Midweek Tilt in Malibu vs. No. 17 Waves

May 2, 2007

PLAY BALL: The Titans have lost three in a row and find themselves absent from the country's elite as voted by Baseball America. The Durham, NC-based baseball publication dropped Fullerton from its poll for the first time since May 10, 2004.

Another unproductive trip to UC Riverside has left the Titans in a precarious position in the Big West Conference baseball standings and in the hunt for an NCAA regional host's role.

Fullerton was swept at UCR by scores of 3-2, 3-0 and 5-4 and is now 1-8 at the Riverside Sports Complex over the past five years (3 series). The losses dropped CSF into a three-way tie for fourth place with UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara with the latter coming to Goodwin Field this weekend for a 3-game series. Bracketing that matchup are four road games against Top 20 teams -- a single game at Pepperdine on Wednesday and a 3-game series at Wichita State the following weekend.

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@ Pepperdine (30-15) Wed., May 2, 3 pm (GT, WEB)
CSF: Cory Arbiso, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
PEP: Barry Enright, RHP (10-2, 1.89 ERA)

vs. UC Santa Barbara Fri., May 4, 7 pm (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
UCSB: Chuck Huggins, LHP (6-1, 4.44 ERA)

vs. UC Santa Barbara, Sat., May 5, 6 pm (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
PEP: Mike Ford, RHP (2-1, 5.66 ERA)

vs. UC Santa Barbara, Sun., May 6, 1 pm(GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Adam Jorgenson, RHP (3-0, 3.48 ERA) or CSF: Michael Morrison (5-2, 5.40 ERA)
UCSB: Jeff Braun, LHP (2-6, 6.14 ERA)

GT = GameTracker, WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com,
BWTV = Streamed video on bigwest.org/tv

TITANS AT A GLANCE:
Overall Record: 27-15
Big West Conference: 7-5
Home: 14-6
Road: 13-9
Last Five Games: 2-3
Last 10 Games: 7-3
vs. LHP Starters: 12-6
vs. RHP Starters: 15-9
Day Games: 15-5
Night Games: 12-10

LAST WEEKEND: The ninth inning Friday night captured the essence of the series against the Highlanders. Matt Wallach's long double and a squeeze bunt by Joe Scott gave Fullerton a 2-1 lead over UCR ace James Simmons but Riverside came back to score twice before Fullerton's ace Wes Roemer could get an out in the bottom half.

On Saturday the Titans managed only three hits and never got a man to second base against lefthander Marc Rzepczynski to waste a strong outing by Jeff Kaplan. A wild pitch broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and UCR added two insurance runs.

On Sunday, the Titans spotted UCR a 5-1 lead and came up one run shy in an attempt to rally against a well-rested bullpen. Nick Mahin homered to give CSF another brief 1-run lead that was erased when Jaime Pedroza hit a 2-run home run in the bottom half. That was followed by a solo blast by Mark Samuelson that made it 3-1. UCR added two more runs off loser Michael Morrison in the second, the fifth and eventually decisive run coming home on a wild pitch by Dustin Birosak.

Birosak otherwise was perfect, tossing 4.1 innings of 1-hit shutout relief and Adam Jorgenson retired all seven men he faced. The Titans used doubles by Evan McArthur and Chris Jones in a 2-run third inning but they wasted an inning-opening single by Cory Jones and double by Joe Scott in the fifth when Dan Runzler came out of the UCR bullpen for two strikeouts and a fly ball. The Titans got a fourth run but left the tying run on second in the eighth when Josh Fellhauer and Cory Jones lined out to left center field.

ON THE WEB: All the Titan baseball games this week will be broadcast over the internet including Wednesday's game from Malibu and Friday through Sunday's conference match-ups from Goodwin Field. Join Mel Franks and Justin Alderson as they bring you all the play-by-play action.

GAMETRACKER: Follow the Titans, Waves and Gauchos pitch-by-pitch with the CSTV.com GameTracker interface. Links are conveniently located on the baseball schedule page on the right hand side, ready to take you to each game with a simple click of your mouse.

BIGWEST.TV: This weekend's games with UCSB will be video streamed over the internet live via BigWest TV. Subscribe at bigwest.org/tv and follow most Big West Conference baseball games all year long.

VERSUS THE WAVES: The Titans are 48-37 all-time versus Pepperdine since 1975, the first year Cal State Fullerton played at the Division I level. Last season the two teams split the season series with Fullerton shutting out the Waves in Malibu (5-0). Pepperdine returned the favor, beating the Titans 7-4 at Goodwin Field. The two teams have met nine times in the post season with Fullerton holding a 6-3 advantage. The teams have split the two games in which they met at the College World Series with the Titan loss (3-2) coming in the Championship Game of the 1992 CWS. Under Head Coach George Horton, the Titans are 14-10 against the Waves. he Titans sent 10 batters to the plate in their half of the seventh scoring five times off loser Adam Olbrychowski and once off Doug Konoske to snap their three-game losing streak with a 9-4 win back on Mar. 13 at Goodwin Field.

TITAN TIDBITS:

* The Titans' 3-2 loss on Friday night snapped an eight-game winning streak.

* Cal State Fullerton's Kryptonite is rearing its ugly head in the form of the Riverside Sports Complex. In their last nine meeting at UC Riverside's home field, the Titans have gone just 1-8 since 2002.

* The Titan offense hit a dismal .198 on the weekend versus UC Riverside striking out 26 times in 27 innings. Corey Jones (.375), Nick Mahin (.364) and Joe Scott (.333) were the only three Titans to hit above .300 with Mahin leading the team with four hits, two of which were his team-leading fourth and fifth home runs of the year.

* Wes Roemer had some of his best "stuff" of the year as he struck out seven Highlanders in his losing effort. Roemer took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning against UC Riverside but allowed four straight batters reach base scoring the needed two runs for the upset. Roemer fell to 6-5 on the year.

* Over the last seven games the Titan bullpen has been as good as it gets. Eight hurlers over the last seven games have combined for 20 1/3 innings, surrendering just one earned run last Tuesday at USC. The relievers have struck out 11, walked one and combined for a miniscule 0.44 ERA.

*Dustin Birosak tossed a career-high 4 1/3 innings in relief retiring 13 of 14 hitters he faced before allowing a hit. In the 14-batter span, the only blemish was a fielding error on a weak-hit grounder to short, snapping 10-consecutive Highlanders retired on Sunday afternoon.