Titans Open Series With Mustangs Tonight at Goodwin Field

April 20, 2012

PLAY BALL:Week No. 4 for of Big West play will pit Cal State Fullerton (24-12, 7-2) against Cal Poly (21-14, 5-4) this weekend at Goodwin Field. Game times are at 7 p.m., 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the standard Friday through Sunday weekend series. Fullerton is coming off a series win with cross-county rival UC Irvine, and a Tuesday come-from-behind victory over visiting Pepperdine.

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The Titans wasted Koby Gauna's strong pitching performance (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 K) on Tuesday versus Pepperdine as they let a three-run lead disappear in the top of the eight inning courtesy of a Joe Sever three-run home run that put the Waves in the driver's seat at 6-5. Following a 4-run seventh, the Titans added three more in the eighth to give Michael Lorenzen his first collegiate victory. The Titan bench was key, going 5-for-6 with 5 RBI and 6 runs scored after the sixth inning. Greg Velazquez tied it with an RBI-single and Anthony Trajano drove home the game winner with a double blooped inside the rightfield line in the bottom of the eighth.

Fullerton won its third Big West series and eighth in nine tries overall by winning the rubber match at UC Irvine last Sunday after a bizarre split of a rain-caused Saturday doubleheader. The week began with a 4-2 non-conference loss at UCLA where the Bruin pitching allowed only 4 hits.

The offensive funk continued in Saturday's opener as the Titans didn't get a hit off Andrew Thurman until Austin Kingsolver beat out a chopper over the mound to lead off the ninth. He eventually scored on a double play in a 4-1 loss.

The first two Titans up in the nightcap singled and that ignited a season-high 18-hit attack and a 13-2 win. A 7-run second inning provided plenty of support for freshman Kenny Mathews. Lorenzen, Clay Williamson and Matt Chapman each drove in 3 runs.

Sunday's game on ESPNU provided a worthy stage for the Titans' fourth home run of the year. Freshman J. D. Davis hit a long 2-run shot in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and the Titans went on to win, 5-3. The bullpen was perfect over the final 3.2 innings with Lorenzen logging his 12th save in 12 opportunities.

THIS WEEKEND IN TITAN BASEBALL
Fri., Apr. 12 vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 21 vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 22 vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday
CSF - RHP Dylan Floro (5-3, 2.32 ERA)
CP- RHP Joey Wagman (5-2, 2.40 ERA)
Saturday
CSF - LHP Kenny Mathews (4-0, 3.10 ERA)
CP - LHP Kyle Anderson (6-1, 2.08 ERA)
Sunday
CSF - RHP Grahamm Wiest (3-3, 3.24 ERA)
CP -RHP Kyle Brueggemann (4-3, 4.76 ERA)

FOLLOW THE GAMES: All three games this weekend 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's and Sunday's games by the subscription-based BigWest.TV. 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 MUSTANGS: The Titans and Mustangs have been going at it at the Div. I level since 1984. Over the years the Titans have compiled a 50-11 all-time record against them with a 30-3 mark coming in Fullerton, 27-3 a Goodwin Field. In Big West Action, Fullerton holds a 41-11 advantage since Cal Poly came into the league in 1997. The Titans are winners in 7 of the last 10 meetings and 11 of the last 12 at home between the two teams but it was the Mustangs that took the series (for just the second time in Div. I history) in 2011, with 7-2 and 4-2 wins in the first two games before a 9-3 loss on Sunday at Baggett Stadium. Nick Ramirez hit a pair of home runs in support of Tyler Pill (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R) in the Sunday victory. Both of the series losses to Cal Poly came in San Luis Obispo.

TITAN HITTING TIDBITS: &\#149;Fullerton has raised its tam batting average from .262 to .279 over the last three weeks and have had 10 or more hits - including a season-high 18 hits twice - in eight of the 14 games played over that span.

&\#149;The Titans are averaging 9.22 hits and 5.03 runs per game in 2012. The opponents are averaging 8.36 hits and 3.64 runs against them.

&\#149;As a team, the Titans are hitting nearly the same against both righties (.278) and lefties (.281). They will see two right-handers and a lefty this weekend against Cal Poly.

&\#149; Richy Pedroza has been the Titans' hottest hitter over both the last five and 10 games. Over the last five games, Pedroza has a tie for the team lead in average (.333) and hits (.6) but is by far the best hitter over the last 10. In the previous 10 contests, the switch-hitting infielder has gone 16-for-35 (.457) with nine runs scored and four RBI. He also has the Titans' best on-base percentage (.537) and slugging percentage (.457) primarily from the lead-off spot. Pedroza was hitting .247 on Mar. 24 and in 15 games has taken over as the team's batting average leader at .328

&\#149;The heart of the Titan line-up has had a less than stellar last couple of weeks. In the past 10 games the Titans' traditional three- and four-hole hitters Michael Lorenzen and Carlos Lopez have combined to go 14-for-78 (.179) with 11 RBI - nine off the bat of Lorenzen.

