Key Big West Baseball Series With UC Davis

April 25, 2008

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday Night, 7 p.m., Goodwin Field
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan, 6-1, 4.79 ERA
UCD: RHP, Eddie Gamboa, 6-1, 2.22 ERA

Saturday Night, 6 p.m., Goodwin Field
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken, 4-2, 2.87 ERA
UCD: RHP, Brad McAtee, 5-3, 3.60 ERA

Sunday Afternoon, 1 p.m., Goodwin Field
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso, 7-2, 4.97 ERA
UCD: TBA

Complete Release in PDF Format

BATTER UP: Cal State Fullerton (24-14, 9-3) is coming off a midweek series split with No. 6 Arizona State in which the Titans won the Tuesday night game 10-9, and the Sun Devils outlasted the Titans on Wednesday scoring twice in the top of the 10th for a 10-8 win. This weekend, the Titans host the second place UC Davis Aggies (25-13, 6-3). The Aggies are off to a great start in their first season of Big West Conference play, holding down first place until this past weekend's series loss to Cal Poly.

MIDWEEK RESULTS: On Tuesday night it was the freshmen Gary Brown and Christian Colon coming through in the clutch in the bottom of the ninth as Fullerton managed to upset No. 6 Arizona State 10-9 in the two teams' first meeting since the 2005 Super Regional at Goodwin Field.

Brown's one-out triple in the Titans' last frame set up Colon's second consecutive game-winning hit, a single to left off losing pitcher Ike Davis. Adam Jorgenson pitched the final 2.1 innings to earn the win.

ASU threw its Saturday night starter Josh Satow, while Fullerton tossed four arms at the Sun Devils. Starter Travis Kelly was roughed up a bit as the Sun Devils rolled a five in the first inning, but Fullerton clawed its way back, scoring 10 times on 12 hits on the evening.

On Wednesday the Titans and Devils duked it out again, forcing extra innings with an 8-8 tie. Raoul Torrez' 10th inning two-run single broke the tie and lifter the Sun Devils to the 10-8 win, and a split of the series.

Reyes Dorado and Tommy Rafferty did not allow a Titan hit over the last six innings of the game, facing just three batters over the minimum (all three walks), as Rafferty picked up his seventh win of the year in relief.

Despite seeing few innings on the mound this year, both Kevin Rath and Brian Wilson pitched well and gave the Titans a chance to win. Rath, in his first career start, went 4.1 innings and gave up seven runs (four earned) on nine hits. The southpaw also struck out five without a walk. Wilson went 5.1 and finished by giving up three runs on four hits while striking out six.

Josh Fellhauer, Colon, Erik Komatsu and Jared Clark each had two hits for Fullerton in the loss. Fellhauer and Clark each contributed a pair of RBI. ASU's Kiel Roling led all players with a 4-for-5 night and three RBI.

LAST WEEK: The Titans moved into first place with a series sweep at Pacific over the weekend. It made up for a 14-4 non-conference loss at home to USC on Tuesday night.

In Stockton, the heroes were numerous. On Friday night, Nos. 8 and 9 hitters Dustin Garneau (2B, HR) and Gary Brown (2 2Bs, HR) accounted for five extra-base hits as the Titans scored in every inning but the eighth on the way to an easy win. Jeff Kaplan went 7.2 innings for his sixth victory.

On Saturday, Joel Weeks was 3-for-3 with three RBI. His two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning gave winner Daniel Renken (4-2) a 4-1 lead. The Titans broke the game open with a 7-run eighth.

On Sunday, Christian Colon used his glove and bat for late-inning heroics. He made an outstanding stop in the hole to thwart a Tigers' rally in the bottom of the seventh and then hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. Cory Arbiso won his seventh game in a row with Adam Jorgenson pitching the ninth for his fourth save.

VERSUS UC DAVIS: The Titans are 8-1 against the Aggies dating back to the teams' first meeting in 2005. Fullerton is 6-0 in Davis, Calif., while UC Davis is 2-1 at Goodwin Field. Fullerton has currently won five games in a row against Davis. The two teams have never met in the postseason and this is the first time the Titans and Aggies will be meeting in Big West play.

TAG... YOU'RE IT: The Titans received a respite of sorts as after a very brief workout Thursday afternoon, as the coaching staff took the team to Camelot for some laser tag and mini-golf. Camelot, a miniature golf, go-carts, arcade, pizza-type place in Anaheim, was the setting for the Titans as they attempted to break up the monotony of the season and week with some un-traditional team bonding. Fullerton is currently amidst a stretch of the season that is seeing them play nine games in a 12-day span. See Jon Wilhite's blog for more on the day's "practice."

COMING HOME: UC Davis' sixth year head coach Rex Peters returns to Fullerton for the second time in his head coaching career. Fullerton is where Peters played two seasons for the Titans an earned his bachelor's degree in physical education. Peters was a .336 career hitter with seven home runs and 77 RBI from 1988-89, earning an All-American honorable mention and helping the `88 Titans to a third place finish at the College World Series.

OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR AT GOODWIN FIELD: In the last four home games (versus Cal State Northridge, USC and Arizona State), the Cal State Fullerton pitching staff has surrendered 48 runs (12 runs per game) and 68 hits (17 hits per game) en route to a 2-2 record. The Titan offense, however, has not been anything to laugh at either... posting 39 runs (9.75 a game) on 44 hits (11 per game).

HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans are hitting .322 as a team and are pitching with a 4.37 team ERA when playing at home so far this season. Leading the way offensively is Erik Komatsu with a .507 average and a team-leading 34 hits, eight doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs. Jared Clark has amassed 22 RBI in front of the home fans and has also hit two of his homers at Goodwin Field. From the mound, Adam Joergenson (2.04) and Ryan Ackland (1.69) have managed to keep their ERAs under 2.50, while Cory Arbiso is a perfect 4-0 in front of the home fans. Jorgenson has set down 30 opposing hitters via the strikeout at home while issuing just four walks and holding the opposing batters to just a .200 batting average.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Head Coach Dave Serrano is currently 24-14 after 38 games of his first season as skipper. In each or their first years (and first year back in Garrido's case), Serrano's predecessors were:

Coach, First Year, After 38 games, Next Four Games
Augie Garrido, 1973, 16-21-1, Went 1-3 in next four games (L, L, W, L,)
Larry Cochell, 1988, 28-10, Went 3-1 in next four games (W, W, L, W)
Augie Garrido, 1991, 21-17, Went 3-1 in next four games (W, W, L, W)
George Horton, 1997, 22-15-1, Went 1-3 in next four games (L, L, L, W)

OVERTIME: The Titans had played three extra-inning games over a span of 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 1-4 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 nine extra inning affairs.

BROWN MAKING STRIDES: Freshman Gary Brown struggled offensively for the first 23 games of the year, hitting just .197 (.12-for-61) in 21 games (16 starts) in the outfield and at second base. Early on, Brown's speed (seven stolen bases) and extra ability defensively seemed to keep him in the lineup. Over the past 15 games, however, Brown has stepped his offense up, hitting .353 (18-for-51) in 15 starts, tallying three doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI over that span. He has posted seven multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games during that window as well.

EXTRA, EXTRA: Nearly half of the Titans 34 hits last weekend at Pacific went for extra bases. The Titans posted 12 doubles, a triple and three home runs with Freshman Gary Brown leading the way with a pair of doubles and a round-tripper.

THE LAST 10 GAMES: Who has been the most productive Titan over the last 10 games? In RBI totals, its Corey Jones (12) and Jared Clark (11), the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters have been driving in the most runs. In hits ... its Erik Komatsu (.400) and Christian Colon (.381). The duo has picked up 32 knocks (16 each) in the last 10 games to lead the team. In extra base hits...it's Gary Brown. The freshman has had two doubles, two triple and a two home runs. Joe Scott, 4-for-7 (.571) with two doubles and an RBI and Brian Wilson, 4-for-10 (.400) with a double, a triple and three RBI have led the team with limited playing time as of late. From the mound, Jeff Kaplan and Cory Arbiso have both picked up a pair of wins while Kaplan has struck out 20 while only surrendering three walks also maintaining a 2.16 ERA to lead the team.

BADGE OF HONOR: Fullerton batters were hit by a pitch nine more times last week in games against USC and Pacific and tacked on 3 more vs. Arizona State this week to extend their Big West Conference-leading total to 81. The Titans entered the week ranked 2nd in the nation in hit by pitches (78) trailing South Florida by nine doses for the nation's top spot. Khris Davis and Dustin Garneau are leading the bruised (most in the Big West) with nine HBPs, while Erik Komatsu, Corey Jones, Jared Clark and Christian Colon all have eight.

RUNNING CLUB: Fullerton stole just one base last week and two against ASU this week, yet remains atop the Big West Conference with 79 total steals. Coming into the week, Fullerton base runners ranked 13th in the nation in stolen bases per game (2.14) and 15th in total stolen bases (77). Fordham leads the country with 120. 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 116 bags in the 56-game regular season. Leading the way are Josh Fellhauer and Erik Komatsu who each have stolen 12, while Gary Brown is also right there having swiped 10 bags. Fellhauer and Komatsu rank 7th in the Big West Conference.

FOUR SCORE: Titans have scored four or more run in an inning 18 times over their 38 games. They have scored four runs four times, five runs 10 times, and seven runs four times (Mar. 9 vs. Southern Miss, bottom of 7; Mar. 30 vs. UC Riverside, bottom of the third, Apr. 13 vs. Northridge, bottom of the third, and most recently Apr. 19, vs. Pacific, top of 8) in an inning three times. Conversely, opponents have scored four or more runs in an inning 10 times, with a nine-run first by Pepperdine (Mar. 18) being the biggest inning by an opponent.

IN THE SHOW: Forty-five Titans have made their way to the big leagues by way of Cal State Fullerton in the 33-year history at the Division I level. Currently, seven Titans find themselves on major league rosters with Kirk Saarloos and Wes Littleton being sent to the minors this week. Six of the nine players that have reached the majors this year have donned new uniforms this year with mid-season acquisitions and trades. Mark Kotsay (now with Atlanta, from Oakland) is in his 12th year in the majors with his fourth team; Mike Lamb (now with Minnesota from Houston) is in his ninth year with his third team; Reed Johnson (now with Chicago Cubs from Toronto) is with his second team in this his sixth year in the majors; Aaron Rowand (now with San Francisco from Philadelphia) is starting his eighth season in the majors with his third team; Kurt Suzuki (Oakland) is starting his first full season on the A's roster after making his debut last year on June 12; Closer Chad Cordero (Washington) got to see the long awaited opening of the new National's baseball-only stadium in his sixth year with the Nationals/Expos; Wes Littleton (Texas) was called up by the Rangers, and has an appearance in the show for the third straight year; Kirk Saarloos (now with Oakland, from Cincinnati), is making his second tour of duty with the A's after also spending time with Houston and Cincinnati. This is Captain Kirk's seventh year he has played in a major league game; Matt Wise (now with New York Mets, from Milwaukee) is starting his eighth season in the majors, and his first in the National League after spending his career on the other side with then-Anaheim and Milwaukee.