May 27, 2009
CAL STATE FULLERTON REGIONAL TIDBITS: &\#149; This is Fullerton's 31st NCAA Regional appearance in its 35th year of Div. I baseball. The exceptions were 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1991. The current string of 18 CONSECUTIVE appearances is third longest in the nation behind Miami (37) and Florida State (32).
&\#149; Fullerton has won six Regionals in a row and 17 total - including a national best 11 on the road (two each in Fresno and Baton Rouge and one each at USC, Austin, Starkville, Stillwater, South Bend, Tempe and San Diego). The Titans NEVER hosted a regional before 2000 but this will be their eighth at home (6-1) -- they lost the first (USC) and have won the last six.
&\#149; Fullerton's all-time Regional record is 82-34 (.707) including 23-6 (.793) at Goodwin Field.
&\#149; The Titans NEVER have gone winless in Regional play. They have gone 0-2 only once in a Super Regional (2008) and four times in Omaha (1975, 1982, 1990 and 2007).
&\#149; Since the Super Regional format was begun in 1999, Miami is the only school to win more regional tournaments (9) than Fullerton (8) -- Florida State and Rice also have won 8.
LETS MEET THE OPPONENTS:
GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES (Statesboro, Georgia)
Colors: Blue & White
Conference: Southern Conference
Georgia Southern is making its 12th NCAA Regional appearance but its first since 2002. The Eagles rolled through the Southern Conference post-season tournament with a 4-0 record, beating Davidson (4-3 in 11 innings), Appalachian State (6-5), Furman (16-4) and Elon (7-3). They have won 7 in a row and 10 of their last 11.
The Eagles have a .324 team batting average led by catcher Griffin Benedict (.401), outfielder Phillip Porter (.368) and shortstop Brian Pierce (.353). The pitching staff's ERA is 4.95 led by righthander Chris Mederos (11-1, 3.66). Jake Brown and Matt Murray are each 6-3. Mederos made the all-tournament team along with outfielder Ty Wright and DH Kyle Blackburn, who was the MVP. Mederos and Benedict were first-team all-conference picks.
Common foes with Fullerton: Georgia Southern did not play one common opponent with Fullerton, which it has never faced in baseball.
Georgia Southern has made two trips to the College World Series, going 1-2 in 1973 and 0-2 in 1990 when Fullerton did likewise in the other bracket.
Coach Rodney Hennon is in his tenth year at Georgia Southern, following legendary Jack Stallings (1975-99). He has nine consecutive 30-win seasons.
GONZAGA BULLDOGS (Spokane, Washington)
Colors: Blue, Red & White
Conference: West Coast Conference
Gonzaga is making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance but its first since 1981. Gonzaga won the regular season West Coast Conference championship and then took the post-season title by winning the best-of-three series with Loyola Marymount in Spokane, 2-0, by scores of 4-3 and 14-3. First baseman Ryan Wiegand set a WCC Tournament single-game record with three home runs in the final game and he matched the RBI record with 8. The Bulldogs have won three games in a row, five of six and 10 of 13.
The Bulldogs have a .297 team batting average led by catcher Tyson Van Winkle (.361), outfielder Drew Heid (.350) and Wiegand (.330). The pitching staff ERA is 4.21 and is led by a pair of 8-1 starters in WCC Pitcher of the Year Matt Fields (2.86) and Steven Ames (3.51).
Common foes with Fullerton: Gonzaga went 0-1 vs. Oklahoma State, 0-1 vs. UC Riverside, 3-0 vs. Pacific, 2-1 vs. Pepperdine, 2-1 vs. San Diego, 0-1 vs. Arizona and 4-1 vs. LMU.
Gonzaga is 2-0 vs. Fullerton in NCAA competition, eliminating the Titans from the Tucson Regional in 1980. Both teams were in the 1981 Regional in Tempe but did not face one another. The Bulldogs are 3-7 all-time vs. Fullerton, last facing the Titans in 1995 when the eventual national champions won a pair of March contests at Goodwin Field.
Coach Mark Machtolf is in his sixth year as head coach at Gonzaga after 13 seasons as an assistant. The Stanford graduate was an All-CWS selection for the Cardinal in 1987.
