March 8, 2013

Titans Host Texas A&M this Weekend at Goodwin

Weekly Release (PDF)

CATCH ALL THE ACTION: Fans wishing to watch No. 10 Cal State Fullerton host Texas A&M this weekend, can catch all the action on BigWest.tv. The broadcast, which offers an live audio feed, is free of charge. In addition, live stats are available for all three games, and are accessible by accessing the baseball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

TICKETS: Single-game tickets can be purchased online at www.FullertonTitans.com as well as in person or by calling the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Ticket Office at (657) 278-2783 from the hours of 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. On gamedays, tickets can be purchased one hour prior to first pitch at the Goodwin Field ticket box office.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @BaseballTitans for daily updates during the 2013 season.

CSF vs. TEXAS A&M

First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1983/2012

Overall Record: 5-4

Current Streak: Won 2

NCAA Regional Record: 1-0

NCAA College World Series Record: 1-0

Overall NCAA Postseason Record: 2-0

Home Record: 0-0

Road Record: 3-4

Neutral Record: 2-0

Longest Winning Streak: 3 games (5/30/88-3/10/09)

Longest Losing Streak: 2 games, 2x, last (3/15/11-3/9/12)

Extra Innings: 1-0

Most Runs Scored in a Game: 15 runs (3/10/09)

Most Runs Scored in a Game: by Opponent 7 runs (3/6/83)

Largest Margin of Defeat: 5 runs, 2x, last (3/9/12)

 

TEXAS A&M NOTES:  The Aggies hit the road for their final non-conference weekend series of the year, traveling to Cal State Fullerton for a three-game set against the No. 10 Titans.  

• Texas A&M has a chance to earn head coach Rob Childress' 300th career victory with two wins in the three-game series. 

• After batting just .225 in the opening weekend of the season, A&M is hitting .303 (104-for-343) over the last 11 games.

• The Aggies hosted Pepperdine for a three-game series (Feb. 22-24), dropping 2-of-3 to the Waves.

• Texas A&M holds a 1-1 record against ranked opponents, defeating then No. 12 Rice, 8-3, on March 2 before falling to No. 1 North Carolina, 14-2, on March 3.

• The Titans welcomed 13 newcomers to the 2013 roster, all of which are freshmen. Texas A&M boasts 16 newcomers, including 10 true freshmen. Of the Titans' 13 freshmen, eight are members of the pitching staff. Texas A&M has six freshmen pitchers (12 newcomers listed as pitchers) on the 2013 roster.

• The Aggies are making their fifth trip to California, and their first to Fullerton. In their four prior trips, A&M amassed a 9-5 record in 14 games. Last season, the Aggies completed a three-game sweep of Pepperdine in Malibu. In 1988, the Aggies went 4-2 at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic hosted by Fresno State. In 1997, A&M lost to Fresno State and Stanford at the NCAA Championsips Stanford Regional. In 2004, the Aggies won two of three games in a series at UCLA. 

 

VERSUS TEXAS A&M: Cal State Fullerton holds a slim 5-4 edge in the all-time series against Texas A&M. The Aggies and Titans first played one another in a doubleheader on March 6, 1983 in College Station. Texas A&M swept the doubleheader by the scores of 6-1 and 7-5. This weekend will mark the second time the clubs have played one another in a traditional three-game series. In 2012, CSF left College Station with a 2-1 series win over then No. 6 Texas A&M.

 

VERSUS THE SEC: The Titans hold a 30-18 record all-time against teams currently in the Southeastern Conference: Alabama (3-3), Arkansas (3-1), Florida (1-2), LSU (4-6), Mississippi State (5-1), Missouri (4-0), South Carolina (2-1), Tennessee (3-0), Texas A&M (5-4). 

• The 2013 season marks the third straight year the Titans have played in a three-game series against an opponent from the SEC. In 2011, the Titans traveled to then 11th-ranked LSU and lost all three games in the set. In 2012, Fullerton opened the year at then No. 1 Florida, losing the series, 2-1.

 

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton freshman Thomas Eshelman was named the Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week, it was announced by the conference office on Monday.

Last Friday, the 6-foot-3 right-hander tossed the first complete game of his career, holding then 14th-ranked Oregon to two runs on four hits in the 8-2 Titan victory. 

Eshelman issued zero walks and struck out six in just his third career start.

He retired the first 11 batters he faced, and kept the Ducks off the base paths until the fourth.

This is Eshelman's first Big West Pitcher of the Week accolade in his career, and the first for Cal State Fullerton in 2013.

