May 16, 2006
BIG WEST CONFERENCE: 12-3
VS. RIGHTIES: 27-9
VS. LEFTIES: 9-3
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Tuesday, May 16 at San Diego State, 6 p.m. (Tony Gwynn Stadium) (GT, WEB)
Friday, May 19 vs. Cal Poly*, 7 p.m. (Goodwin Field) (GT, WEB)
Saturday, May 20 vs. Cal Poly*, 6 p.m. (Goodwin Field) (GT, WEB)
Sunday, May 21 vs. Cal Poly*, 1 p.m. (Goodwin Field) (GT, WEB)
REMAINING REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, May 23, at USC, 6 p.m. (Dedeaux Field) (GT, WEB)
Friday, May 26 vs. Long Beach State*, 6:30 p.m. (Blair Field) (GT, WEB, TV)
Saturday, May 27 vs. Long Beach State*, 6:30 p.m. (Blair Field) (GT, WEB)
Sunday, May 28 vs. Long Beach State*, 1 p.m. (Blair Field) (GT, WEB, KSPA)
GT = follow the game on GameTracker
WEB = broadcast on the Internet at fullertontitans.com
KSPA = Game broadcast on AM 1510
TV = Broadcast on CSTV (Check your local listings)
* indicates Big West Conference game.
TITANS ON TV: Cal State Fullerton will have its first game of the season televised by CSTV on Friday, May 26, when the Titans take on Long Beach State at Blair Field. Check your local listings for specific channel information in your area.
CSTV.com has also made the Cal Poly series from Goodwin Field available via the web in their XXL package. Visit CSTV.com for more information.
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
BATTER UP: After a bye weekend which saw them move officially into first place in the Big West Conference standings, the Titans travel to San Diego State Tuesday night to make up a rainout before wrapping up the home portion of the regular season schedule this weekend against Cal Poly SLO.
With six Big West Conference games to go, the Titans have a 2-game lead over Long Beach State, which lost two of three games over the weekend to UC Santa Barbara. Long Beach visits UC Riverside this weekend and then hosts Fullerton for the traditional season-ending series at Blair Field on May 26-28. Fullerton swept three non-conference games earlier this year from the 49ers at Goodwin Field.
The Titans also jumped up a notch in the major polls to No. 2 as many of the nation's Top Ten teams stumbled. Rice remained consensus No. 1 with a 3-1 week, but North Carolina, Oregon State and Nebraska all had losing weeks.
Last week the Titans snapped their string of one-loss weeks by winning the only game they played, 7-6, over USC on Wednesday night. But it was a bittersweet win as closer Vinnie Pestano had to remove himself from the game two strikes away from his 14th save. A preliminary report shows a muscle strain in his forearm, but he will be seeing the Angels' medical team this week.
Eight seniors were honored before and during the USC contest. Regulars Danny Dorn and Justin Turner were joined in the starting lineup by left fielder Joe Turgeon, catcher Cory Vanderhook, designated hitter Eric Echevarria and pitcher Dave Pherrin. John Estes pitched in relief so only starting pitcher Dustin Miller didn't see action. Vanderhook, borrowing his favorite jersey No. 9 for the night from Brett Pill, hit his first home run of the year and bullpen catcher Echevarria walked and scored the first run of his Titan career. The winning run scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.
VERSUS SAN DIEGO STATE: The Titans are 28-8 all-time versus the Aztecs since 1975 and are currently riding a 11-game winning streak against them. Fullerton also enjoys a 2-1 advantage over SDSU in the post season meeting them three times in th 1984 Fresno State Regional, and defeating them 8-7 in 11 innings to advance to the College World Series.
The then-No. 7 Titans scored seven times in the bottom of the second inning, capped by a three-run double by catcher Cory Vanderhook, and beat Tony Gwynn's San Diego State ball club, 10-5, in their March 7 meeting earlier this season at Goodwin Field. Justin Klipp notched his second win and Vinnie Pestano pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to get his 5th save. Bryan Harris was just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle, collecting three hits to lead the team.
ABOUT Dave Pherrin (starter vs. SDSU): The senior lefty has accumulated just 6.2 innings on the season, but is coming off a solid outing last Tuesday night on "Senior Night". The southpaw got the start and tossed three innings of two-hit ball and was inline for the win before Adam Jorgenson and John Estes allowed USC back in the game. Pherrin (Lake Forest, Calif.) will be making his second career start versus the Aztecs Tuesday night.
PUTTIN' ON THE HITS: Justin Turner (72) and Blake Davis (70) are placing second and third in the conference in hits, trailing Cal Poly's Josh Lansford who has reached via a hit a Big West Conference-leading 77 times.
TITANS ON TOP: Cal State Fullerton is atop the Big West Conference in the three major statistical categories, posting a .312 batting average, 2.73 ERA and .977 fielding percentage.
SEEING TRIPLE AGAIN: Shortstop Blake Davis (Fountain Valley Calif.) has moved into the No. 2 all-time position behind Dante Powell for most career triples by a Titan with his conference leading four triples this season. Davis now has 13 career three-baggers and now trails Powell by five for the top spot.
SWIPED: Justin Turner (Bellflower, Calif.) is fifth in the conference, stealing 17 bases in 23 chances. He is six off the Big West lead held by UC Riverside's Brett Bigler and UC Riverside's Gary Dudry who have each swiped 23 bases.