UTAH UTES (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Colors: Crimson & White
Conference: Mountain West Conference
The Utes are in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time since 1960 and only the fourth time (also in 1951, 1959 and 1960) overall. They earned an automatic berth by winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship in Fort Worth, Texas. They beat BYU (2-1 in 10 innings) and TCU (9-7) before blowing an 8-1 lead and losing to San Diego State (9-8). They came out of the losers' bracket to again beat TCU (6-4) before a pair of wins over the Aztecs (4-1 and 9-3). At 26-29, the Utes have the only losing record in the 64-team field.
Outfielder Tyler Yagi was named MVP of the MWC Tourney and Greg Krause was named the top reliever. On the season, the Utes batted .301 led by third baseman Nick Kuroczko (.349), catcher C. J. Cron (.343) and second baseman Corey Shimada (.342). Four players have hit 8 or more home runs led by Cron with 9. The pitching staff has an ERA of 5.76. Jordan Whatcott (3.59 in 85.1 IP) and Bryn Card (5.67 in 60.1 IP) share the best records at 5-2.
Common foes with Fullerton: Utah went 1-3 at LMU, 1-2 at Texas A&M, 4-4 vs.TCU; 1-2 vs. UC Irvine; and 3-3 vs. San Diego State.
Utah split two games with Gonzaga in Spokane.
Utah is 2-6 in extra innings including three successive one-run, 10-inning losses at home to New Mexico.
Utah is 0-1 all-time vs. Cal State Fullerton, losing a 10-2 decision at Fullerton on March 24, 1976.
Utah has made one trip to the College World Series, going 2-2 in 1951.
Coach Bill Kinneberg is in his sixth season (1996 and `05-current). He has been a Div. I head coach for 14 seasons including stops at UTEP and Wyoming.
TITANS AT HOME THIS YEAR:
&\#149; The Titans are 20-8 (.714) this year at Goodwin Field. The worst single-season record at home is 20-11 (.645) in 2000. The Titans have three more regular season games on the schedule, with possible postseason games in the Regionals and Super Regionals.
&\#149; The Titans have outscored their opponents 184-124 at home.
&\#149; The first of two Big West Conference sweeps at home came on May 1-3 against UC Santa Barbara three Previously, the Titans lost a pair of Big West series against UC Irvine and Pacific. Fullerton also swept series at home against Stanford, Oral Roberts, Long Beach State and a two-game midweek series with Arizona.
&\#149; Christian Colon, at .394, is hitting 57 points higher than the next best home hitter, Gary Brown, at home.
&\#149; Christian Colon leads the team with 39 hits at Goodwin Field with six doubles, a triple and three home runs.
&\#149; Jared Clark has a whopping 31 RBI at Goodwin Field this year, and has also hit four home runs. Nick Ramirez and Christian Colon also have three long-balls, and Khris Davis leads the squad, hitting seven of his 12 home runs at home.
&\#149; From the mound, Daniel Renken and Tyler Pill have each collected five wins, with Renken baffling hitters with a .193 batting average against and a 2.33 ERA in 58.0 IP.
&\#149; The Titans have drawn 60, 648 fans in attendance over 28 dates at Goodwin Field this year for an average of 2,166 per game.
&\#149; Gary Brown has an 14-game home hitting streak.
&\#149; Fullerton has won its last 10 home games and 12 of its last 13.
MORE ON GAMES AT GOODWIN FIELD:
&\#149; The Titans won their 400th game at Goodwin Field on May 3, with a 15-3 win over UC Santa Barbara. The Titans are now 407-130 (.758) all-time at Goodwin Field (formerly Titan Field) dating back to the 1992 season.
&\#149; The 2003 Titans posted the best home record in the 18-year history of the park, going 32-3 (.914)
&\#149; Goodwin Field will have been the setting for eight NCAA Regionals this year (with Fullerton winning six of them) since the first in 2000.
&\#149; The home of the Titans has also played host for seven Super Regionals since the first on in 2001. The Titans have advanced to Omaha with Super Regional wins five times in front of home crowds.