Oct. 20, 2005
Fullerton, Calif. - With the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox heading to the 2005 World Series, two former Titans will meet in the Fall Classic for the first time. Houston's Mike Lamb and Chicago's Aaron Rowand were Titan teammates in 1996 and 1997 and will become only the second and third Titans to ever play in a World Series game.
Lamb, a Titan from 1995-97, has spent portions of six seasons in the big leagues with both Houston and Texas and, like the Astros, is making his first trip to the World Series. A career .274-hitter, Lamb posted a .236 batting average with 12 home runs and 53 RBI in the 2005 campaign, spending most of the season as a utility player and first baseman. In three seasons with Fullerton, Lamb was a career .337 hitter tallying 15 HR and 108 RBI. A jack-of-all-trades, Lamb was a third baseman/utility player in 1995-96 before becoming the Titans' every-day catcher for the 1997 season, a position he earned All-Big West Conference Honors at as a junior. Lamb was a member of the 1995 National championship baseball team and could become the first Titan to win a World Series for both Fullerton and his respective major league team.
Chicago's centerfielder, Rowand played for the Titans from 1996-98 where he hit a career .345 with 23 home runs and 121 RBI before becoming the White Sox "sandwich pick" between the first and second rounds of the 1998 Major league Baseball draft. Rowand was a 1998 All-Big West selection as a rightfielder for the Titans, where he led the conference in doubles (27) while leading the team in home runs (16) and RBI (72). Rowand is making his first appearance in any World Series. Rowand's Titan teams all ended their seasons on the road in the NCAA Regionals at Wichita State (1996), Stanford (1997) and LSU (1998), never advancing to the College World Series, while the White Sox have not appeared in the Series since 1959. Rowand hit .270 for the Sox this season, blasting 13 home runs and collecting 69 RBI. The career .283 hitter has five years of big league service and has provided the Chicago dazzling defense as their every-day centerfielder.
Pitcher Greg Mathews is the only other Cal State Fullerton baseball player to ever appear in a World Series game. The southpaw started Game 5 of the 1987 World Series for the Cardinals as they took on the eventual champs, the Minnesota Twins. Mathews was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA for the Titans over two seasons in 1983-84. He was a part of the Titans' 1984 national championship squad, but missed the College World Series due to a freak batting practice injury in the Regionals at Fresno State.
Two other Titans have earned World Series rings for big-league service with their championship clubs. Both Mark Kotsay (then with the Florida Marlins, 1997) and Dan Naulty (New York Yankees, 1999), participated during their championship seasons, but were not included on their team's World Series rosters. Kotsay is the only Titan to receive both a Major League and a collegiate championship ring.
The 2005 World Series will begin Saturday, in Chicago.