Cal State Fullerton vs. Hawai'i
Date: May 20-22, 2016
Time: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m.
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Goodwin Field
Video: Friday and Saturday on ESPN3/WatchESPN app; Sunday on BigWest.tv
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads 16-5
Cal State Fullerton vs. USC
Date: May 24, 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Goodwin Field
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads 50-40-1
FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 18 Cal State Fullerton welcomes Hawai'i to Goodwin Field this weekend for the final Big West Conference home series of the regular season. The Titans will then welcome longtime rival USC for the last home game of the year on Tuesday for Senior Night.
CATCH ALL THE ACTION:
Fans can follow the action for all this week's games with live video, live stats and live audio. All links can be found on FullertonTitans.com. Friday and Saturday's games will be broadcast on ESPN3 and will also be available on the WatchESPN app for mobile devices.
Follow @BaseballTitans on Twitter for daily updates during the 2016 season. Fullerton baseball is also on Instagram, so make sure to follow the 2016 team all season @CSF_TitansBaseball.
Tuesday's home finale against the Trojans will be Senior Night. The Titans will honor seniors Dalton Blaser, Tanner Pinkston, Jerrod Bravo, Tyler Stieb, Josh Vargas and Shane Stillwagon along with student managers Kyle Murray and Jesus Ramos in a pregame ceremony.
THE ROAD TO THE BIG WEST TITLE:
The Titans' magic number to clinch the 2016 conference title outright is four. With a three-game lead on second-place Long Beach State, any combination of four Titans wins along with Dirtbags losses in the final six conference games of the season will clinch Fullerton's 21st Big West title and 29th conference title overall. In addition, any combination of two Titans wins and Gauchos losses would eliminate UC Santa Barbara's conference title hopes. Due to Cal Poly's series win over Fullerton, the Titans need a combo of three Fullerton wins and Cal Poly losses to knock the Mustangs out of the title picture
The Titans are ranked No. 18 in this week's Baseball America and D1Baseball.com top-25 polls after taking two of three games on the road at UC Santa Barbara this past weekend. Fullerton is ranked No. 19 in Collegiate Baseball's top-30 rankings while coming in at No. 27 in the NCBWA poll. The Titans are also receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.
The Titans checked in at No. 28 in Wednesday's NCAA RPI ratings.
CSF vs. HAWAI'I • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1979/2015
Overall Record: 16-5
Current Streak: Won 8
Overall Conference (Big West) Record: 8-1
Home Record: 6-1
Road Record: 10-4
Neutral Record: 0-0
Longest Winning Streak: 8 games (4/27/13 to present)
Longest Losing Streak: 2 games (03/25/82 to 03/26/82)
Extra Innings: 1-0
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 17 runs (04/26/14)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 10 runs, 2 times (last on 03/28/10)
Largest Margin of Victory: 13 runs (04/26/14)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 3 runs, 2 times (last on 03/28/10)
TITANS AND THE BIG WEST:
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 742-258-1 (.742) conference record over 42 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 87-30 Big West Conference record in his five seasons at the helm and won consecutive conference titles in 2012 and 2013. He helped lead the Titans to another title in 2015, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Augie Garrido (14). Larry Cochell (1), George Horton (7) and Dave Serrano (3). Overall, the Titans have won 28 conference titles.
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 17 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 566-212-1 (.727; 34 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record.
This will be the fourth Big West Conference series between the Titans and Rainbow Warriors since Hawai'i entered the conference in 2012-13. Fullerton lost its first conference meeting with the Rainbow Warriors on April 26, 2013, but has won eight straight games since including three-game sweeps in 2014 and 2015. The Titans have lost just once to Hawai'i at Goodwin Field in seven all-time meetings. That came on March 28, 2010 in a 10-7 non-conference game.
PICKED TO WIN IT:
Cal State Fullerton was selected as the favorite to win the 2016 Big West titles as selected by the nine conference head coaches in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll. The Titans received four first-place votes and 71 points overall. UC Irvine received one first-place vote and 65 points. Long Beach State garnered three first-place votes and 62 points overall to slot in at third while UC Santa Barbara was picked fourth with 60 points overall. CSUN (44), Cal Poly (43), Hawai'i (27), UC Riverside (17), and UC Davis (16) round out the poll.
2016 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (4) - 71
2. UC Irvine (1) - 65
3. Long Beach State (3) - 62
4. UC Santa Barbara (1) - 60
5. CSUN - 44
6. Cal Poly - 43
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 17
9. UC Davis – 16
( ) First Place Vote
CSF vs. USC • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1975/2016
Overall Record: 50-40-1
Current Streak: Lost 1
NCAA Regional Record: 2-4
NCAA College World Series Record: 1-0
Overall NCAA Postseason Record: 3-4
Home Record: 25-16
Road Record: 21-21
Neutral Record: 4-3-1
Longest Winning Streak: 6 games (02/23/82 to 05/25/84)
Longest Losing Streak: 5 games (02/07/89 to 02/05/91)
Extra Innings: 2-3
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 17 runs, 2 times (last on 05/20/14)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 14 runs (04/15/08)
Largest Margin of Victory: 14 runs, 2 times (last on 05/20/14)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 10 runs (04/15/08)
VERSUS THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE:
The Titans currently hold a 290-219-3 mark against teams from the Pacific-12 conference. This season, Fullerton has struggled against the PAC-12, going 3-6 so far against Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, USC and UCLA. Arizona State is one of just three teams in the PAC-12 with a winning record against the Titans (27-32). Fullerton has played Stanford on 102 (44-58) occasions and Washington State (5-7) also has a winning record against the Titans. Fullerton's most victories (67) have come against UCLA in 101 games. The Titans have also played Arizona 98 times, holding a 63-35 record.