 

A JUMP IN THE RANKINGS: Cal State Fullerton entered the week at No. 10 in the Baseball America Top-25 poll. For the Titans, it is their first top-25 ranking since opening the week of May 14, 2012 at No. 8 in the Baseball America Top 25.

 

OFF TO A HOT START: Last Saturday, after the Titans prevailed 5-2 at Goodwin Field over then 14th-ranked Oregon, the 2013 Titans became the first team in Fullerton Division history (1975-pres.) to open the season with a record of 10-0.

 

Currently, with a record of 11-2, Fullerton posts its best mark to open the year since 2009, when the Titans opened the year with a record of 12-2. Current seniors Austin Kingsolver and Carlos Lopez were part of the 2009 roster, but neither played in a game and redshirted the season.

 

After Oregon took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second in Sunday's 9-1 Fullerton loss, and the Titans were unable to answer in the bottom of the frame, it marked time the first time Fullerton trailed after an inning in 2013, a total of 91 innings

 

ROOKIE ARMS: Cal State Fullerton's 2.64 ERA currently ranks second in the Big West Conference, and a big part of the pitching staff's success is a pair of freshman right-handers in the weekend rotation, with Thomas Eshelman getting the nod on Friday nights, followed by Justin Garza (Saturday).

 

On Feb. 15, 2013, Eshelman (3-0, 0.87) became the first freshman to start a season opener for the Titans since Feb. 5, 1987 when Mark Beck took the mound vs. Saint Mary's. Eshelman didn't disappoint the sellout crowd of 3,508 as CSF edged USC, 3-2 on Feb. 15. In the win, Eshelman allowed two unearned runs on four hits while striking out six in six innings of work. 

Currently, Eshelman's miniscule ERA of 0.87 ranks second in the Big West Conference. In 20 and 2/3 innings pitched, the rookie from Carlsbad, Calif., has yet to issue a walk, while striking out 20 - a total that also ranks second in the Big West. Last week vs. Oregon, Eshelman limited the Ducks to two runs on four hits, tossing the first complete game of his career.

 

Garza (3-0, 1.27) has picked up wins over Nebraska, TCU and Oregon during his first three weeks on the mound. In 21 and 1/3 innings, Garza has surrendered just three earned runs, and his ERA of 1.27 rates at No. 4 in the Big West Conference. The native of Ontario, Calif., has fanned 15, and is holding opposing batters to a .169 average (4th Big West).

 

AT THE PLATE: Entering the 2013 season, Cal State Fullerton had 15 position players from a year ago returning to the roster, including six starters. That wealth of experience has helped the Titans to its No. 10 ranking and 11-2 record. Fullerton's .277 average ranks fourth in the Big West, while the Titans' 84 runs scored and .406 slugging percentage each rank second in the league, respectively.

EARLY AND OFTEN: A key ingredient to Fullerton's success has been the club's ability to score early and often. The Titans have outscored opponents 17-2 in the first inning in 2013, and in the first three innings, Fullerton holds a 31-5 edge. Tuesday's 7-3 loss to San Diego, marked the first time an opponent scored against CSF in the first inning of a game in 2013.

 

OVER THE FENCES: In 2012, the Titans totaled just 10 home runs. After just three weeks in 2013, Fullerton is just one round tripper shy of that number. Senior Anthony Hutting leads the Titans with three home runs followed by J.D. Davis (2), Michael Lorenzen (2), Jake Jefferies (1) and Austin Kingsolver (1).

 

GOOD TIMING: Cal State Fullerton is currently batting .285 with runners in scoring position, while limiting opponents to a .215 clip with runners in scoring position. The Titans also have had success with their leadoff batter reaching 38.4 percent of the time.

 

GOOD FOR EXTRAS: Michael Lorenzen's .673 slugging percentage currently leads the Big West as the Titans' starting center fielder is batting .347 (17-for-49) with a team-leading nine extra-base hits: four doubles, three triples and two home runs. As a team, the Titans have totaled 31 extra-base hits: 15 doubles, seven triples and nine home runs.

MAKING THE TOP-30: Senior first baseman Carlos Lopez was one of 30 NCAA® baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball, it was announced on Feb. 27.

 To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

 

NICK HURTADO: The Cal State Fullerton baseball program is mourning the loss of teammate Nick Hurtado, who passed away at the age of 21 after a battle with cancer on March 1.

Hurtado, a 2010 graduate of Corona Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., signed with the Titans as a senior in the fall of 2009, before his battle with bone cancer began.

