May 8, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008 vs Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 5:15 p.m. (TV) .
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan, 8-1, 4.44 ERA.
CP: RHP, Eric Massingham, 2-4, 5.70 ERA.
Saturday, May 10, 2008 vs Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m. .
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken, 4-4, 3.27 ERA.
CP: LHP, Jared Eskew, 4-2, 4.03 ERA.
Sunday, May 11, 2008 vs Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m. .
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso, 9-2, 3.79 ERA.
CP: RHP, Steven Fischback, 5-3, 4.39 ERA.
BATTER UP: The Titans are a win into trying to accomplish this week what they did last week -- beat a strong West Coast Conference opponent and then win a Big West Conference series. In the process, they also would like to put an end to a Saturday hex that has seen them compile a 3-8 record on that day of the week compared to 26-8 on other days.
The Titans host Big West opponent Cal Poly (22-24, 6-9), which is coming off a midweek loss to USC (3-9) and a sweep of UNLV last weekend (13-7, 5-1, 8-6). The Mustangs are 7-7 in their last 14 games but includes a win over then-No. 16 Cal. In their last conference action, the Mustangs lost two of three to UC Santa Barbara after series wins over Davis and Pacific.
IN THE POLLS: Cal State Fullerton is ranked in all five Top 25 polls for the sixth straight week, even breaking the Top 10 in this week's Rivals.com poll. Here is how the Titans stack up according to the national media:
Baseball America: 12.
Collegiate Baseball: 12.
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: 16.
PLAYING WITH TITANS: On Wednesday (May 7), the Titans, for the tenth consecutive year, hosted a free baseball clinic for developmentally disabled children at Goodwin Field. The kids of the Miracle League (and some from the Challenger Little League) and their parents were treated to a two-hour long clinic by the Titan players and coaches which was followed by a Mexican food dinner. Over the years, the kids that have participated in the clinic, have become some of the collegians' most loyal fans.
VERSUS CAL POLY: The Titans have a 42-7 all-time advantage over Cal Poly dating back to the two teams' first meeting back in 1984. Last season, Cal Poly took the series in San Luis Obispo, the first series win for the Mustangs over the Titans since 1973, and the first one at the Div. I level. The Mustangs sandwiched 6-3 and 3-1 wins around a 7-1 Titan win at Baggett Stadium in the second to the last series of the year for Fullerton in 2007. Fullerton swept Cal Poly in 2006 in the last series at Goodwin Field (6-4, 3-1, 1-0).
MIDWEEK RUNDOWN: By handily beating Pepperdine, the Titans are now 8-5 in midweek match-ups this season with two wins over ranked teams UCLA (\#3), Arizona State (\#6), and two over San Diego (\#14 and \#8). Leading the way offensively is Jared Clark, who is hitting .439 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while also driving in 14 and scoring 13. Both Christian Colon and Erik Komatsu lead the team with 20 hits apiece in the 13 games. From the mound, Michael Morrison has logged the greatest number of midweek innings (29), while striking out a team-leading 28. Other than typical weekend starters Jeff Kaplan (1-0) and Daniel Renken (2-0), Travis Kelly, Morrison and Adam Jorgenson, Ryan Ackland and Kevin Rath have each picked up a win. Ackland has the only midweek save of the year.
NO MIRACLE FOR 34: The Titans are no strangers to the 30-win season. And with their 9-1 win over Pepperdine on Tuesday, they accompliched the feat for the 34th time in 34 years at the Div. I level. No Titan team at the Div. I level has ever finished with a losing record. The worst season in the program's history came in 1989 when Larry Cochell's squad went 30-27. Fullerton has posted 40-or-more wins in a season 22 times, 50-or-more eight times and 60-or-more twice (1979 and 1984 championship seasons).
SPECIAL POWERS: Khris Davis has found a special niche when it comes to pinch-hitting powers. Three of the sophomore's four home runs have come as a pinch hitter including late in Tuesday night's (Apr. 29) game vs. San Diego. His only non-pinch-hit long ball came on Apr. 1 at LMU, a game in which he started.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Junior outfielder Erik Komatsu owns the opponent best pitchers in the opening game of three-game series. The left-handed hitting Komatsu has posted a .478 batting average (22-for-46) including four doubles, three triples and two home runs. To go along with that, Komatsu has driven in 16 runs and has a slugging percentage of .826. The Camarillo native has also reached base via three walks, three HBPs and also has 2 sac-flies to his credit over the 11 weekend openers thus far.
BIG GAME PITCHER: Senior Jeff Kaplan has been at his best and has come through for the Titans in three starts against Top 5 teams in the nation. The right-hander has gone 2-0 in three starts against No. 3 UCLA, No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine posting a 2.70 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. He picked up wins against the Bruins and Anteaters and held the top-ranked Wildcats to two runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings in the no-decision. The senior has put together a fine season so far, posting a 8-1 record with a 4.44 ERA in 11 starts and has won six consecutive league games averaging 8-plus innings each of his last four starts. He tossed his fourth-career complete game last Friday afternoon at Santa Barbara in the Titans' come-from-behind 7-4 win in Goleta. The right-hander ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with 66 strikeouts.
BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR ARBISO: Sunday's daylight has treated Cory Arbiso (9-2) well since being moved to the Sunday slot in the Titans rotation back on Mar. 9. The right-hander from La Mirada has recorded nine straight wins and has averaged 7-plus innings in each of his starts. The junior posted his first complete game on Mar. 30 where he fanned a career high 10 hitters as he seven-hit UC Riverside. He has also posted wins over No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine in that slot in the rotation. Arbiso started the season as the Saturday night pitcher, but was moved to Sunday when Daniel Renken broke into rotation. Last Sunday (May 4), Arbiso held a good-hitting UC Santa Barbara team to just three hits and a run over eight innings of work in the Titans 11-1 win. The right-hander ranks 26th in nation with just 1.22 walks per nine innings. He is currently tied for 1st in the Big West Conference (With UCI's Scott Gorgen) and has the second-most wins the nation with nine. Four other hurlers in the nation have 10 wins.
SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT (FOR FIGHTING): The Titans are 3-8 overall on Saturdays and 2-6 since freshman Daniel Renken joined the official weekend rotation on March 15 at Arizona. It is not like Renken is pitching poorly. The righty has surrendered just 30 earned runs (3.75 per game) and 21 unearned runs (2.62 per game) in eight starts in the weekend rotation. The team is scoring on average just 4.5 runs per game (including two 11-run games thrown in the mix offsetting the five 2-run efforts for Fullerton) compared to over 7 runs for Cory Arbiso on Sundays and over 9 runs for Jeff Kaplan on Fridays. Renken is 4-4 on the year with the team's second-best ERA of 3.27 in 63.1 innings.
WE NEED A LIVE...IS IT A LIVE ROOSTER? The Titans are having troubles on Saturdays, and have won just once (Apr. 19 at Pacific) in their last six Saturday ballgames. Overall the Titans are 3-8 and are just 1-5 in Big West play on Saturdays. In the three wins the Titans have outscored the opponents 30-9, while in the eight losses they have been outscored by opponents 23-47 and scored more than 2 runs only twice (4 runs and 7 runs). Five of the eight losses have been decided by one (0-2) or two (0-3) runs.
A BURST OF POWER: The Titans have hit nine home runs in the last five games upping their season total to 33 on the year. Gary Brown (his third and fourth) and Erik Komatsu (his sixth and seventh) have led the team with two each, while Dustin Garneau (his third), Jared Clark (his fifth), Brian Wilson (his first), and Joel Weeks (his first) each had one. Wilson's slam, a three-run job to right, capped an 11-1 win over Santa Barbara on Sunday (May 4) and was his first as a Titan (he had two at LMU in two seasons). Weeks' was a solo shot on Sunday (May 4) to right and was the first of his career at the Division I level.
THE LAST 10 GAMES: Who has been the most productive Titan over the last 10 games? In RBI totals, its Erik Komatsu (11) , Josh Fellahuer and Jared Clark (9). In hits ... its Komatsu (16 hits, .410 average) and Fellhauer (15 hits, .395 average). In extra base hits...Fellhauer has seven (5 doubles and 2 HRs). In stolen bases, Erik Komastu and Gary Brown have each run away with three each. From the mound, Cory Arbiso and Jeff Kaplan have a pair of wins each, Jeff Kaplan two, while Michael Morrison (8.1 IP) and Ryan Ackland (4.1 IP) both have ERAs of 0.00 in three appearances each.
GIVING HIMSELF UP: Freshman Christian Colon is doing his job in the No. 2 spot in the Titan lineup, dropping down 16 sacrifice bunts to rank 6th in the nation to enter the week. The shortstop from Corona was also listed as 10th in the country in sacs per game (0.31) to enter the week. Fullerton entered, as a team, is fourth in the country with 64 sacrifice bunts on the year. The Titans are seventh in the nation in Sac bunts as a team.
BADGE OF HONOR: 10 times the Titans were hit by a pitch last week bringing their Big West Conference leading total to 96. The Titans enter the week ranked 2nd in the nation in hit by pitches (96) trailing South Florida by just one dos for the nation's top spot. Christina Colon is leading the bruised (most in the Big West) with 12 HBPs, while Dustin Garneau, Corey Jones and Gary Brown trail by one with 10 apiece. For the first time in nine games, no Titans were plunked in Tuesday's game versus Pepperdine. The Titans have had at lease on hit batter in 13 of the last 15 games.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Freshman outfielder/second baseman Gary Brown hit two of the Titans' eight home runs last week with a pair at UC Santa Barbara over the weekend. Satuday's solo blast briefly got the Titans within two runs in the eventual 10-2 loss, but his two-run bomb on Sunday was the game-winnner in the 11-1 blowout. Brown has his average up to .269 on the year after hitting .375 last week (3-for-8) with three RBI and a 1-for-3 night on Tuesday (May 6). The speedster also led the Titans last week with three stolen bases in three chances bringing his season total to 13.
THE RUNNING GAME: The Titans stole their 90th base over the Weekend at Santa Barbara and added three more on Tuesday versus Pepperdine upping their Big West Conference-leading total to 93. They need just 23 as a team to break into the all-time Top 10 at Cal State Fullerton to tie the 2003 sqaud for 10th all time best season total. Last week, they were 7-for-12 in stolen base attempts, and 3-for-4 against Pepperdine on Tuesday night. Gary Brown has led the way with three, while Christian Colon has swiped two in the last five games. Erik Komatsu leads the team with 14 swipes, while Josh Fellhauer, and Brown each have 13. Khris Davis, who has started just 24 games, is the fourth Titan in double digits with 10. Fullerton stole its 53rd base in its 21st game, tying last year's total set in 63 games.