The Titans are 9-0 at home in Big West Conference action. They have recorded conference home-sweeps over CSUN, UC Davis and UC Riverside this season. Another sweep this weekend will clinch just the second undefeated home season in conference for the Titans in 42 seasons at the NCAA Division I level. Fullerton went unbeaten in the Big West at Goodwin Field in 2010 when they finished 12-0 and 21-3 in the Big West overall.
SET THE WORLD ABLAZE:
Senior Dalton Blaser is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in seven of those contests. On April 23 against UNLV, Blaser went 0-for-4 and saw his batting average fall to .331. Since then, Blaser has been on fire. He is 23-for-44 (.523) with three doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs during the hitting streak. He is slugging .727 to go along with a .569 on-base percentage. He's walked six times while striking out on just three occasions in 50 plate appearances. Overall, Blaser leads the Titans with a .381 batting average, 64 hits and 36 RBIs on the year. His batting average ranks second in the Big West Conference behind Hawai'i's Jacob Sheldon-Collins and is also ranked 59th in the nation. Blaser's .465 on-base percentage ranks second in the Big West and 80th in the country and he is also one of the toughest batters to strike out this season, fanning once every 10.5 at-bats (16 Ks in 168 ABs); a mark that ranks 142nd in the country.
PAV STILL RAKES:
Jake Pavletich made his Titans debut as a pinch-hitter on April 17 against UC Davis, getting a hit in his first career at-bat. The hits have not stopped for Pavletich as he is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak, having appeared in 11 games for the Titans this season including eight straight starts at third base. The only game where he didn't register a hit came on April 22 against UNLV when he entered solely as a defensive substitution at first base and he did not register an at-bat. Pavletich is currently batting .400 (14-for-35) and has four RBIs in 11 games, nine of them starts. He has three multi-hit games including his first career three-hit game on May 14 at UC Santa Barbara, where he recorded his first multi-RBI game by driving in two in the Titans lopsided 18-2 win against the Gauchos.
TIMMY THE TOOL MAN RICHARDS:
Shortstop Timmy Richards has displayed all the tools in his arsenal this season for Fullerton. The junior out of Long Beach, Calif. leads the team with eight home runs this season and has been on a tear at the plate lately. He has four straight two-hit games going into the weekend and has hits in nine of the last 11 games, including a career-high four hits against UCLA on April 26. During that 11-game stretch, Richards is batting .362 (17-for-47) with a double, triple and three home runs, boosting his overall batting average from .271 on April 24 to .294 going into this weekend. He's also tied for second on the team with 16 multi-hit games. In addition to the bat, Richards has been outstanding at short defensively. He has just three errors in the last 25 contests and just six miscues in 186 chances at short and leads the team with 102 assists this season. He's also showed off the speed on the base paths, as he is second on the team with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts.
Tanner Pinkston finished the UC Santa Barbara series strong for the Titans. He tallied seven hits in the last two games of the series, including his second four-hit game of the season in Saturday's 18-2 victory. He also recorded his first career triple in the game and then followed that up by going 3-for-4 in Sunday's finale, scoring a run. He is second on the team with a .335 average this season and is tied for second on the team with 16 multi-hit games including 10 three-hit games.
ON THE SIX:
Freshman Ruben Cardenas set a new career high on May 14 at UC Santa Barbara, driving in six runs in the Titans 18-2 win. Cardenas was a triple short of hitting for the cycle as he went 4-for-6 with a double and a two-run home run while also scoring three runs.
HOLDING DOWN THE FORT:
Freshman Hank LoForte has started to find his stride for the Titans lately, particularly in conference play. LoForte has started at second base in five straight games for Fullerton. He has now played in 29 games this season, making 20 starts overall. He has hits in eight of the last 10 games he has played including three multi-hit games. His batting average was at .143 on April 22 but he has improved that to a .283 mark in the 11 games since.
SEABOLD AMONG THE BEST:
Friday-night starter Connor Seabold is currently ranked third in the nation and first in the Big West Conference with an 11.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has fanned 82 batters and walked just seven in 71 and 1/3 innings pitched this season. In 13 appearances, Seabold has issued a free pass in just five of those, one of which came in relief at Texas Tech. That was also just one of two occasions in which he allowed multiple walks, giving up two in the game on March 5. He also walked a pair on April 8 at Cal Poly. His 0.88 walks allowed per nine innings average ranks sixth in the country and his 0.88 WHIP is seventh in the nation.
The Titans pitching staff is ranked first in the nation with a 2.32 ERA. They have allowed 115 earned runs in 446 and 2/3 innings pitched. This season, they allowed just one earned run in a three-game sweep of Wichita State and three earned in a sweep of UC Davis. In addition, the Titans are ranked first in the country in hits allowed per nine innings, allowing just 6.77 hits per game. Fullerton is also ranked second in the nation with a 1.03 WHIP, third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.46) and fifth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.48).