USC AT CAL STATE FULLERTON
MARCH 27th • GOODWIN FIELD
FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton wraps up its eight-game homestand, as it'll take on USC, Tuesday at 6 pm PT at Goodwin Field.
USC – LHP Austin Manning (0-1, 3.00 ERA) at CSF - RHP Tanner Bibee (0-2, 4.24 ERA)
CATCH ALL THE ACTION
Fans can follow the action on Big West TV, listen to the audio stream, or follow along with live stats. Links to all three are available on FullertonTitans.com.
Follow @BaseballTitans on Twitter for daily updates during the 2018 season. Fullerton baseball is also on Instagram, so make sure to follow the 2018 team all season @CSF_TitansBaseball.
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT
After a rough start to 2018, the Titans are starting to look more like…well, the Titans. Fullerton has captured victories in eight of its last 13 games, including claiming a win over No. 1 Oregon State and series sweep over Grand Canyon last. In the sweep over the Lopes, the Titans hit .340 as a team, while the pitching staff recorded an ERA of just 1.67. In the Saturday contest, the Titans scored a season-high 10 runs. Fullerton has won four in a row overall.
SAYING GOODBYE TO A LEGEND
Augie Garrido, one of college baseball's legendary coaches who claimed five National Championships, with three coming at Cal State Fullerton, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 79. Garrido's storied 48-year baseball coaching career spanned six decades, while his remarkable 1,975 victories goes down as the most managerial wins in the history of the game (1,975-952-9.) He will be remembered as one of the most successful coaches in not only baseball, but college sports history.
Garrido retired from the game of baseball in June 2016 after completing his unprecedented coaching career as the head coach at the University of Texas. He was the first coach to claim National Championships with multiple college baseball programs, leading the Titans to three of the program's four overall titles (1979, 1984, 1995) and claiming two with the University of Texas (2002, 2005).
Andy Lopez is the only other coach to claim multiple College World Series Championships, winning the title with Pepperdine in 1992 and again with Arizona in 2012. Garrido was also one of only three coaches in NCAA history to guide five or more teams to NCAA championships in college baseball history. He's tied for second, trailing only USC's Rod Dedeaux (10).
During his two stints with the Titans (1973-87 and 1991-96), Garrido's teams compiled an impressive mark of 875-341-5 for a winning percentage of .719, which is still the best in school history. In addition to his three titles with the Titans, he helped guide Fullerton to seven College World Series appearances and 16 conference championships, including 11 straight from 1974-84. He was named the National Coach of the Year six different times during his career (1975, 1979, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2005), with four of those instances coming with the Titans.
We all know the impact legendry head coach Augie Garrido had on the game of college baseball, but the two programs most affected by his greatness, Texas and Cal State Fullerton, seem to be playing inspired baseball in his honor. Since he passed, the two programs he won national championships with (three with the Titans and two with the Longhorns) have combined to go 11-2. Texas has gone 6-1 since starting the season 9-9, while Fullerton has gone 5-2 since beginning 4-10.
GOOD OLE GOODWIN
The Titans have regained that home field advantage, as they've gone 5-2 on this current homestand. Overall the Titans are 598-86 at home all-time. They're just two wins away from obtaining 600 all-time.
After opening weekend's series sweep at Stanford, the Titans have been swept (lost three in a row) at Stanford to begin a season four times in school history and in the previous three instances, some pretty good things ended up happening. They were swept in 2000, 2004, 2006 and here in 2018. In 2000, Fullerton made the postseason and won the Big West crown. In 2004, the Titans won their fourth National Championship and in 2006, Fullerton claimed a spot in the College World Series.
ANYTHING FOR THE SQUAD
The Titans currently rank 27th in the country in sacrifice bunts (19) and 103rd in hit by pitches (25).
A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?
Fullerton's win March 9th at No. 2 Oregon State was its first victory over either a No. 1 or No. 2 team in the nation since defeating No. 1 Florida 8-5 on Feb. 19, 2012. The Titans were 0-3 against top-two teams since then. Fullerton also improves to 3-2 all-time vs. the Beavers and earned a little bit of revenge after last year's College World Series contest. The win also snapped what was the at the time longest current home win streak in the nation. Oregon State was previously undefeated at home and had only lost one game at home all of last season.
On March 4 at Tulane, pitchers Andrew Quezada and Brett Conine earned their first collegiate at bats. Conine even recorded his first collegiate hit, going 1-for-4 with a single. He played eight innings in right field and one inning at first base. Quezada was a late substitution at second base, while Tommy Wilson was a late substitution in right field. Colton Eastman even entered the game to pinch run.
COPE COMING ON
Daniel Cope is in the midst of the best stretch of his young career. He's collected hits in 13 of his last 15 games, batting .345 (19-for-55) during that stretch, while belting three home runs, collecting eight RBI, while scoring 12 times during that stretch. He's reached base in 14 of his last 15 contests.
