Top-Ranked Titans Host Highlanders

April 26, 2006

Fullerton, Calif. - For the fourth weekend in a row the Titans will put their No. 1 national ranking on the line when they host a recent nemesis UC Riverside for a three-game, Big West Conference series at Goodwin Field. The Titans retained their posts in all three polls from last week.

"Who's No. 1 Now?" was the gleeful UC Riverside post-game headline on May 4, 2003, after the Highlanders swept a 3-game home series from those No. 1 Titans, who ended up in second place that season at 15-6 in Big West Conference play. UCR also won a home series, 2-1, last season after the Titans clinched the Big West title with an opening-night win. In between, Fullerton won two out of three at Goodwin Field.

Pitching continues to carry the Titans but they also manufactured 27 runs at Stockton after losing to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, 8-4, due in great part to giving up six unearned runs.

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

**************************************
Results:
Loss, 8-4 vs. LMU, Apr. 18 at Goodwin Field
Win, 8-1 vs. Pacific, Apr. 21 at Klein Family Field
Win, 11-1, vs. Pacific, Apr. 22 at Klein Family Field
Win, 8-4, vs. Pacific, Apr. 23 at Klein Family Field

**************************************

Big West: 8-1
Non-Conference: 23-9
vs. Ranked Teams: 2-6
vs. Un-ranked Teams: 29-4
Goodwin Field: 18-4
Away: 13-6
Day: 14-4
Night: 17-6
February: 9-4
March: 13-3
April: 9-3
Midweek: 3-2
Weekend Series: 28-8
Weekend Series W-L: 10-2
Series Sweeps:7
Last Five Games: 4-1
Last Ten Games: 7-3
Streak: Won 3

**************************************

UPCOMING GAMES:
Friday, Apr. 28 vs. UC Riverside* @ Goodwin Field, 7 p.m. (GT, WEB)
Saturday, Apr. 29 vs. UC Riverside* @ Goodwin Field, 6 p.m. (GT, WEB)
Sunday, Apr. 30 vs. UC Riverside* @ Goodwin Field, 1 p.m. (GT, WEB)

* indicates Big West Conference game.
GT = follow the game on GameTracker
WEB = broadcast on the internet at fullertontitans.com

**************************************

KEY DATES FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT:
May 28: Regional SITES will be announced at 12:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN news.
May 29: Regional brackets will be revealed on ESPN at 9:30 a.m.
June 2-5: Regional competition
June 6: Press release to announce Super Regional sites, approximately 11 a.m. PDT
June 9-11 or June 10-12: Super Regional competition

WHO'S HOT: (Last five games) Evan McArthur: 8-for-16 (.500), 1 HR and 4 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
Danny Dorn: 9-for-19 (.474), 4 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 8 R
Blake Davis: 9-for-21 (.429), 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB

VERSUS LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: LMU's Brian Wilson pitched six scoreless innings, holding the Titans to just eight hits and Sean Dovel drove in three runs as Loyola Marymount upset the Titans in a midweek match-up on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field. The Titans were unable to muster any offense against the Lion right-hander, scoring all their runs in the last three innings off of the bullpen. Five unearned runs in the top of the first off of Titan starter Justin Klipp proved to be the deciding factor of the game. Blake Davis had a nice night at the plate going 4-for-5, with four singles in his last four plate appearances. Brandon Tripp extending his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the fifth inning.

VERSUS PACIFIC: On Friday, Wes Roemer was as good as ever, facing only three men over the minimum in an 8-1 win. He struck out eight and not only didn't walk anyone but didn't hit anyone, either. Danny Dorn had a home run and two doubles to lead a 14-hit attack.

On Saturday, Lauren Gagnier notched his conference-leading ninth victory. The Titans led 6-0 in the second inning after Jared Clark's grand slam and Gagnier coasted home with John Estes getting the final five outs of an 11-1 victory.

On Sunday, the Titans jumped out early again, 5-1, taking advantage of four walks in the first two innings. The Tigers clawed to within 5-3 against winner Dustin Miller but never got closer as the Titans tacked on insurance runs to help Ryan Paul and Vinnie Pestano preserve an 8-4 decision and the Titans' seventh series sweep of the season. Fullerton has won 10 of 12 weekend series.