ANOTHER HORTON MILESTONE: With six conference games remaining, head Coach George Horton has a chance to tie and pass Fresno State's Bob Bennett (187 wins in 15 years) as the second-winningest Big West coach in the conference history. Horton, has compiled 182 conference wins over his nine-plus seasons, tying and passing his predecessor and mentor Augie Garrido in the Pacific series Apr. 21-23. Former Long Beach State manager Dave Snow holds the conference record in victories with 218 over 13 seasons. Horton is a collective 438-184-1 (.704) in his 10th season as the Titan skipper and is just over half way to his predecessor's 875 career wins in a Titan uniform.
WHO'S HOT (over the last five games):
Blake Davis (shortstop): 10-for-21 (.476), 7 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 6 RBI, 2 stolen bases, 20 total bases.
Justin Turner (second base): 8-for23 (.348), 1 double, 1 home run, 6 RBI, 1 stolen base
Cory Vanderhook (catcher): 3-for-7 (.429), 2 runs, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI in three games
EARLY AND OFTEN: The Titans ar a perfect 15-0 when they score in the first inning and a dominating 27-4 when they score first. When the opponent scores first and when they score in the first inning, the Titans are just a game over .500 at 9-8 and 5-4, respectively.
PUT YOUR HANDS UP: Blake Davis (Fountain Valley, Calif.) tied his previous season-high 17-game hitting streak with a 3-hit performance against USC on May 10. The junior has nearly hit .500 going 33-for-72 (.458) over the past 17 games and now leads the Big West Conference in hitting with a .374 average. Davis has tallied seven doubles, two triples, two home runs and 13 RBI since Apr. 7, including a team-leading six stolen bases.
THE GENERAL: Evan McArthur (Medford, OR) is also enjoying a hitting streak that has seen him hit safely in the past 10 games. Over that span, the third baseman has posted a .429 batting average (18-for-42), five doubles and a home run, driving in six. During the streak, he has also stolen three bases without being caught.
IN A PINCH: George Horton's bench has been very productive, pinch-hitting at a .390 clip as a team (23-for-59). Part-time designated hitter, David Cooper (Stockton, Calif.), has contributed eight of those 23 hits himself, failing to get a hit just twice. Cooper is 8-for-10 (.800) from the bench, followed by Jared Clark, Matt Fahey and Bryan Harris, who each have tallied three knocks apiece.
SPECIAL INVITE: USA Baseball announced today (May 16) that Titan pitcher Wes Roemer and 19 other collegiate players that have accepted invitations to participate in the 2006 USA Baseball National Team Trials. The Trials will be held June 22-July 1 in exhibition games played against teams in the New England Collegiate League. The USA Baseball National Team will be selected from a pool of 36 players, of which an additional 16 have yet to be determined. The official 22-man team roster will be announced on July 2. If selected to the squad, Roemer will become the Titans' 16th player to play for National Team and it will mark the third consecutive year the Titans will have represented the country (2005: Blake Davis, 2004: Mike Lamb, Mike Rouse, and Ricky Romero).
DUBIOUS HONORS: Senior Danny Dorn (Diamond Bar, Calif.) is now the all-time leader in strikeouts at Cal State Fullerton with 162 in his four-year career. Dorn passed former Titan infielder Ryan Owens with a pair of strikeouts on May 7 versus UC Santa Barbara. The good news for Dorn is that he set the record in four season while Owens did it in just three.... Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) hit two batters in his last start vs. UC Santa Barbara on May 5, breaking the school's single-season record for hit batters with 19. Roemer, as a freshman, broke the two year old record (formerly held by Jordan DeJong with 17 in 2002), by hitting 18 in his first year.
JUST ADDED: Sophomore pitcher Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) was named to the Roger Clemens Award Watch List last week, joining him with Titan closer Vinnie Pestano (Anaheim, Calif.), vying for the award that goes to the nation's top pitcher each year. Roemer is currently 9-1 with a 1.99 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings. Pestano, a side-armed junior, is 2-1 with a 0.97 ERA in 37 innings of relief work, amassing 13 saves. Voting ended on May 15, with three finalists to be named by the end of the week.
SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton posted its 12th weekend series win in 14 opportunities with a 7-5 Sunday win at UC Santa Barbara on May 7. Seven of their 12 series wins have come via the sweep, taking all three games from their opoonent. The Titans have dropped just two series, one to Stanford (0-3) and the other to Rice (1-2), with both losses in Houston coming with tie games going into the ninth inning.
QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 28 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 38 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (12 QS), Lauren Gagnier (10 QS) and Dustin Miller (6 QS) are a combined 28-6 on the season with Roemer (1.99 - leading the Big West) and Gagnier's (2.73 - 5th in the Big West) ERAs both under 3.00. The three are leading the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier topping the league with 10 while Miller and Roemer are tied with nine apiece.
PENT-UP ENERGY: The Titans relief corps has been absolutely fabulous thus far in over 145 innings of work. As a whole they have posted a 2.59 ERA while striking out 131 in 145 2/3 innings. All but four of the pitchers (Dustin Miller, 4.50, John Estes, 5.19, and Dave Pherrin, 4.91 and Justin Klipp, 3.94) who have worked out of the pen this season have an ERA of less than 3.00. Hitters are hitting just .219 against the pen and have scored just 42 earned runs (54 total) off of the Titan arms.
INJURY REPORT...PESTANO: The results of Vinnie Pestano's MRI have revealed a strain of the muscles of his upper right forearm. There was no indication of any of ligament damaged in or around his pitching elbow. There has been no timetable set for Pestano's return to the mound. The side-armer was one out away from notching his 14th save of the season when he felt a "twinge" in his throwing arm with two outs in the ninth last Wednesday night against USC.