Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara
Date: May 13-15
Time: Friday 3 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Venue: Caesar Uyesaka Stadium
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: Cal State Fullerton Leads 100-37
FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 22 Cal State Fullerton takes on No. 24 UC Santa Barbara in a critical three-game Big West Conference series.
CATCH ALL THE ACTION:
Fans can follow the action for all this week's games with live stats and live audio. All links can be found on FullertonTitans.com.
Follow @BaseballTitans on Twitter for daily updates during the 2016 season. Fullerton baseball is also on Instagram, so make sure to follow the 2016 team all season @CSF_TitansBaseball.
For the first time since the preseason rankings, the Titans are ranked in the Baseball America Top-25 poll, checking in at No. 22 this week. They have also moved up two spots in the Collegiate Baseball poll, pulling a No. 15 ranking in Monday's poll. Fullerton continues to receive votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today Top-25 poll.
The Titans checked in at No. 40 in Wednesday's NCAA RPI ratings.
CSF vs. UC SANTA BARBARA • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1976/2015
Overall Record: 100-37
Current Streak: Lost 1
SCBA Conference Record: 28-4
Big West Conference Record: 69-30
Overall Conference (SCBA and Big West) Record: 97-34
SCBA Playoff Game Record: 0-1
Big West Conference Tournament Record: 1-0
Home Record: 53-18
Road Record: 47-18
Neutral Record: 0-1
Longest Winning Streak: 12 games (05/16/80 to 04/21/83)
Longest Losing Streak: 5 games (04/27/86 to 03/27/87)
Extra Innings: 4-2
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 21 runs, 2 times (last on 04/27/85)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 15 runs (05/09/86)
Largest Margin of Victory: 20 runs (04/27/85)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 8 runs, 2 times (last on 05/03/08)
TITANS AND THE BIG WEST:
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 740-257-1 (.741) conference record over 42 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 85-29 Big West Conference record in his five seasons at the helm and won consecutive conference titles in 2012 and 2013. He helped lead the Titans to another title in 2015, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Augie Garrido (14). Larry Cochell (1), George Horton (7) and Dave Serrano (3). Overall, the Titans have won 28 conference titles.
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 17 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 564-211-1 (.727; 34 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record.
UC SANTA BARBARA NOTES:
The Titans sit atop the Big West Conference standings while the Gauchos are three games back of Fullerton in the standings, sitting in third place. The Titans will play just their 18th game on the road this season after playing 29 at Goodwin Field. While Fullerton has posted 22 wins at home this year, they are just 8-9 away from home this season and have split their two conference road series this season. They dropped two of three at Cal Poly before taking two of three from UC Irvine a few weeks later. Meanwhile, the Gauchos have been outstanding at home this season, posting a 21-2 record at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, winning a program record 16 straight at home. But the Gauchos have been struggling lately, dropping two of three at UC Davis this past weekend and then having their 16-game winning streak snapped by CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday. In 2014, the Gauchos took two of three from the Titans at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, the first time the Titans had lost a series in Santa Barbara since 1985.
Other Gauchos Notes
• The Gauchos have won 31 games this season, marking the fourth straight year the Gauchos have won 30 games in a year. The program has only notched four straight 30-win seasons on one prior occasion in program history (1982-87).
• The Gauchos' 21-2 home record is one of the best in the country alongside the likes of Louisville (29-1) and South Carolina (28-2). Since 2014, UCSB has a .815 winning percentage (66-15) at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
• The Gauchos average 5.7 runs per game to lead the Big West Conference. UCSB also leads the Big West with a .367 on-base percentage and .377 slugging percentage. They have also stolen 60 bases this year to lead the Big West including 11 steals in the last two games of the UC Davis series alone.
PICKED TO WIN IT:
Cal State Fullerton was selected as the favorite to win the 2016 Big West titles as selected by the nine conference head coaches in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll. The Titans received four first-place votes and 71 points overall. UC Irvine received one first-place vote and 65 points. Long Beach State garnered three first-place votes and 62 points overall to slot in at third while UC Santa Barbara was picked fourth with 60 points overall. CSUN (44), Cal Poly (43), Hawai'i (27), UC Riverside (17), and UC Davis (16) round out the poll.