In four games last week, the Titans allowed only 8 earned runs to lower their earned run average to a nation's best 2.40.

TITANS IN THE NATIONAL STATS (for games through 4/23):
&\#149; Vinnie Pestano is tied for 3rd in the country with 12 saves
&\#149; Wes Roemer is 13th in the country with a 1.46 ERA
&\#149; Lauren Gagnier is tied for the national lead in wins with 9.
&\#149; Wes Roemer is tied for 13th in the country with 8 wins
&\#149; Dustin Miller is tied for 13th in the country with 8 wins

FULLERTON IN THE NATIONAL STATS (for games through 4/23):
&\#149; Fullerton has the best ERA in the country at 2.40
&\#149; Fullerton ranks 4th in the country in Fielding Percentage at .979
&\#149; Fullerton has the 13th-best W/L Percentage at .757

ANOTHER HORTON MILESTONE: Head Coach George Horton passed mentor, Augie Garrido to become the thid-winningest head coach in Big West Conference history, with his 177th win on Saturday and 178th win on Sunday afternoon at Pacific. Horton now trails just Fresno State's Bob Bennett (187 wins in 15 years) and leader Dave Snow (218 in 13 seasons) with Long Beach.

THE RETURN OF DOUBLE D: Danny Dorn made his return to the Titan lineup Apr. 14 at Goodwin Field after being sidelined with a shoulder injury for over a month. The senior had seen some time as a late-inning defensive replacement, but had not started since Mar. 11 against East Carolina. Since returning the senior outfielder has posted a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-24 (.417) with a pair of home runs and four doubles while driving in eighth. The lefty has also scored eight of his 18 total runs over that span.

"HURRICANE" RELIEF: Closer Vinnie Pestano has not given up a run since March 3 against Rice. In his 16 appearances since then, the junior side-armer has tossed 20 2/3 scoreless innings, surrendering just 10 hits, while fanning 23. Over that span he has collected a win, nine saves and a just a .153 batting average against him. The "Hurricane" is currently posting a miniscule ERA of 0.30 in 29 2/3 frames of work with 35 strikeouts. The run surrendered on Mar. 3 is the only run he has allowed all season. Pestano currently leads the Big West in Appearances (24), Saves (12). Games Finished (23) and Games in Relief (24).

GOING THE DISTANCE: Wes Roemer continued his sensational sophomore season with his second complete game of the year against the Pacific Tigers on Friday night. The righty struck out eight en route to his eighth win of the season, facing just three batters over the minimum. Roemer three-hit the Tigers tying his season's lowest hit totals, surrendering just a single, double and home run, and again, failed to allow the opponent to reach base via the walk. Roemer lowered his ERA to just 1.46 in 92 2/3 inning of work, increasing his season strikeout-to-walk-ratio to just under 30:1 (88:3). Wes Roemer is the only Titan with a complete game this season.

QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 24 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 32 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (11 QS), Lauren Gagnier (8 QS) and Dustin Miller (5 QS) are a combined 25-5 on the season with Roemer (1.46) and Gagnier's (2.51) ERAs both under 3.00. The three are leading the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier topping the nation with nine while Miller and Roemer trailing by one at eight apiece.

ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END: Brandon Tripp's 15-game hitting streak (Mar. 25-Apr. 23) came to an end in last Sunday's matinee against Pacific. Tripp got one final opportunity to extend the streak in the top of the ninth, but was denied by an amazing diving stop by Pacific's Adam Ching, who flipped the ball to the cutting shortstop, turning it into an inning-ending double play. Tripper hit .431 (22-for-51), including four doubles, a triple and three home runs over the 15-game span, driving in a team-leading 15 RBI. Tripp's 15-gamer was the Titans' second longest hitting streak of the season, two games shy of Blake Davis' 17-game streak Feb. 24-Mar. 25.

STREAKING TITANS: When Brandon Tripp's streak ended at 15 games, shortstop Blake Davis' 10 game streak was left in the No. 1 spot. Davis has collected a team-leading 17 hits over the streak, hitting .415 during that span and becoming the Titans best hitter in overall batting average at .346. Both Jared Clark and Danny Dorn are waiting in the wings with six-game hitting streaks.

