#14 CAL STATE FULLERTON vs. #7 LONG BEACH STATE
MAY 25-27th • GOODWIN FIELD
FULLERTON, Calif.--- It'll be a rivalry renewed this weekend, as No. 14 Cal State Fullerton closes out the regular season against No. 7 Long Beach State, beginning Thursday at 6 pm PT out at Goodwin Field. Game two will be Friday at 7 pm PT, while the series finale will be Saturday at 7 pm PT.
LBSU - RHP John Sheaks (7-2, 3.75 ERA) vs. – CSF - RHP Connor Seabold (9-4, 2.93 ERA)
LBSU - RHP Darren McCaughan (8-2, 2.70 ERA) vs. – CSF - LHP John Gavin (6-2, 3.16 ERA)
LBSU - RHP Dave Smith (8-1, 1.70 ERA) vs. – CSF - RHP Colton Eastman (0-0, 2.45 ERA)
CSF vs. LONG BEACH STATE • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1975/2017
Overall Record: 140-71
Current Streak: Lost 3
PCAA/Big West Conference Record: 75-43
SCBA Conference Record: 30-7
Overall Conference (PCAA/Big West and SCBA): 105-50
Big West Conference Tournament Record: 4-2
NCAA Regional Record: 0-1
Overall NCAA Postseason Record: 0-1
Home Record: 72-32
Road Record: 67-38
Neutral Record: 1-1
Longest Winning Streak: 15 games (04/12/85 to 04/10/88)
Longest Losing Streak: 5 games (05/24/02 to 03/28/03)
Extra Innings: 5-4
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 26 runs (05/02/80)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 17 runs, 2 times (last on 05/19/01)
Largest Margin of Victory: 17 runs (03/31/81)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 12 runs, 2 times (last on 05/16/99)
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE
Fullerton has now won 30-plus games in each of its 43 seasons at the Div. I level. The 30+ win streak will end for Arizona State this year. It currently has a record of 23-29 with three games left to play in the regular season.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Arizona State 54
2. Miami, Fla. 47
3. Clemson 43
4. Cal State Fullerton 43
HISTORIC HOMERS FOR HURST
Scott Hurst put together one of the best offensive performances in college baseball history last Saturday at CSUN. He was perfect at the plate, going 5-for-5 with a school-record equaling four home runs, seven RBI and six runs scored, as the Titans cruised by CSUN 16-7. Hurst's four-homer performance ties Fullerton's school record for the most home runs recorded in a game, as Sam Favata also blasted four jacks in a 34-5 victory over La Verne on April 23, 1980. However, Hurst is the only Titan to hit four homers against a current Division I opponent. Hurst and Louisville's Brendan KcKay are the only two players to have hit four home runs in a game this season. Hurst's seven RBI fell just one shy of the school-record of eight runs driven in set by David Olmedo-Barrera on April 4, 2015. The six runs scored were the most since Austin Diemer scored four runs on March 7, 2014. The five hits went down as the most since Matt Chapman also collected five on April 26, 2015 vs. Hawaii. Hurst set new career highs in runs scored, hits, RBI and home runs. The performance earned him Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season, and earned him Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Week honors
The Titans are 11-2-1 in weekend series this season. The 11 series wins is the most since claiming 14 in 2013.
Once the ball is in Conine's hand the Titans don't lose. He's collected 12 saves on the year without blowing one. Before May 9th's game vs. UCLA he'd gone 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run over 17 appearances. He's collected 31 strikeouts while only walking four on the year to go along with his 1.26 ERA. His 12 saves lead the conference and are ranked 17th in the nation. Conine's next save will move him into a tie for seventh place on Fullerton's all-time saves list. Vinnie Pestano and Ted Silva currently hold the spot down with 13 saves.
HURST MAKING IT HURT
Scott Hurst has given opponents fits all season long. He leads the Big West in runs scored (150), runs per game (0.92), ranks third in slugging percentage (.586), third in total bases (82) and ranks third in the conference in triples with four, while he's just two triples away from placing eighth on the Fullerton all-time single season triples list. Hurst leads the Titans in slugging percentage (.586), runs scored (48), hits (71), home runs (10), total bases (123), and total plate appearances (245).
BRYANT SWINGS THE BAT
Taylor Bryant leads the team in doubles (14), walks (32) games played (52) and games started (52).
Dillon Persinger has been of those guys you hate to play against, but would love to have on your team. Persinger has reached base via HBP a team-leading 10 times this season, which ranks fourth in the conference. He also ranks third in the Big West in stolen bases (14) and ranks second in steals per game (0.30). Titans are 7-5 when Persinger starts at second base this season, as opposed to 21-11 when he starts at first base.
THE KID CAN PLAY
Freshman Sahid Valenzuela has made his impact felt from the very beginning. He ranks fifth in the Big West with a.338 batting average. His 20 multi-hit games lead the team, while he's collected knocks in 22 of his last 26 games with nine of those being multi-hit performances.
KEEP EM COMING
The Titans have collected double digit hits in 17 of the last 28 games.
GOOD THINGS HAPPENING AT GOODWIN
Until April 30th, the Titans had won 15 consecutive home games. It matched Titans' longest home win streak since winning the final 15 home games of the 2009 season. They've won 18 of the last 21 games at home.
