May 30, 2006
Irvine, Calif. - The Big West Conference champion Cal State Fullerton Titans, claimed three of the leagues's top honors this year and seven were named to the first team as the Irvine-based conference office announced the 2006 All-Conference Team Tuesday afternoon.
Senior second baseman Justin Turner earned the league's Co-Player of the Year, sharing the honor with Long Beach State's Evan Longoria. In his final year in a Fullerton uniform, Turner finished third in the conference with a .359 batting average. The Bellflower, Calif., native scored 56 runs to lead the Titans and is second in the Big West Conference. In the final week of the regular season Turner tallied eight hits to extended his conference lead in hits by five, giving him 88 on the season, a career-high. During his four-year stint at Cal State Fullerton, Turner has left a mark in the Big West record books. He owns the Big West's career at bats record with 966, which breaks David Bacani's (CSF) mark of 914. He also holds the top spot in career games played with 244. With his 317th career hit last week, he moved into second place in the conference's record book. Joe Inglett (Nevada) holds the top spot with 321.
Right-handed sophomore Wes Roemer garnered this year's Pitcher of the Year award, following up his 2005 Freshman Pitcher of the Year nod. Roemer returned to the mound this season and continued to showcase his talent, tossing three complete games, two of which where shutouts, while finishing the regular season with an 11-1 record. The Glendora, Calif., native has pitched 125.2 innings and has only given up four walks. His performances throughout the season have not gone unnoticed, as he received Big West Pitcher of the Week honors four times this season.
Besides leading the Titans to their third consecutive Big West Conference title and 15th consecutive appearance to the NCAA Tournament, Head Coach George Horton can add Big West Coach of the Year to his lengthy and impressive resume for a fifth time. The 2006 honor is his third-in-a-row, and add to his back-to-back selections in 1998 and 1999. Under the helm of coach Horton, the Titans have remained in the national polls throughout the season and even claimed the top spot for over a month. In his 10 years at Cal State Fullerton he holds an overall record of 445-184-1 (.705). This season he recorded his 188th Big West career win to move into a second-place tie with former Fresno State coach Bob Bennett in all-time conference career victories.
For the first time since 1999 the Titans were represented seven times on the first team, led by Turner (2B, Bellflower Calif.) and Roemer (RHP, Glendora, Calif.) and joined by Brett Pill (1B, Covina, Calif.), Brandon Tripp (OF, La Palma, Calif.), Lauren Gagnier (RHP, Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Vinnie Pestano (RHP, Anaheim, Calif.) all making the first team for the first time. Blake Davis (SS, Fountain Valley, Calif.), a 2005 first-teamer, made the team for the second time.
Making the second team was John Curtis (C, Newhall, Calif.), Danny Dorn (OF, Diamond Bar, Calif.) and Dustin Miller (RHP, Diamond Bar, Calif.). Earning honorable mention form the league were Evan McArthur (3B, Medford, Oregon), David Cooper (DH, Stockton, Calif.) and Jared Clark (OF, Valencia) to round out conference recognition.