COPE IS DOPE
Daniel Cope was named Big West Field Player of the Week this week for the first time in his career after he batted .400 in three games against No. 2 Oregon State, including blasting a home run scoring two runs and recording an RBI, all while helping to hand the previously undefeated Beavers their first defeat of the season. It snapped what was the longest home win streak in college baseball.
The catcher blasted a home run and a double to help hand the Beavers a 5-3 defeat in the opening game of the series. Cope opened the scoring in the second inning with a solo shot to left field to put the Titans up 1-0. The jack was his third homer over the last four games. The homer was also the first one hit off of OSU's Luke Heimlich since May 14th, 2016. The Oregon State All-American had gone 21 starts without surrendering a home run.
Cope collected two hits and scored a run in the second game of the series, while walking a career-high three times in the series finale on Sunday. Overall he's boasting a team-best eight-game on base streak.
FINDING THE RIGHT FORMULA
In Fullerton's 21 games this year, the Titans have run out 14 different lineups in the field and the batting order has been different in 18 in of 21 contests. Howwwwwever, the Titans have run out the same field lineup in five of the last seven instances and have gone 4-1 during that span. Fullerton's batting order has been the same in three of the last four contests, while it's gone 3-0 in those games.
GO, GO BORGOGNO
Freshman Brett Borgogno was hitless in his Fullerton career coming into last weekend's series vs. Grand Canyon. Well folks, that's completely changed. In his last four games, Borgogno batted .304, going 7-for-23 from the dish, while scoring three runs, providing three doubles and three RBI.
Chris Prescott is growing up in his senior season, as he's provided two game-winning knocks for the Titans this season. He also blasted his first career home run at #1 Oregon State, launching a massive three-run shot over the right field fence to tie the game at 4-4 in the sixth. He's batted .583 in his last four games.
After suffering a tough start to the regular season offensively, Hank LoForte has gotten it together. He's batting .380 (8-of-21) over his last six ballgames, while recording four RBI and four runs scored. He also blasted his first career home run during that stretch.
WIN AT ALL COSTS
The Titans needed 15 innings to clinch their first victory of the season on Friday, Feb. 23 vs. the Houston Cougars. The 2-1 walk-off win was the Titans' first walk-off win since earning a 3-2 14-inning victory over UC Irvine last year (April 29, 2017). The 15-inning affair was the longest game the Titans have played in innings wise since playing a 16-inning contest vs. Fresno State on April 23, 2014. The contest was the longest time wise, since the Titans took down Arizona State 3-2 (14) in five hours and 12 minutes during the Fullerton Regional on May 30, 2015. The Titans earned the win without recording an RBI in the game.
Ten of the Titans' first 21 games have come against ranked opponents, while six of those contests coming on the road.
Team Rank When Played Current Rank
Stanford (3) 13 3
Houston (3) 24 NR
UCLA (1) 11 15
Oregon State (3) 2 1
Newcomer Tommy Wilson has been nothing short of spectacular so far this season. He's surrendered six earned runs in seven appearances out of the pen this season and one start. He's pitched 23.2 innings total, while fanning 27. Most importantly, he owns three of Fullerton's seven wins on the season. He came on in relief on Feb. 23 in extra innings vs. Houston. He pitched tossed 5.0 scoreless innings in the extra session, while surrendering just one hit and striking out nine. The Cougars had a runner at third base with less than two outs on two separate occasions while Wilson was on the mound. He wiggled out of trouble both times. Fullerton eventually won 2-1 in extra innings. He also recorded his first collegiate start last Saturday vs. GCU, fanning eight Lopes in 7.0 innings pitched, while surrendering just one earned run.
After missing most of the 2017 campaign with a back injury, Ruben Cardenas is back in a big way. He's currently batting .286 and boasted a seven-game hit streak to begin the season. He currently lead the team in hits with 24, stolen bases with four and is ranked second total bases with 33. He's currently reached base in 10 of the last 11 games.
WHAT A RELIEF
It hasn't been the start Fullerton was hoping for this season, but boy has the bullpen been good. Through 21 contests, the pen has surrendered just 31 earned runs in 89.1 innings for an ERA of 3.12. Two Fullerton relievers have yet to surrender an earned run.
2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
For the Titans, it'll be a good mix of returners and newcomers that should make up a team worthy of its top-10 preseason ranking. Fullerton welcomes back 16 letterwinners from a year ago, including two all-conference performers from 2017 in junior closer Brett Conine and sophomore infielder Sahid Valenzuela. The Titans will also be under the leadership of four-time Big West Coach of the Year Rick Vanderhook, who enters his seventh season as head coach. The returners will be joined by a recruiting class that is ranked 27th in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball. The Titans enter the 2018 season ranked in every national preseason poll, with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association awarding Cal State Fullerton with the highest ranking of 10th.
• Cal State Fullerton finished the 2017 season with a record of 39-24 (.619), securing the 43rd consecutive winning season in program history. It was also the 43rd straight year the Titans won at least 30 games in a season. The postseason appearance was also Fullerton's 26th straight, which is the second longest streak in the nation, behind only Florida State (40).
