improve to 7-0. Adam Jorgenson pitched a perfect ninth inning as a portent of things to come.

On Saturday night, the Titans never scored as a trio of UC Irvine pitchers combined on a 7-hitter and the Titans ran themselves into some outs on the basepaths. Lauren Gagnier allowed only two runs in 5.1 innings but they cost him his third loss against seven wins.

On Sunday, the UCI shutout effort lasted only two outs. Catcher Aaron Lowenstein's throwing error allowed two runs to score and Tripp again came through with a big extra-base hit, a two-run double, to cap a 4-run first. The Titans built the lead to 7-1 before Dustin Miller got in trouble in the third inning. Jorgenson was summoned after one out and he proceeded to retire 11 of the 12 batters he faced to earn his first victory of the year. John Estes (1 IP) and Vinnie Pestano (2 IP) preserved the lead.

TITANS, TITANS, TITANS: This weekend will mark the third-consecutive team Fullerton has played that is skippered by a former Titan. Rex Peters comes to town heading the Aggies in his fourth season at the helm. Peters follows last weekend's opponent Dave Serrano who heads up the Anteaters of UC Irvine. Serrano followed Steve Rousey of Cal State Northridge, who was in two two weekends ago.

BIG WES, PITCHER OF THE WEEK, PART II: Right-hander Wes Roemer earned his second-consecutive Big West Pitcher of the Week honor for his performance for the week ending April 9. Hailing from Glendora, Calif., Wes again stymied the opponent going eight scoreless innings against a scrappy UC Irvine offense, allowing just four hits while striking out five. The righty, for the ninth time in 10 starts did not allow a walk, improving his strikeout to walk ratio to 75:1. Roemer allowed just two base runners over his last 5 1/3, retiring 13 in a row during that same span. He upped his conference-leading record to 7-0 with the win, handing Fullerton its 25th win of the year and fourth win of conference play without a loss. Roemer lowered his overall ERA to a mere 1.53 after Friday night's effort. This was Roemer's third Pitcher of the Week honor this season, and fourth of his career.

NINE TIMES: Brandon Tripp has hit safely in his last nine contests hitting .414 (12-for29) over that span. The junior centerfielder has also led the team in home runs (2), RBI (10) and doubles (4) over that span.

"HURRICANE" RELIEF: Closer Vinnie Pestano has not given up a run since March 3 against Rice. In his 13 appearances since then, the junior side-armer has tossed 17 scoreless innings, surrendering just eight hits, while fanning 21, leading to a win, eight saves and a .140 batting average against him. Pestano is currently posting an ERA of 0.35 in 26 frames of work with 33 stikeouts. The run surrendered on Mar. 3 is the only run Pestano has allowed all season. Pestano currently leads the Big West in Appearances (21), Saves (11). Games Finished (20) and Games in Relief (21)

QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 19 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 26 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (9 QS), Lauren Gagnier (7 QS) and Dustin Miller (3 QS) are a combined 20-4 on the season with Roemer (1.53) and Gagnier's (2.57) ERAs both under 3.00. The three lead the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier and Roemer earning 7 with Miller just behind with 6

JORGENSON: In an impressive return to the mound, Adam Jorgenson saw live-action for the first time since March 7 vs. San Diego State. The sophomore made the most of his opportunities pitching 4 2/3 hitless innings over the weekend versus UC Irvine, as he had an inning of relief on Friday night, backing up Wes Roemer as the Titans shut out the Anteaters 7-0. Then threw in his longest outing of the season on Sunday as he pitched 3 2/3 in relief of Dustin Miller to pick up his first win of the year. The right-hander retired 14 of the 15 batters he faced on the weekedn, slipping only once, walking the second batter he faced on four straight pitches. Jorgenson struck out two and lowered his ERA to 1.54 in 11 2/3 innings this season. Jorgenson has not allowed a hit in his last three outings totaling 6 2/3 and has retired 20 of his last 21.

