FULLERTON, Calif. – After seven straight games on the road, the Titans return to Goodwin Field for five straight home games beginning with Hawaii on Friday.
CATCH ALL THE ACTION: All three games against Hawaii will be available on the ESPN networks with Friday's game airing on ESPN3 while Saturday and Sunday's game will be showcased nationally on ESPNU. Each game will also be available via the WatchESPN app. In addition, live audio and live stats will be available for all three games against Hawaii and the midweek contests against San Diego and Fresno State. The links can be found on the baseball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @BaseballTitans on Twitter for daily updates during the 2014 season.
ARMED FORCES WEEKEND: The Titans will host Hawai'i on Apr. 25-27 at Goodwin Field for Armed Forces Weekend. Past and present military personnel will receive two tickets for each game with a military ID. Sunday's game will also feature a helicopter landing on the field pregame with a Wounded Warrior throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH?: Titan fans in attendance on Saturday will have a chance to get an autograph from former Titan David Bacani (1998-2001), who boasted a career .336 batting average. Bacani played in 236 games, ranking him sixth all-time in Titans history. His 914 career at-bats ranks third all-time as do his 307 career hits. He is the all-time leader in runs scored (268), walks (151), times hit by a pitch (58), assists (673), and is tied for second all-time in career doubles (63).
IN THE POLLS: This week, the Titans dropped to No. 29 in the NCBWA top-30 poll, down 10 spots from a week ago. They received votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll while they dropped out of the Collegiate Baseball poll for the first time this season.
RPI WATCH: According to the official NCAA RPI report released Tuesday,Cal State Fullerton's RPI remained at No. 48 for the second consecutive week.
TITANS AND THE BIG WEST: Overall, Cal State Fullerton has totaled 27 conference championships dating back to 1975, including 11 in the last 15 years. With last season's title, the Titans made their 35th postseason appearance as well.
Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 698-245-1 (.739) overall conference record over 39 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has won two straight Big West crowns since 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 16 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 19 total Big West championships and a 522-193 (.730; 31 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record prior to 2014.
CSF vs. HAWAII
First Year Played/Last Year Played 1979/2013
Overall Record 10-5
Current Streak Won 2
Overall Conference (Big West) Record 2-1
Home Record 3-1
Road Record 7-4
Neutral Record 0-0
Longest Winning Streak 4 games (3/25/11 to 3/27/11)
Longest Losing Streak 2 games (3/25/82 to 3/26/82)
Extra Innings 0-0
Most Runs Scored in a Game 13 runs (3/27/10)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 10 runs, 2 times (last on 3/28/10)
Largest Margin of Victory 8 runs (4/22/79)
Largest Margin of Defeat 3 runs, 2 times (last on 3/28/10)
HAWAII NOTES: The Rainbow Warriors come into this weekend series against the Titans dropped nine of their last 10 games and eight of their last nine Big West Conference contests. Despite a career-high four hits for second baseman Scott Ventimilia, the Rainbow Warriors fell 10-4 at USC on Tuesday. The Rainbow Warriors and the Titans will play their second series as conference opponents after the Titans took two of three from Hawaii last season on the road. Hawaii did win the opener of that series despite having dropped 10 of its previous 11 games at the time.
This season, the Rainbow Warriors are led offensively by Ventimilia, who comes into the weekend hitting .306 in 28 games. He is the only hitter with a batting average above .300 this year as the team is hitting a collective .239 on the season.
CSF vs. SAN DIEGO
First Year Played/Last Year Played 1984/2014
Overall Record 53-10-2
Current Streak Lost 2
Overall Conference (SCBA) Record 20-3-1
NCAA Regional Record 1-0
Overall NCAA Postseason Record 1-0
Home Record 33-5-1
Road Record 18-5-1
Neutral Record 2-0
Longest Winning Streak 16 games (4/7/87 to 3/2/97)
Longest Losing Streak 2 games, 3 times (last from 3/5/13 to 3/11/14)
Extra Innings 3-1-1
Most Runs Scored in a Game 17 runs, 2 times (last on 4/9/91)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 11 runs, 2 times (4/4/81)
Largest Margin of Victory 17 runs (4/9/91)
Largest Margin of Defeat 5 runs (3/17/87)
SAN DIEGO NOTES: The Toreros will come into Goodwin Field on Tuesday after a critical conference series against Pacific. The Toreros have dropped four of their last five West Coast Conference games. Despite that, the Toreros have feasted on the Big West this season, winning all five contests against teams in the conference this season including road wins at UC Riverside and UC Irvine.