YOU'RE THE BEST AROUND: The Titans 2.40 ERA is the best in the nation as the NCAA posted cumulative stats for all the Div. I schools as of Apr. 23. This comes as no surprise as in 12 three-game series this season, Titan hurlers have allowed an average of just 8.1 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 Fullerton staff has allowed just 5.6 runs per series. Virginia is the next closest team to Fullerton, posting a 2.63 ERA, allowing 17 more earned runs in three more games.

IN A PINCH: George Horton's bench has been very productive, pinch-hitting at a .385 clip as a team (20-for-52). Part-time designated hitter, David Cooper, has contributed seven of those 20 hits himself, failing to get a hit just twice. Cooper is 7-for-9 (.778) from the bench, followed by Jared Clark and Matt Fahey, who each have tallied three knocks apiece.

PENT-UP ENERGY: The Titans relief corps has been absolutely fabulous thus far in over 125 innings of work. As a whole they have posted a 2.00 ERA while striking out 116 in 126 innings. All but three of the pitchers (Dustin Miller, 4.50, John Estes, 3.52, and Dave Pherrin, 4.91) who have worked out of the pen this season have an ERA of less than 3.00. Hitters are hitting just .207 against the pen and have scored just 28 earned runs (39 total) off of the Titan arms.

SHORT-STOPPERS: RHP Vinnie Pestano and LHP Ryan Paul have combined for 47 2/3 innings of short relief work and have allowed just three earned runs (Paul-2, Pestano-1), good for a spectacular 0.57 combined ERA. The one-two punch has also struck out 62 and surrendered just three extra base hits (two doubles charged to the righty, a homer to the lefty). Pestano currently leads the team with a 0.30 ERA and a .141 batting average against him and is tied for third in the nation with 12 saves (Don Czyz, Kansas - 15).

SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton has won 22 of its last 26 games and have won 10 of the 12 weekend series they have competed in, seven 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.

RED ALERT: Having played in every one of the Titans' 41 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 229 times in his four-year career, placing him all alone in the No. 5 spot all-time, passing another four-year second baseman Jason Corapci (216 games from 2000-03) and four-year outfielder Steve Chatham (228 games from 1995-98). 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 112 on the season and 585 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 897 career at-bats, and fourth all-time with 44 hit by pitches.

NEXT STOP... SILVA: Reliever Vinnie Pestano has broken into the middle of the pack on the all-time career appearance list with 23 so far this year and 88 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 has finally caught his coach in the save department picking up his 12th of the season and the 26th of his career, tying Silva's career total.. Vinnie is just one 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).

DUBIOUS HONORS: Senior Danny Dorn is just one strikeout away from tying the all-time Cal State Fullerton leader Ryan Owens (1997-99) with 159 whiffs. If he reaches the plateau, he will have done it over four seasons, while his predecessor did it in just three...Wes Roemer is just one hit batter away from tying the single-season record for hit batters (18), a record he set last season as a freshman....

OLD FAITHFUL: Wes Roemer has averaged over 7 2/3 (92 2/3 IP in 12 starts) IP/start this season and has fanned a career-high 12 batters twice (Mar 10 vs. East Carolina and Mar. 31 vs. CS Northridge). The sophomore averaged 7 1/3 IP/start in 2005 (72 IP in 10 starts) and has a career average of over 7 1/3 IP/start.

CSTV.com PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH: For the third straight week, Cal State Fullerton pitcher Wes Roemer leads the CSTV.com Player of the Year watch list. Roemer was ranked in the top two on six of seven ballots, enabling him to top James Madison slugger Kellen Kulbacki, Washington's Time Lincecum and Rice's Eddie Degerman. Roemer's teammate Vinnie Pestano also tallied votes in the player watch, but was unable to break into the top-10. Comments on Roemer:

Glenn Tanner "Got back on track with a complete game, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K game against a good Pacific team.

Ruffin Bell "3 walks and 88 Ks in 92.2 innings and only a sophomore. Superman is not even that good!"