YOU'RE THE BEST AROUND: The Titans 2.54 ERA is the best in the nation as the NCAA posted cumulative stats for all the Div. I schools as of Apr. 9. This comes as no surprise as in 10 three-game series this season, Titan hurlers have allowed an average of just 8.6 TOTAL (not just earned) runs per series (with a low of 1 run vs. ECU to high of 16 runs by UCI in the non-conference series). Over last five series the average has dropped to 5.6 runs per series (with a low of 1 vs ECU to the high of 10 at Arizona.)

IN THE PEN: The Titans relief corp has been fabulous thus far this season in just over 100 innings of work. As a whole they have posted a 2.13 ERA while striking out 100 in 105 2/3 innings. All but three of the pitchers (Dustin Miller, 4.50, John Estes, 5.06, and Dave Pherrin, 10.80) who have worked out of the pen have an ERA of more than 3.00. Hitters are hitting just .216 against the pen an have scored just 25 earned runs (35 total) off of the Titan arms. Vinnie Pestano and Ryan Paul have combined for 40 innings of short relief work and have allowed just two earned runs (one each). The one-two punch have also struck out 58 and surrendered just two extra base hits.

RED ALERT: Having played in every one of the Titans' 28 games thus far, senior Justin Turner has broken his way into the all-time top 10 in games played at Cal State Fullerton. "Red" has taken the field 222 times in his four-year career, placing him all alone in the No. 6 spot all-time, passing another four-year second baseman Jason Corapci (216 games from 2000-03). If Red can stay healthy, he could reach as high as the No. 2 spot behind the NCAA record holder, former Titan John Fishel (295 games from 1982-85). Turner Has also broken the 500 assist mark as a Titan, a feat only two other Titans have accomplished. Turner has 84 on the season and 566 in his career. He sits behind only Shane Turner (636 from 1982-85) and record holder David Bacani (673 from 1998-2001). Turner is now No. 3 all-time with 864 career at-bats, and fourth all-time with 44 hit by pitches.

HOME SWEET HOME: Fullerton has posted a 16-2 home record hitting .317 in games played at Goodwin field. John Curtis continues to lead the team when sleeping in his own bed, hitting .413 (19-for-46) while driving in 11. Evan McArthur and Brandon Tripp lead the team in the power department hitting three and four home runs, respectively at home. Justin Turner leads the team by far, collecting 30 of his total 53 hits in the friendly confines. From the mound, Lauren Gagnier is a perfect 6-0 while closer Vinnie Pestano is 1-0 with seven saves when closing it out for the home fans.

NEXT STOP... SILVA: Reliever Vinnie Pestano has broken into the middle of the pack on the all-time career appearance list with 21 so far this year and 85 in his three-year career at Fullerton. He currently sits at No. 6, trailing current Volunteer Assistant Coach Ted Silva, who tallied 94 between 1993 and 1995. Pestano also Trails Silva in career saves by just two. Pestano currently sits in the No. 4 spot behind his coach with 25 career saves while Silva remains No. 3 for the Time being with 26. Vinnie is just two saves off his career-high 13-save season, set last year as a sophomore that again tied him with Silva for the third-best single-season save total behind Chad Cordero (14, 2001) and Scott Wright (22, set in 1984).

BIG-LEAGUE NEWS: Nine former Titans can be found on the Opening Day rosters of the 30 major league baseball teams. The only newcomer this year is outfielder Shane Costa, who made the 25-man roster of the Kansas City Royals. The Big West Conference player of the year in 2003 divided time last year between Class AA Wichita, Class AAA Omaha and Kansas City, where he batted .235 in 27 games. The other eight veterans are: outfielder Mark Kotsay and right-hander Kirk Saarloos in Oakland, utilityman Mike Lamb in Houston, outfielder Reed Johnson in Toronto, right-hander Matt Wise in Milwaukee, right--hander Chad Cordero in Washington, outfielder Aaron Rowand in Philadelphia and designated hitter Phil Nevin in Texas. The latter two began last season with the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres, respectively. Former Titan pitcher Mike Harkey is also the bullpen coach for the Florida Marlins.