Fullerton Begins Conference Play Against UCSB

Emarie Espinosa
Emarie Espinosa

Game Notes

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton begins Big West Conference play this weekend as UC Santa Barbara comes to town for a three-game conference series beginning Friday at Goodwin Field.

The Titans are coming off of a nonconference series sweep over rivals Long Beach State and a midweek loss to Pepperdine. It was the first time since 2015 the Titans had swept the Dirtbags and the first time since 2013 they swept Long Beach State at Blair Field.

Fullerton's probable rotation looks to be the same as last weekend in Tanner Bibee, Kyle Luckham and Michael Knorr, all three of which had quality starts and picked up wins against the Dirtbags.

Tanner Bibee started Friday night as he has all season, going seven innings while allowing just two runs and striking out eight Dirtbags batters to pick up the win and move to 3-3 on the season. Luckham followed Bibee up with his best appearance of the season, pitching seven innings, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out a career-high nine batters to move to 3-2 this season.

Luckham also made a highlight reel play for the ages. In the first inning a ball came back up the middle and bounced off Luckham's leg toward first base. The freshman ran down the ball and without using his off-hand picked up the ball in his glove and spun around to release the ball and get the runner out at first to end the inning.

Fellow freshman, Knorr, had himself an impressive start on Sunday as he went seven innings, giving up just one run while striking out five. Knorr picked up his second win of the season to move to 2-1 on the year. The Titans are 5-1 this season when Knorr starts and are 5-0 on Sunday's with Knorr on the mound.

As one streak ended another continues. Mitchell Berryhill now has the longest active on-base streak on the team at 30 consecutive games going back to the 2018 season. Berryhill also has a 14-game hit streak going back to March 3, against Stanford. Through 22 games, the Utah native is hitting .395 on the year which ranks fourth in the Big West Conference.

First-year transfer Isaiah Garcia has come on as of late. Early in the season against Arizona State and New Mexico, Garcia went 8-for-15 hitting .533 with five RBI and five runs while recording his first Division I home run. Garcia leads the team with a .400 batting average along with a .477 on-base percentage and a .564 slugging percentage. Garcia's .400 batting average is third in the Big West Conference.

The Gauchos come to Goodwin Field as the hottest team in the Big West heading into conference play. UCSB is 17-4 on the season and ranked as high as No. 17 in the Collegiate Baseball Rankings.

UC Santa Barbara's probable starters appear to be all lefties this weekend against the Titans in Ben Brecht, Jack Dashwood and Rodney Boone. All three starters are undefeated on the year with a combined record of 10-0.

Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at athletictixs@fullerton.edu. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.

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