2016 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (4) - 71
2. UC Irvine (1) - 65
3. Long Beach State (3) - 62
4. UC Santa Barbara (1) - 60
5. CSUN - 44
6. Cal Poly - 43
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 17
9. UC Davis – 16
( ) First Place Vote
The Titans beat UC Riverside on Sunday for their 30th win of the season. Fullerton has won 30-plus games in each of its 42 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 clinched a winning season on Friday night and 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.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Arizona State 53
2. Miami, Fla. 46
t3. Cal State Fullerton 42
t3. Clemson 42
BLASER AND SEABOLD SWEEP PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS:
In four games last week, Blaser batted 9-for-14 (.643) with five runs scored and five RBIs on his way to Big West Player of the Week honors. In the series opener vs. UCR, Blaser batted 4-for-4 with a double and run scored to help the Titans to a 2-1 victory. Overall, he finished the UCR series batting 8-for-10 (.800), producing three consecutive multiple-hit games with four RBIs and five runs scored, including hitting two home runs in the series finale, a 9-2 victory. For Blaser, this is his first Big West Player of the Week Award in 2016 and the third for the Titans as a team. He is also in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak heading into this weekend and leads the team with a .372 batting average.
Seabold tossed seven shutout innings and scattered four hits to pick up his sixth win of the season Friday night against UC Riverside as well as Big West Pitcher of the Week accolades. He struck out a career-high 12 batters while issuing just one walk and allowed just two batters to advance to second base. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced including nine straight. For Seabold, it was his second Pitcher of the Week award and the third this year for the Titans.
Scott Serigstad recorded his third save of the season Friday night against UC Riverside, a 2-1 Titans win. He went two innings and allowed one run while striking out four. All three of his saves this season have required more than three outs. He needed two innings to close the door on CSUN for his first career save and then went three and 1/3 innings on April 30 to lock down the win at UC Irvine. This season, Serigstad leads the team with 20 appearances and has tossed 39 and 2/3 innings, the most amongst Fullerton relievers. He has struck out 47 batters and held opponents to a .182 batting average, posting a 1.36 ERA on the season.
Jake Pavletich has made five straight starts for the Titans, all of them at third base. He has played in eight games overall but entered solely as a defensive substitution at first base on April 22 against UNLV, where he did not register an at-bat. In the seven games he has registered an official at-bat, Pavletich has tallied a hit in every one and has nine hits in 23 at-bats overall, good for a .391 average. He has two RBIs, two multi-hit games and is a perfect two-for-two in stolen base attempts so far this season.
LIKE A GLOVE:
Shortstop Timmy Richards has been one of the best defensive shortstops in the country all season but has backed it up with the bat this year. He leads the team with seven home runs including a three-run blast in Sunday's finale against UC Riverside. In his last 10 games, Richards is batting .293 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs. He has driven in six runs and also scored six times to go along with a pair of stolen bases. This season, Richards is batting .281 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 22 RBIs.
GET THE BROOMS:
The Titans have recorded five three-game sweeps this season, including a sweep over UC Riverside this past weekend. Three of the team's five sweeps have come at home against conference opponents (CSUN, UC Davis, UCR), giving the Titans a perfect 9-0 home record in Big West Conference play.
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR:
Connor Seabold tallied a career-high 12 strikeouts last week against UC Riverside. More notably, he issued one walk; marking just the fifth time in 12 appearances and nine starts the right-hander has issued a free pass. He has walked multiple batters only twice this season and currently leads the conference with an 11.29 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 0.97 walks per nine innings average. He is also tied for first in the Big West Conference with a 0.88 WHIP. Nationally, those marks rank third, 10th and 11th respectively.
GOING, GOING, GONE:
The Titans have blasted 21 home runs in 46 games this season after belting 20 in 64 games all of last year. They hit three home runs on May 8 against UC Riverside; marking the first time the Titans hit three in a game since 2013. Overall, Timmy Richards leads the way this season with seven homers. Dalton Blaser has four homers while Chris Hudgins has gone yard three times. Josh Vargas has belted a pair of homers along with Tanner Pinkston. Niko Pacheco and freshman Ruben Cardenas each have one, as does Jerrod Bravo. Of the 21 homers, 17 have been hit at Goodwin Field. The Titans are 14-3 this year when hitting at least one home run in a game and are 9-6 when the opponent hits at least one homer.
The Titans pitching staff is still ranked first in the nation with a 2.33 ERA. They have allowed 109 earned runs in 420 and 2/3 innings pitched. In the series against UC Riverside, the Titans allowed just five earned runs in 27 innings, the fourth fewest in a three-game series this season. They allowed just one earned run in a three-game sweep of Wichita State and three earned in a sweep of UC Davis. Titans pitching allowed four earned runs against UNLV. In addition, the Titans are ranked first in the country in hits allowed per nine innings, allowing just 6.78 hits per game. Fullerton is also ranked second in the nation with a 1.03 WHIP, third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.47) and sixth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.50).