Hurtado was a four-year letterwinner for head coach Ty DeTrinidad and the Sharks. Before his senior season began, Hurtado was diagnosed with cancer after being hit by a ball in the knee during the preseason. On March 5, 2010, he made his only appearance of his senior season at Corona Santiago, tossing one pitch (a strike) in the opening game of the 2010 season just days before his treatment was to begin. 

The pitcher was finally able to join the Titans for the 2012 season, but sat out the year as his treatment and recovery continued. Due to his illness, he was unable to join the roster in 2013, but made the effort to connect with his teammates at Goodwin Field as often as possible.

 

Statement from the 2013 Titans

"The world lost and amazing person last night. We will forever remember his genuine love for the people around him, and for life itself. He was the ultimate friend, and we hope we can grow, and be half the person he was. He touched the lives of so many people with his compassion and unyielding positive attitude. He will be in our hearts every single day."

 

PICKED TO WIN IT: Cal State Fullerton was picked as the favorite to win the 2013 Big West title as selected by the 10 conference head coaches that voted in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll, it was released by the league on Jan. 31.

The Titans were voted to defend their Big West title as the program garnered nine of the 10 available first-place votes.

Fullerton, winner of the past three league titles, captured the 2012 league crown with a 17-7 mark, one game ahead of Cal Poly. Fullerton has won 10 conference championships in the Super Regional era (dating back to 1999; 14 years), sharing the titles with Nevada in 2000 and Long Beach State in 2008.

 

TITANS AND THE BIG WEST: 

Overall, Cal State Fullerton has totaled 26 conference championships dating back to 1975, including 10 in the last 14 years. With last season's title, the Titans made their 34th postseason appearance as well.

Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 672-235-2 (.741) conference record over 38 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, won his first Big West crown in 2012, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Augie Garrido (14 conference championships), Larry Cochell (1), George Horton (7) and Dave Serrano (3).

A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84) and 15 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-12). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 18 total Big West championships and a 499-189 (.725; 30 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record.

 

WATCH LIST: Michael Lorenzen was one of 75 players named to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Lorenzen was one of two players from the Big West Conference named to the list as UC Irvine's Race Parmenter also made the watch list.

 

LORENZEN PRESEASON HONORS: Michael Lorenzen returns to the diamond after an All-American season in 2012. Lorenzen has received four preseason All-American selections entering 2013. He was projected as the National Player of The Year by Collegiate Baseball, and was named to the 13th annual NCBWA Preseason All-America second team as well as the Perfect Game Preseason College All-American second team. Most recently, he was selected to the 2013 Baseball America Preseason All-America second team.

Lorenzen, who garnered All-American honors as well as Big West Conference First Team accolades in 2012, developed into one of the nation's top two-way players, starting 57 games in center field while making 20 appearances on the mound. Lorenzen did not allow a run in 18 of his 20 appearances. He garnered double first-team All-Big West Conference honors as a utility player on offense, and as a closer on the pitching staff. His 16 saves in 17 chances tied him for second in program history with Nick Ramirez (2011) behind only Scott Wright's school record of 22 saves in 1984.

 

HOME GROWN: Thirty-four men on the Titans' 35-man roster list their hometown within the great State of California. The lone Titan not from the Golden State comes from, where else? Nebraska. Sophomore southpaw Tyler Peitzmeier is from Yutan, Neb., a city about 25 miles east of the Mecca of college baseball, Omaha.

 

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: In 2013, the Titans will play seven opponents that advanced to the 2012 Division I Baseball tournament (Oral Roberts, Pepperdine, Texas A&M, San Diego) three opponents that advanced to the super regionals (Oregon, TCU) and one opponent that advanced to the College World Series (UCLA)…CSF will play four opponents that finished 2012 ranked in Baseball America's Top-25 (No. 5 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon, No. 16 TCU, No. 19 Texas A&M)…six of Fullerton's opponents were ranked in the top-50 of the NCAA's final top-50  2012 RPI ratings (No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Oregon, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 29 Pepperdine, No. 31 TCU, No. 36 San Diego )...four of CSF's opponents were also conference champions in 2012: Pepperdine (West Coast), TCU (co-Mountain West), Oral Roberts (Summit), UCLA (Pac-12).

 

CONTINUED EXCELLENCE: The Titans have won 30-plus games in each of its 38 seasons at the Div. I level and are tied for third 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. The Titans have never had a losing season at the Div. I level. Fullerton comes in tied for third with Clemson and behind Arizona State and Miami. Pepperdine, which was ranked No. 5, saw its 32-year streak ended in 2010.

