FULLERTON, Calif. – Following a series victory over UC Riverside, the Titans return home for their final series of the 2019 season at Goodwin Field as they take on rivals Long Beach State beginning Thursday night.
The Titans and Long Beach State will play the three-game conference series Thursday through Saturday due to commencement being held on campus. Thursday's game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
Fullerton heads into the rivalry weekend in fourth place in the Big West Conference with a record of 8-10 and an overall record of 22-25. Long Beach State comes in as the last place team with a 5-13 conference record to go along with a 11-38 overall record.
The two teams met earlier this season for a nonconference series at Blair Field where the Titans swept the Dirtbags for the first time since 2015. Fullerton looks to sweep Long Beach State in the six-game season series for the first time since 2013.
AJ Curtis has turned it on in the second half of the season. Since being inserted into the lineup on an everyday basis, primarily beginning in Hawaii, Curtis is hitting at an outstanding clip of .419 which leads the entire team since that series. The first-year transfer has added 12 RBI and eight runs over that time span.
Overall he is hitting .318 which ranks fourth on the team and has 15 RBI and 17 runs this season. Ten of his 15 RBI have come in conference play while having back-to-back games with three RBI against Grand Canyon and the first game against UC Riverside.
Curtis had his best series as a Titan against UC Riverside. Over the three-game series he went 8-for-16 with four RBI and two runs while recording a career-high five hits in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday.
While Mitchell Berryhill's batting average has gone down somewhat, he is still having an amazing year, batting .419 at the plate with 26 RBI and 33 runs. Berryhill's .419 average ranks fifth in the entire country and first in the Big West Conference. As of right now Berryhill would finish fourth in highest batting average in a single season in the history of the program.
First year transfer from Citrus College Matthew Sanchez hasn't pitched a substantial amount this season, but when he has been on the mound he's been lights out for the Titans. Sanchez is 1-0 on the season in seven appearances, giving up just one earned run to give him a team-best 1.04 ERA while striking out 14 batters in 8.2 innings pitched. Sanchez is holding opponents batting average to just .188. Sanchez had his best game against Big West leading UC Santa Barbara when he struck out seven batters in just three innings.
Thursday's series opener begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a late start on Friday night with first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. before wrapping up the series on Saturday with senior day prior to the 1:00 p.m. start.
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