Titans and Pony Collide
May 19, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - The Titans jumped up a notch in the major polls to No. 2 this week 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. Fullerton will wrap up the 2006 regular season at home as Cal Poly comes to town Friday through Sunday.
ABOUT CAL POLY: Head Coach Larry Lee in his fourth year at the helm of the Mustangs, has posted a 128-94-2 record and a 1-8 record against the Titans. The Mustangs are coming off of their 10th series win of the season with a 2-1 weekend against UC Davis. Cal Poly has reached as high as No. 22 in the Baseball America Poll this season, but have gone just 18-21, after posting a 9-2 record to open the season. The Mustangs are leading the Big West in the power department, dropping 38 bombs in 50 games thus far, led by Jimmy Van Ostrand who has blasted a dozen alone to top the Big West. Josh Lansford, is trialing leader Blake Davis in hitting, posting a .368 average but leads the league in hits with 77. From the mound, the Mustangs have a team ERA of 4.42 (6th in conference) and are led by Bud Norris, who is 8-5 with a 4.22 ERA. Rocky Roquet is the team's closer and has tallied nine saves with a 2.23 ERA in 22 appearances.
VERSUS THE MUSTANGS: The Titans hold a 38-5 advantage over Cal Poly since their first meeting in 1984, never having met in the post season. Last season, the Titans traveled to the newly-built Baggett Stadium, where the Titans took two of three games from the Mustangs (3-1, 1-7, 3-1), in front of a record series crowd. Ricky Romero and Scott Sarver each picked up wins in Friday's and Sunday's affairs, while Wes Roemer, dropped his second game of the season in a 7-1 loss on Saturday.
INJURY REPORT...PESTANO: The results of Vinnie Pestano's first MRI have revealed a strain of the muscles of his upper right forearm and he is awaiting a second MRI with Angel's team physician Dr. Lewis Yokum early next week. 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 (May 10) against USC.
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. LAST WEEK: 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.
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.
PUTTIN' ON THE HITS: Justin Turner (75) and Blake Davis (71) 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.
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 18 bases in 24 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 24 bases.
EARLY AND OFTEN: The Titans are nearly perfect when they score in the first inning, going 14-1 and are a dominating 27-5 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.
DICK HOWSER AWARD SEMIFINALIST: Wes Roemer was named to a list of 16 semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award announced by The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce om Thursday (May 18). The 2006 Dick Howser Trophy will be given to the top player in collegiate baseball. The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2006 winner will announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 16, at 10 a.m. (CDT).
ROCKET-WORTHY: Wes Roemer joins nine other college hurlers who remain in contention to be honored as the top pitcher in college baseball with The Roger Clemens Award. The 3rd Roger Clemens Award will be presented at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston on July 12. Roemer, now a semifinalist in two national awards has posted a 9-1 record and a 1.99 ERA so far this season, and has struck out a conference-leading 98 hitters to just four walks. The Titan righty, started the season going 65 2/3 innings without issuing a single walk.
PUT YOUR HANDS UP: Blake Davis (Fountain Valley, Calif.) broke his previous season-high 17-game hitting streak with a single in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's game at San Diego State, increasing his streak to 18 games. The junior has nearly hit .500 going 34-for-75 (.453) over the past 18 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 14 RBI since Apr. 7, including a team-leading eight stolen bases.
THE GENERAL: Evan McArthur (Medford, OR) snapped his 10-game hitting streak in the loss to San Diego on Tuesday, going hitless in five at bats. During his streak, the third baseman has posted a .429 batting average (18-for-42), with five doubles and a home run, driving in six. He also stole 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.
TITANS IN THE NATIONAL STATS:
&\#149; Lauren Gagnier is tied for 10th in the nation with 10 wins
&\#149; Wes Roemer and Dustin Miller are tied for 39th in the nation with nine wins
&\#149; Wes Roemer is 25th in the nation with a 1.99 ERA
&\#149; Vinnie Pestano is tied for seventh in the nation with 13 saves
CSF IN THE NATIONAL STATS:
&\#149; The Titans are second in the nation with a 2.73 team ERA
&\#149; The Titans are fifth in the nation with a .977 fielding percentage.
&\#149; The Titans are 10th in the country with a .750 winning percentage.
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.
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.
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.