Super Saturday: Titans Host Bruins in Super Regionals

June 7, 2007

2007 NCAA Super Regional
Cal State Fullerton (36-23) vs. UCLA (33-26)
At Goodwin Field, Fullerton, Calif. / June, 9-11, 2007

Cal State Fullerton is set to face UCLA in the 2007 NCAA Super Regionals this weekend at Goodwin Field. The Southern California best-of-three game series for a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and the College World Series will kick off Saturday afternoon at 4:06 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

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Saturday, (UCLA home team), 4:06 p.m. (GT, WEB, ESPN)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (10-6, 3.33 ERA)
UCLA: Tyson Brummett, RHP (10-5, 3.57 ERA)

Sunday, (CSF home team), 7:06 p.m. (GT, WEB, ESPN2)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (11-3, 3.35 ERA)
UCLA: Gavin Brooks, LHP (6-6, 4.65 ERA)

Monday (if necessary), 4:06 p.m. (GT, WEB, ESPN2)
CSF: TBA
UCLA: TBA

SAN DIEGO REGIONAL RECAP: Just about everything went right for the Titans, who sailed through the San Diego Regional Tournament unbeaten last weekend after being concerned they would even make the 64-team field. It's the first time in 19 4-team Regional appearances the Titans faced only the No. 3 and No. 4 (twice) seeds and on a neutral field to boot. It was only the third time in 13 appearances in 4-team Regionals on the road that they didn't have to face the home team.

Wes Roemer survived five base runners in the first two innings before settling down to pitch a complete game, 7-1 victory over No. 3-seeded Minnesota in the opener. Two-run home runs by Evan McArthur and Josh Fellhauer bracketed a 5-run fourth inning.

Before the Titans returned to the field for their next game, the host Toreros of San Diego, the No. 8 national seed, had been eliminated from the tournament by a 6-2 loss to No. 4 seed Fresno State and a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to Minnesota. Jeff Kaplan was staked to a 6-0 lead against the Bulldogs on Saturday night as McArthur had a 2-run double in a 4-run fifth inning. Fresno State threatened in every inning and Adam Jorgenson came on to pitch the final 3.1 innings, allowing two runs to save a 6-4 victory.

Fresno State eliminated Minnesota, 11-6, on Sunday afternoon and then had less than an hour to prepare for the rested Titans. Clark Hardman hit the second pitch of the game over the right-field wall but the Bulldogs responded with a tying run in the bottom of the first off surprise starter Justin Klipp. But Fullerton posted 4 runs in the third, the big blow a 3-run home run by John Curtis, and Klipp faced the minimum of 11 batters while going two outs into the fifth inning. Two Fresno State singles brought on Bryan Harris from the bullpen. He fanned the first four Bulldogs he faced and retired 11 in a row into the ninth. Meanwhile, Fresno State made six errors to account for seven unearned runs and the Titans capped it with a solo home run in the ninth by Dustin Garneau for his first collegiate round tripper and a 13-2 win. Hardman (8-for-12) earned MVP honors and was joined on the all-tourney team by Roemer and Fellhauer (6-for-12 w/2 2Bs and a HR).

REGIONAL TIDBITS:

&\#149;In all three regional games, Fullerton led, 6-1, after 5 innings

&\#149; In eliminating Fresno State, 6-4 and 13-2, the Titans knocked out the Bulldogs for the second year in a row (9-2 & 10-3 in 2006) and fourth time (also 1979 in Fresno and 1981 in Tempe) overall. Fullerton is 8-2 vs. the Bulldogs in NCAA play.

&\#149;The Titans swept a 4-team Regional on the ROAD for the fifth time. They have won three times with a 3-1 record and three times with a 4-1 record. In winning five Regionals at home, the Titans have gone 3-0 twice, 4-1 twice and 3-1 once. In winning five 6-team Regionals, all on the road, the Titans went unbeaten four times and 4-1 once. Fullerton has won 11 of its 16 Regionals on the road, more than any other school.

&\#149; The Titan team of few stars had only three players -- Hardman, Roemer and Fellhauer -- on the all-tourney team. Fresno State (2-2) had five selections and Minnesota (1-2) also had three. Host USD was shut out.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: UCLA swept three games over the weekend at Blair Field to win the Long Beach State Regional. The Bruins got outstanding starting pitching with only one out needed from their bullpen. Tyson Brummett (10-5, 3.57 ERA) went 8.2 innings to outduel Barry Enright of Pepperdine, 7-3, in the opener. Cody Decker hit a 3-run home run in the first inning for UCLA and all of the Waves' runs came in the ninth inning. On Saturday, freshman Gavin Brooks (6-6, 4.65 ERA) pitched a 2-hitter to beat Illinois-Chicago, 3-1, in the winners' bracket game. On Sunday, lefthander Tim Murphy (5-4, 5.68 ERA) went the distance to beat the host 49ers, 7-4.