 

Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)

1. Arizona State 50

2. Miami, Fla. 42

3. Cal State Fullerton 38

Clemson 38

 

THE ROOKIES: Cal State Fullerton's 2012 class was ranked the No. 23 recruiting class in the nation, according to Baseball America's annual evaluation.

Under second-year head coach Rick Vanderhook and recruiting coordinator Mike Kirby, the Titans have welcomed 13 freshmen to Goodwin Field. Fullerton's 2012 class ranks second amongst Big West Conference opponents as the Gauchos were ranked 12th with 23 newcomers including 19 freshmen and four junior college transfers.  The Titans and Gauchos were the only BWC programs to make the top 25.  

 

DRAFT DODGERS: Nine Titans on the current roster have been selected previously in the MLB First-Year Players draft. Carlos Lopez is the only Titan that has been drafted while at Fullerton. He was selected as a redshirt his sophomore year (based on his age), but declined the offer made by the Detroit Tigers in 2010.

 

TITANS IN THE DRAFT (by round):

J.D. Davis 2011 5th round Tampa Bay Rays

Michael Lorenzen 2010 7th round Tampa Bay Rays

Austin Diemer 2011 26th round Cleveland Indians

Justin Garza 2012 26th round Cleveland Indians

Jake Jefferies 2012 34th round Washington Nationals

Carlos Lopez 2010 37th round Detroit Tigers

Anthony Hutting 2009 38th round Texas Rangers

David Olmedo-Barrera 2012 40th round Oakland Athletics

Chad Wallach 2010 43rd round Los Angeles Dodgers

 

TOP 50 FRESHMAN: Ontario, Calif., native Justin Garza was ranked ninth by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 freshmen in college baseball released in early February. 

 

TOP 50 SOPHOMORES: Matt Chapman, 2012 Big West Freshman of the Year, was ranked 18th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 sophomores in college baseball released in early February. Chapman was also rated by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft. J.D. Davis was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Big West for the 2014 draft.

 

TOP 50 JUNIORS: All-American Michael Lorenzen was ranked 19th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 juniors in college baseball released in early February. Lorenzen was also rated by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2013 draft.

 

TOP 50 SENIORS: Senior shortstop Richy Pedroza was ranked 45th by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 seniors in college baseball released in early February. Pedroza led the Titans batting .324 in 2012.

 

FAMILY AFFAIR: The Titans have six players on the 2013 roster that have had family members play for Fullerton in the past:

•  Outfielder Anthony Hutting is the cousin of former Titan star and major league outfielder Aaron Rowand (.345, 23 HR, 121 RBI from 1996-98).

•  Infielder Richy Pedroza's older brother, Sergio, was a national champion outfielder for the Titans (.328, 27 HR, 121 RBI from 2003-05). 

• Outfielder Austin Kingsolver's father, Kurt, was a national champion catcher in 1979 (.291, 5 HR, 30 RBI in 1979) and was a teammate of College Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Wallach. 

• Catcher Chad Wallach's father, Tim Wallach (.392, 39 HR, 182 RBI), was a national champion, a Golden Spikes Award winner, and a first-round draft pick in 1979. Chad's older brother, and Tim's eldest son, Matt, was also a Titan in 2005 (.255, 5 HR, 28 RBI in 2007) and played first base like his father. Tim is currently entering his third year as the third base coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

• Pitcher Dave Birosak's brother, Dustin (0-0, 2.89 ERA), was a relief pitcher for the 2007 Titans.

• And to top it all off… Head Coach Rick Vanderhook has had two nephews, Russ (.500, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 1999) and Cory (.304, 1 HR, 17 RBI in 2006) play in a Titan uniform. Coach Vanderhook, himself, was a player in 1983 and 1984. Cory is currently serving as an administrative assistant.

• Freshman right-hander Joe Navilhon's father (Larry) played at Cal State Fullerton from 1979-1980.

• First baseman Carlos Lopez and right-handed pitcher Michael Lopez are of no relation.

 

TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES: The Titans have had 52 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. Erik Komatsu got the call in 2012, taking last year's totals to nine: David Cooper (Toronto), Reed Johnson (Chicago Cubs/Atlanta), Erik Komatsu (St. Louis/Minnesota), Mark Kotsay (San Diego), Brett Pill (San Francisco), Kurt Suzuki (Oakland/Washington), Justin Turner (New York Mets), Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland) and Ricky Romero (Toronto). For the second consecutive year, Romero was named one of 30 nominees for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award as announced by Major League Baseball. Pestano was named this year's recipient of the Bob Feller Man of the Year Award, as announced by the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The distinction is bestowed upon the organization's player or executive who consistently performs at the top of his game.