&\#149; Richy Pedroza (6-for-11, .545) and Greg Velazquez (4-for-9, .444) currently hold the Titans' longest hitting streaks at three games each.

&\#149; J.D Davis' second home run of the year on Sunday at UC Irvine was just the Titans' fourth home run of the season and the first since Anthony Hutting's pinch-hit blast against Washington State on Mar. 13 at Goodwin Field.

&\#149; Catcher Jared Deacon has only played in six games this season and has just 15 trips to the plate all season. Despite his lack of playing time, he currently has the Titans' longest streak of reaching base safely at five games. He got his first hit of the year on Apr. 7 against UC Davis and has hits in three of his last four games. He had a clutch, 2-run, pinch-hit single on Tuesday night against Pepperdine to give the Titans' a brief 2-run lead in the seventh inning.

&\#149; Rick Vanderhook used his bench when he felt he wasn't getting the production he was looking for in the seventh inning from the starters of Tuesday' ballgame against Pepperdine. Hook used four pinch-hitters and a pinch runner in the seventh inning alone and the bench finished 5-for-6 with 5 RBI and scored 6 of the 8 runs in the Titans' last two at bats.

TITAN PITCHING TIDBITS: &\#149; Koby Gauna pitched a valiant 7.0 innings on Tuesday against Pepperdine and was in line for the win when he handed the ball off to the bullpen which almost immediately let Gauna's handiwork slip away. Gauna scattered five hits and struck out 4 without a walk. The seven-inning effort was a season-high performance for the rookie from Torrance. He has now made four consecutive mid-week starts without a weekend relief appearance.

&\#149; Dylan Floro has worked six innings or more in eight of his nine starts and has worked at least eight innings in six. Floro was the tough-luck loser of last Saturday's near no-hitter at UC Irvine. The loss snapped a streak of four consecutive victories for the junior from Merced. It was his first loss since Mar. 9 at Texas A&M. The Titans has outscored the opponents by just four runs (42-38) in games in which Floro has pitched.

&\#149;Kenny Mathews earned his first win last Sunday (at UC Irvine) after back-to-back no-decisions in his two previous starts. The lefty allowed just two runs over seven innings while striking out seven without a walk against the Anteaters as the Titans went on to clinch their eighth consecutive weekend series.

&\#149;Dave Birosak had a big strikeout on Tuesday of the only hitter he face on the night. He came in to face a lefty, but the Waves changed their mind and sent up a righty and Birosak delivered anyway. He now has three strikeouts over his last 6 BF as a spot guy in match-up situations.

&\#149; Grahamm Wiest won his second straight game last Saturday with the help of an offensive outburst in the 4:30 game of the doubleheader at Irvine. Wiest worked 5.1 innings and allowed only three hits, but walked two and plunked three to aid in three runs (2 earned) to come across. He had only hit three batters in 36.1 previous innings.

&\#149; Since returning home from the Texas A&M series (20 games), the Titans pitchers have lowered their overall team ERA by more than half a run (from 3.55 to 2.92).

&\#149; Michael Lorenzen came in to pitch for the first time this season with his team trailing, looking to stop the bleeding and give the team a chance to comeback and score some runs. It was just the second time he wasn't pitching in a save situation. Lorenzen pitched the final 1.1 innings in relief and earned his first career victory as the Titans scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to forge and stay ahead.

&\#149; Fullerton's 3.31:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio coming into the week ranks fourth in the country. Its 2.84 ERA coming into the week ranks it 14th in the nation.

GENERAL TITAN TIDBITS:

&\#149; Fullerton has eight of its former players on 2012 MLB rosters - Ricky Romero (TOR), Kurt Suzuki (OAK), Vinnie Pestano (CLE), Justin Turner (NYM), Reed Johnson (CHC), Brett Pill (SFG) Mark Kotsay (SD) and Erik Komatsu (STL). Komatsu made his major league debut with the Cardinals in game No. 2 and became the Titans' 52nd big leaguer. Komatsu, Pill and Turner made their first Opening Day rosters with their respective teams.

&\#149; Despite a couple of hits from San Diego's Mark Kotsay, Jamie Moyer, 49, became the older player to ever record a win. Over the years, Kotsay has been a thorn in Moyer's side. Kotsay, who in his first game of the year after being taken off the DL, logged two of his 21 career hits off the lefty, but it wasn't enough to like the Padres. They lost, 5-3. Kotsay is 21-for-36 (.583) in his 16-year MLB career.