UCLA, which had lost seven of nine games heading into the Regional, is 33-26 overall. The Bruins were 14-10 and in third place in the Pac-10 behind Arizona State (19-5) and Arizona (15-9). The leading hitter is second baseman Alden Carrithers at .351 with outfielder Gabe Cohen right behind at .348 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI. Shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitting .338 and Decker is the top power man with 14 HRs and 57 RBI.

VERSUS THE BRUINS: UCLA and Cal State Fullerton are long-time rivals but have met on only one previous occasion in the post-season. In 1979 at the NCAA Regional Tournament in Fresno, UCLA beat Fullerton in the opening round, 5-4, but the Titans fought back through the losers' bracket and eventually beat UCLA twice for the title, 9-2 and 9-5, and went on to win the College World Series for the first time.

Fullerton holds a 48-22-2 edge in the Div. I series (since 1975) over the Bruins and has won seven of the past eight meetings. This season they played three games -- at Fullerton on Feb. 24 and at UCLA on Feb. 25 & 26. In the opener, Brummett struck out 11 Titans in a complete game 5-hitter for a 6-2 win over Wes Roemer, who allowed 3 earned runs in 7 innings. The Bruins outhit Fullerton, 14 to 5. Fullerton evened the series the next night at Jackie Robinson Stadium as Jeff Kaplan went 6.2 innings for a 7-4 win. John Curtis homered and drove in 3 runs for the Titans, who got 3 runs each off starter Matthew Drummond and reliever Jason Novak. Freshman Sean Urena flirted with a no-hitter for 4 innings and went 7.2 innings (1 ER) for a 7-2 victory on Sunday afternoon. Clark Hardman had 2 hits and drove in 4 runs. Brandon Crawford had 6 hits in the series for the Bruins, who used Decker only in a pinch-hitting role (0-for-2).

Since 1975, Fullerton has made 29 NCAA appearances, winning 16 regionals, 5 Super Regionals and 4 national championships. During the same period, UCLA has made 12 NCAA appearances, winning 2 Regionals (in 1997 and 2007). During the same period, UCLA leads the men's basketball series, 9-0; the football series, 1-0; the women's volleyball series, 13-0; the men's soccer series, 24-7-1; the women's basketball series, 24-18; the softball series 35-31-1; etc.

VICTORY SMELL: In NCAA Div. I Tournament play where Cal State Fullerton has advanced to within one victory of a tourney championship, the Titans have been successful 25 of 28 times -- 16 of 17 times in Regionals, 5 of 6 times in Super Regionals and 4 of 5 times in Omaha. The exceptions: 1976 Regional, lost game No. 7 at Washington State; 1992 CWS, lost championship game to Pepperdine; 2005 Super Regional, lost games Nos. 2 & 3 at home to Arizona State.

TITANS AND THE SUPER REGIONALS:

&\#149;Fullerton is making its seventh Super Regional appearance, its fifth in five years and sixth overall at home. It was the lone road trip -- to Ohio State in 1999 -- that spurred the expansion of Goodwin Field to accommodate future hosting roles (beginning with a 2000 Regional). Fullerton won its Regional in 1999 at Notre Dame and expected to get a host's role against lower seeded Ohio State. But the bid went to the Buckeyes (the seeding rule was initiated the following year) where a suspension-weakened team won two of three games to advance to Omaha.

&\#149; Fullerton has gone 2-0 three times (2001, 2004 and 2006), 2-1 twice (1999 & 2003) and 1-2 once (2005). Fullerton is 5-1 in opening games, 4-2 in games No. 2 and 2-1 in games. No. 3 for a Super Regional record of 11-4 (.733).

&\#149;This is the second time the Titans have "backed into" a host's role. In 2004, Fullerton was a No. 2 seed (Arizona State was the No. 1 in Fullerton) and was bracketed against the Mississippi Regional, where No. 1-seeded Ole Miss was beaten by No. 3 seed Tulane, so the Green Wave had to come to California.

&\#149;Of Fullerton's previous six Super Regional teams, five had won the conference championship and one (2003) had finished in second place (by one game). This year's team was 10-11 and placed fifth in the Big West Conference.

&\#149;Even if Fullerton beats UCLA twice, it would take more losses and a lower winning percentage (.623, 38-23) to Omaha than any of the previous 14 Titan teams to appear in the College World Series. The lowest percentage is .632 (36-21) by the 1990 team. Two other teams had 21 losses (1982) and 2004) but they had 51 and 42 wins, respectively.

&\#149;Both Fullerton and UCLA each lost their last three regular-season series but bounced back to win the Regional.