Fullerton Receives No. 1 Ranking in Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll
TUCSON, Ariz. – Cal State Fullerton was ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I preseason baseball poll presented by Big League Chew bubble gum, it was announced by the publication on Friday.
The 2014 season begins on Friday, Feb. 14 as Cal State Fullerton begins a three-game series against Washington State, and season tickets, ticket packages and single-game tickets are currently on sale.
In addition, Cal State Fullerton fans will have the first opportunity to meet current and former Titans at the program's annual "Dinner with the Titans" held on Saturday, Jan. 11. The alumni game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, at Goodwin Field.
Cal State Fullerton completed the 2013 season with a record of 51-10 (.836), the second-best winning percentage in program history as the Titans finished second at the Fullerton Super Regional to eventual College World Series champion UCLA.
Fullerton's 51 victories marked the most wins for Cal State Fullerton since 1995 as the Titans swept eight weekend series in 2013, while also winning 14 three-game weekend series, becoming the first Titan squad since 1995 to win each of its three-game weekend series during the regular season.
The Titans entered the NCAA Tournament with a No. 5 national seed following their 27th conference championship.
Cal State Fullerton's pitching staff, which returns 89 percent of its innings from a year ago, set several new records for the program including ERA (2.47), fewest runs per nine innings pitched (2.97), fewest walks per nine innings pitched (1.41), shutouts (11) and fewest walks (86).
Last year the staff ranked No. 1 nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (1.41), No. 1 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.94) and No. 1 in WHIP (1.0). Fullerton also ranked No. 4 with a 2.47 ERA.
The Titans return two All-Americans to the starting rotation with sophomore right-handers Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza as well as Big West All-Conference selection Grahamm Wiest. In addition, all-conference relievers J.D. Davis, Koby Gaune and Tyler Peitzmeier return to the mound.
Eshelman and Garza were recently named to the NCBWA Preseason All-American First team released on Wednesday (Dec. 18).
In addition, Cal State Fullerton's 2013 recruiting class received a No. 12 evaluation from Baseball America's annual top-25 review.
The Titans have added 11 newcomers for 2014 including Phil Bickford, who was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays as the 10th overall pick of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, but elected to attend Cal State Fullerton.