LAST MEETING: The Toreros got a walk-off home run from sophomore Troy Conyers in the 10th inning to complete a 5-3 comeback victory over the Titans at Fowler Park on Mar. 11. The Titans had taken a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning with a pair of runs thanks to a throwing error but the Toreros plated two runs in the eighth off Tyler Peitzmeier to force extra innings. It was the Titans first walk-off loss of the year.
CSF vs. FRESNO STATE
First Year Played/Last Year Played 1975/2014
Overall Record 51-32
Current Streak Lost 2
Overall Conference (PCAA/Big West) Record 15-15
PCAA Championship Series Record 0-2
NCAA Regional Record 9-2
Overall NCAA Postseason Record 9-2
Home Record 25-11
Road Record 20-18
Neutral Record 6-3
Longest Winning Streak 8 games, 2 times (last from 3/20/04 to 6/3/07)
Longest Losing Streak 6 games (4/29/88 to 5/14/89)
Extra Innings 2-3
Most Runs Scored in a Game 20 runs (4/14/91)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 15 runs, 2 times (last on 5/1/88)
Largest Margin of Victory 15 runs (2/9/96)
Largest Margin of Defeat 9 runs (4/19/86)
FRESNO STATE NOTES: The Bulldogs have won two straight going into this weekend, including a 2-1 victory in 16 innings over the Titans on Wednesday at Beiden Field. Manny Argomaniz tied the score at 1 with a home run in the eighth inning off Willie Kuhl and then the Bulldogs secured the victory in the 16th on an infield hit by Chris Mariscal.
GETTING OUT OF A FUNK: The Titans are in the midst of one of the worst stretches in the program's history, having lost six straight games for just the third time in history. The Titans dropped the last four games of the year in 1986 and the first two games of the 1987 season. They had not dropped six straight in one season since 1983 when they lost to No. 6 Oklahoma State at home and then swept by No. 2 Texas in three games and then dropped a doubleheader at unranked Texas A&M on the road. That Titans team would still go on to advance to a regional at Arizona State.
THREE SPOT: The Titans have outscored their opponents by 39 runs this season, but have struggled to win games when scoring less than three runs a game. Cal State Fullerton boasts a 17-5 record this year when scoring three or more runs in a game, but are just 1-12 when they score two runs or less. Prior to their 4-3 loss at Cal Poly in extra innings on Friday, the Titans had not lost a game in which they scored at least three runs since Mar. 11 when they lost 5-3 at San Diego in 10 innings. Their only victory when scoring two runs or less came on Mar. 18 when they defeated UNLV 2-1 at Goodwin Field.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans return home for five straight after playing their last seven games on the road. They went 1-6 during the road swing, dropping the last six after opening with an 11-9 extra-inning victory at UC Santa Barbara. They are 6-12 on the road this year and 12-5 at Goodwin Field.
A HOMER AWAY: Clay Williamson came a home run shy of hitting for the cycle in Friday night's 4-3 loss at No. 3 Cal Poly. Williamson was 3-for-5 with a double and a triple. He was also the only Titans player to record a multi-hit game in the three game city at San Luis Obispo. He has now hit safely in three straight games and is hitting .303 in his last 10 games, going 10-for-33 with a double, triple, three RBIs and five runs scored.
NO FREE PASSES HERE: Through games played up to April 24, the Titans pitching staff has made sure to pound the strike zone. Cal State Fullerton's pitching ranks No. 1 in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings, giving up just 1.50 free passes a game in 335.1 innings pitched. Houston is second with a 1.78 walks per game avearge.
TOP-1O STAFF: The Cal State Fullerton pitching staff continues to impress as they are ranked in the top-10 of a number of categories. Along with leading the nation in walks allowed per nine innings, Titans pitching also ranks first in strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Titans have fanned 292 batters in 335 innings while allowing just 56 walks, a mark of 5.21. TCU ranks second with a 3.91 mark. The Titans are also ranked fifth in the nation in WHIP (1.05), and are tied for eighth in the country with a 2.28 ERA.
GOLDEN SPIKES MIDSEASON WATCH LIST: Cal State Fullerton sophomore right-hander Thomas Eshelman and junior two-way player J.D. Davis were named to the Golden Spikes Award 50-man midseason watch list by USA Baseball on April 10, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Cal State Fullerton was tied for the most nominees on the midseason watch list with eight other teams including Florida State, Oregon State and Virginia.
Eshelman appears on the midseason watch list for the second consecutive season. He was a semifinalist for the award as a freshman in 2013. Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede and Aaron Nola of Louisiana State were also semifinalists in 2013 that made the 2014 midseason watch list.
As for Davis, the junior was also named to the preseason watch list and has consistently been one of the team's best hitters. He also serves as the team's closer out of the bullpen.