• The Titans made their 18th trip to the College World Series and second in the last three years. The 18 appearances in Omaha ranks the Titans tied for 7th with LSU all-time behind Texas (35), Miami (25), Arizona State and Florida State (22), USC (21) and Oklahoma State (20).
CSF vs. USC • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1975/2017
Overall Record: 52-42-1
Current Streak: Won 2
NCAA Regional Record: 2-4
NCAA College World Series Record: 1-0
Overall NCAA Postseason Record: 3-4
Home Record: 27-17
Road Record: 21-22
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)
HOW THE (BIG) WEST WAS WON? HOPEFULLY
The Titans have claimed the Big West title six out of the last eight seasons and the Titans are the favorites to do it again in 2018. Cal State Fullerton has been picked as the team to beat in the Big West Conference, according to the nine league coaches that voted on the Big West baseball preseason poll. Fullerton received a total of 73 points and six of nine first place votes in the poll, while Long Beach State tallied 65 points and two first place votes to finish second.
2018 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton - 73 (6)
2. Long Beach State - 65 (2)
3. Cal Poly - 64
4. UC Santa Barbara - 49
5. CSUN - 48
6. UC Irvine- 43 (1)
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 26
9. UC Davis – 10
( ) First-place vote
BEST IN THE WEST
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 760-270-1 (.738) conference record over 43 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 105-38 Big West Conference record in his six seasons and has led Fullerton to the conference crown in four of his six seasons at the helm. The four conference titles for Vanderhook is the second most in school history, only behind Augie Garrido (14). Overall, the Titans have won 29 conference titles.
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 18 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015-16). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 584-224-1 (.722; 35 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record
TITAN PRIDE NEVER GRADUATES
Cal State Fullerton held its annual Alumni Game back on Jan. 27th and it was the Titans coming up with a 6-3 victory over the Alumni. The win Fullerton's ninth win in 10 tries over the Alumni squad.
THERE'S A STANDARD HERE
Fullerton has won 30-plus games in each of its 43 seasons at the Div. I level and is tied for second in the nation when it comes to most consecutive 30-win campaigns. The only Titan team to win as few as 30 games was the 1989 squad skippered by Larry Cochell.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Miami, Fla. 47
2. Cal State Fullerton 43
2. Clemson 43
TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES
The Titans have had 65 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In 2018, the Titans will face six teams that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Stanford, Houston, UCLA, Oregon State, Long Beach State and San Diego State. Oregon State advanced all the way to Omaha last year, while Fullerton knocked out LBSU in Super Regional play Stanford in Regional play.
In 2017, Conine established himself as one of the best Titan closers of all-time. He picked up 15 saves on the season, which was sixth best nationally, best in the Big West and was the fourth-most saves any Titan has ever picked up in a single season.
Overall, the Orange, California native compiled a 1.39 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched while collecting 43 strikeouts while only walking six in 2017. Conine earned All Big-West First Team honors, Collegiate Baseball All-American Second Third Team honors and was a finalist for the Gregg Olson award, which goes to the nation's best closer a year ago. He also picked up a six-out save in game three of the Long Beach Super Regional to send the Titans to the CWS.
Conine was named to NCBWA's Preseason All-American Second Team, Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, Perfect Game's Preseason All-American Third Team and D1 Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team and was placed on NCBWA's Initial Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Junior right-handed hurler Colton Eastman has earned a spot on USA Baseball's 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list for the second straight season. The Golden Spikes Award is given out to the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2018 season. Eastman is one of just five athletes on the list to be featured now in back-to-back seasons with preseason recognition and the lone member from the Big West Conference.
He put together one of the most heroic seasons in college baseball in 2017. After being injured most of the season, Eastman came back just in the nick of time. The Fresno, California native compiled a perfect 2-0 mark to go along with a 2.14 ERA and 37 strikeouts in only eight appearances.
He saved his best performance for the biggest game of the season, as he tossed seven innings, struck out eight, surrendered just one hit and zero earned runs en route to a 2-1 victory over Long Beach State to send the Titans to Omaha. Conine picked up the six-out save in that game.
In addition to the Golden Spikes Award recognition, Eastman has been placed on Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, D1Baseball's Preseason All-American Third Team, and has been named to Baseball America's Top-100 Prospects list.
LOOK'S LIKE A PRO
It may be just Andrew Quezada's first year at Cal State Fullerton, but he's already getting the love from the pros. The Bellflower, California was nearly unhittable at Cypress College, as he compiled a microscopic 1.17 ERA and led his team to a state semifinal berth. He also recorded the first no-hitter in program history. D1Baseball has placed Quezada on its Top-100 MLB Prospects List.
Thirty-Two of the 36 players (89 percent) on the roster are from California, two are from Arizona (Tyler Smith and Sahid Valenzuela), one is from Utah (Mitchell Berryhill) and one is from Washington (Jairus Richards).