The Titans have produced three Golden Spikes winners in the program's history: Tim Wallach (1979), Phil Nevin (1992) and Mark Kotsay (1995).
The midseason list sees the departure of sophmore pitcher Justin Garza and junior third baseman Matt Chapman after each was named to the preseason watch list.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Cal State Fullerton will have 12 of its games broadcast on ESPN3 this season, the Big West Conference announced Wednesday. A total of 19 Big West baseball games will be carried on ESPN3 with the Titans making up the bulk of the schedule beginning with this weekend's non-conference series against Long Beach State at Goodwin Field.
Of the 12 Titans games on ESPN3, 11 of them will take place at Goodwin Field. The Titans Big West Conference opener against UC Davis on April 4 will be showcased on the network. Other games on the television schedule for the network include the opening game of the Titans home series against Hawaii on April 25, the entire series with UC Riverside from May 9-11 and the final series of the season against Cal State Northridge from May 22-24. The lone road game for the Titans featured on ESPN3 will be their series opener at UC Irvine on May 16.
SUPPORTING THE TITANS: According to this week's attendance report released by the NCBWA, Cal State Fullerton is ranked 32nd in avearage attendance. The Titans had drawn an average of 2,131 fans in 17 home games this season. The Titans have attraceted a total of 36,241 fans to Goodwin Field at the time of the report released Monday, ranking them 37th in the nation.
CENTURY MARK: Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook earned his 100th career head coaching victory when the Titans edged Long Beach State 6-5 on Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field. Vanderhook became the second fastest head coach in Titans baseball history to reach the mark, doing so in 139 games. Augie Garrido reached 100 wins in 135 games and it took George Horton 147 games to earn his 100th win with the Titans.
SMART BASEBALL: Junior outfielder Austin Diemer was named the Big West Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced on March 3.
In 2013, Diemer was named to the Capital One Academic All-District VIII Team and to the Big West Conference All-Academic Team. The Communications/Broadcast Journalism major participates in the annual "Challenger Clinic", working closely with individuals with special needs, and he volunteered at the Barnyard Wiffle Ball Invitational. Carrying a 3.77 GPA, Diemer has earned Dean's List honors in each of his semesters as a Titan.
BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST: Titans backstop Jared Deacon was one of 43 catchers named to the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List on March 6. He was the only catcher from the Big West Conference named to the list. He is looking to become the first Titans catcher to win the award since Kurt Suzuki took home the honor in 2004.
PICKED TO WIN IT: Cal State Fullerton was picked as the favorite to win the 2014 Big West title as selected by the nine conference head coaches that voted in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll, it was released by the league on Jan. 30. The Titans were voted to defend their Big West title as the program garnered eight of the nine available first-place votes. Fullerton, winner of the past four league titles, captured the 2013 league crown with a 23-4 mark, one game ahead of Cal Poly. Fullerton has won 11 conference championships in the Super Regional era (dating back to 1999; 15 years), sharing the titles with Nevada in 2000 and Long Beach State in 2008.
BUILDING ON EXCELLENCE: Sophomore Thomas Eshelman enters his sophomore year after an outstanding freshman campaign which earned him seven All-American nods and three freshman pitcher of the year awards. Eshelman's rookie season was one of the best in Fullerton history as he set a new Titans single-season record with a 27.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio after striking out 86 while issuing just three walks in 115.2 innings pitched. His 0.23 walks per nine innings set a new NCAA record and he also He also set Fullerton freshman records in innings pitched and ERA with a 1.48 mark, which ranks second in Cal State Fullerton all-time single season history.
TITANS PRESEASON HONORS: The Titans will enter the 2014 season with a boatload of accolades on their belt. Cal State Fullerton was selected as the No. 1 team in the nation by three preseason polls (USA Today Coaches, Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) to go along with a No. 2 rank in the Perfect Game Preseason Top 25 poll and a No. 4 selection in Baseball America's preseason poll. Along with the team accolades, several Titans received preseason All-American honors. Thomas Eshelman received preseason All-American First Team selections from the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Justin Garza was selected to the first team on the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American teams and a third-team selection in Baseball America's Preseason All-American team. Matt Chapman and J.D. Davis were each named Second-Team Preseason All-Americans by Baseball America.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: In 2014, the Titans will play five opponents that advanced to the 2013 Division I Baseball tournament (Oregon, San Francisco, San Diego, Wichita State, UCLA). Of those opponents, UCLA advanced to the Super Regionals where they defeated the Titans on their way to the College World Series championship…CSF will play three opponents that finished 2013 ranked in Baseball America's Top-25 (No. 1 UCLA, No. 17 Oregon, No. 23 San Diego)…four of Fullerton's opponents were ranked in the top-50 of the NCAA's final top-50 2013 RPI ratings (No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon, No. 28 Cal Poly, No. 39 San Diego ).
CONTINUED EXCELLENCE: The Titans have won 30-plus games in each of its 39 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 51
2. Miami, Fla. 43
3. Cal State Fullerton 39
THE ROOKIES: Cal State Fullerton's 2014 class was ranked the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation, according to Baseball America's annual evaluation.
Under third-year head coach Rick Vanderhook and recruiting coordinator Mike Kirby, the Titans have welcomed 11 freshmen to Goodwin Field. Fullerton's 2014 class was the only one ranked amongst Big West Conference opponents and one of only three programs from California ranked in the top-25 along with No. 22 Loyola Marymount and No. 24 USC. Collegiate Baseball ranked Fullerton's 2014 recruiting class at No. 7.
From Baseball America's top-25 breakdown, two of Fullerton's 2014 opponents also had ranked recruiting classes; No. 7 Oregon (Feb. 28-Mar. 2) and No. 24 USC (Feb. 18, May 20).
DRAFT DODGERS: Seven Titans on the current roster have been selected previously in the MLB First-Year Players draft. Phil Bickford was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays while Timmy Richards was taken in the 40th round by the Miami Marlins.
TITANS IN THE DRAFT (by round):
Phil Bickford 2013 1st round Toronto Blue Jays
J.D. Davis 2011 5th round Tampa Bay Rays
Austin Diemer 2011 26th round Cleveland Indians
Justin Garza 2012 26th round Cleveland Indians
Jake Jefferies 2012 34th round WashingtonNationals
Timmy Richards 2013 40th round Miami Marlins
David Olmedo-Barrera 2012 40th round Oakland Athletics
TOP 50 FRESHMAN: Phil Bickford was ranked as the top freshman by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 freshmen in college baseball released in early February. In addition, Bickford was named the top prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2016 MLB Draft by Perfect Game, who predicted he would be selected in the first or second round.
TOP 100 FRESHMAN: Phil Bickford was also ranked as the top freshman in the country in Perfect Game's evaluation of the top 100 freshman in the country.
TOP 50 SOPHOMORES: Ontario, Calif. native Justin Garza was ranked No. 12 by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 sophomores in college baseball. Garza, the 2013 Big West Pitcher of the Year, was also picked as the No. 1 prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2015 MLB Draft. Thomas Eshelman, the 2013 Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, was considered the third-best prospect in the Big West Conference for the 2015 draft.
TOP 100 SOPHOMORES: Justin Garza and Thomas Eshelman were also ranked in Perfect Game's evaluation of the top 100 sophomores in the country. Garza came in at No. 17 while Eshelman was ranked at No. 30. In addition, Perfect Game ranked Garza and Eshelman as the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects respectively from the Big West Conference for the 2015 MLB Draft.
TOP 50 JUNIORS: Matt Chapman was ranked No. 14 by Baseball America in the publication's evaluation of the top 50 juniors in college baseball while J.D. Davis was ranked No 20. Chapman, a 2013 Big West All Second Team selection, was also selected as the No. 1 prospect from the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft. Davis, a 2013 Big West First Team Selection, was ranked as the No. 3 prospect from the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft.
TOP 100 JUNIORS: Matt Chapman and J.D. Davis were also ranked in the top 40 of Perfect Game's evaluation of the top 100 juniors in college baseball. Chapman was ranked No. 16 while Davis placed No. 40. Furthermore, Perfect Game ranked Chapman as the top prospect from the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft and predicted he would be drafted in the first or second round. Davis was ranked as the fourth best prospect from the Big West Conference for the 2014 MLB Draft and was predicted to be taken in the second or third round.
TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES: The Titans have had 53 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. Khris Davis became the 53rd player in 2013 when he made his MLB debut on April 1st in a pinch-hitting appearance for the Milwaukee Brewers. Davis would go on to play in 56 games and make 30 starts in left field. He hit .279 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in 136 at-bats. He posted 10 doubles and a .949 OPS. Davis was one of eight former Titans (Kurt Suzuki, Justin Turner, Ricky Romero, Vinnie Pestano, Brett Pill, Reed Johnson, Mark Kotsay) to play a MLB game in 2013. Davis is currently listed at the top of the Brewers depth chart in left field for the 2014 season. In his three seasons (2007-09) as a Titan, Davis played in 150 games, starting in 122 of them, an hit .296 with 20 home runs and 92 RBIs. He also stole 32 bases in 36 attempts.