A TRUE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
The Titans are 18-6 at home this season as opposed to 13-12 on the road. The pitching is a big reason why, as the staff holds a 3.10 ERA at home, as opposed to a 4.62 ERA on the road. The staff has struck out 201 batters at home and just 174 on the road, while it's walked 57 batters at home and 63 on the road.
PASSING THE TEST
Cal State Fullerton played its highest ranked team of the season on March 15, defeating then-ranked No. 12 Arizona 4-0. The win over the national runners up was its highest ranked victory since defeating No. 6 Louisville on June 8, 2015 in Super Regional play. This weekend the Titans will play their highest ranked opponent of the season.
NONE FOR YOU
The Titans have four shutout victories on the year thus far. They had four all of last year.
Blake Workman went career-high 6.0 innings of scoreless relief while striking out a career-high equaling five batters in Fullerton's wild 3-2 14-inning win over UC Irvine on April 29th to earn him Big West Pitcher of the Week Honors. He also earned the win three weekends ago in the series finale at Hawaii to help the Titans claim their ninth series win of the season. He's 6-2 with a 2.96 ERA overall. However, Workman also has 11 wild pitches on the season. That's already tied for fifth most in Titan history for a single season.
Fullerton has already taken on some of the best teams college baseball has to offer. Fullerton has gone 6-4 vs. teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season (Gonzaga, Arizona, New Mexico, Long Beach State). The Titans have gone 6-6 against teams with top-60 RPIs.
Team RPI Rank
Long Beach State 18
MAKING EM EARN IT
The Titans currently rank fifth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings (2.41), ninth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.06) and 12th in fielding percentage (.980). Fullerton leads the Big West in fielding percentage and walks (213), runs (292) and scoring (5.6)
WE SEE YOU SEABOLD
Connor Seabold has been mighty impressive thus far as Fullerton's Friday night guy. His 101.1 innings pitched and his 97 strikeouts lead the team, while his 2.93 ERA is the lowest of any starter. In addition, he's tossed two complete games this season, which ranks 54th nationally and is third best in the conference. He's claimed Big West Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season, on Feb. 20 and March 10, while he's recorded quality starts in nine of his last 11 outings. His complete-game shutout on April 7 vs. UC Davis, marked Fullerton's first complete-game shutout Thomas Eshelman threw one on May 15, 2015.
JOHNNY BE GOOD
John Gavin has been more than just good to start 2017. He owns a 6-2 record with a 3.16 ERA in 79.2 innings pitched this season. Gavin was named Big West Pitcher of the Week and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's National Pitcher of the Week after pitching a career-high 8.0 innings against New Mexico on 3/19. In his eight innings, the San Jose, Calif. native allowed just two hits, zero earned runs, zero walks and struck out a career-high 14 batters. The 14 strikeouts were the most any Titan had accumulated since Thomas Eshelman also collected 14 on May 30, 2015 vs. Arizona State.
Fullerton has blasted 34 home runs in its last 32 ballgames. Before this stretch, the Titans had hit just three home runs through the first 19 games of the season.
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD
The Titans are 24-9 when scoring first this season, 16-4 when scoring in the first inning, while they're 23-1 when leading after the sixth frame, 27-2 when leading after seven and 30-1 when leading after eight. They're also 20-2 when holding their opponent to two runs or less.
While it's definitely good news when the Titans take an early lead, Fullerton has shown the ability to get the job done in the late stage of games this year. The Titans have outscored their opponents 42-19 in the seventh, 30-20 in the eighth and 23-9 in the ninth frame this season. They've outscored their opponent 95-48 in those three innings combined.
AMONG THE BEST
John Gavin has been named to the College Baseball Foundation's initial watch list for the National Pitcher of the Year Award. Sahid Valenzuela has been named to the organization's initial watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, which honors the nation's best shortstop.
HUDGINS NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Chris Hudgins is one of 85 catchers to be named to the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The award handed out to the best college catcher in the nation for the 2017 season. The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced on May 17. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced on June 5, while a final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29th.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…
What happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in Vegas. Fullerton's 5-0 win on Feb. 26 over UNLV marked the Titans' first road shutout over an opponent since blanking Hawai'i 4-0 back on May 15, 2015. That's a stat the Titans get to take all the way back to Fullerton.
TO ANOTHER 200
Fullerton's victory of UNLV on Feb. 26 marked Rick Vanderhook 200th win as Cal State Fullerton's head coach. Vanderhook is 222-121 in his sixth seasons as the skipper for the Titans. Here's to another 200 more coach.
TITANS WITH TEAM USA
Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook has been named as an assistant coach on Team USA's Collegiate National Team coaching staff this summer. He's one of four assistants on the staff. Pitching coach Blake Hawksworth has been seleted as Team USA's 17U pitching coach this summer.
FULLERTON IN THE POLLS
The Titans enter the 14th week of the 2017 campaign ranked in the top-25 of all six major preseason baseball polls.
Baseball America: No. 14
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper: No. 25
USA TODAY Coaches Poll: No. 18
NCBWA Poll: No. 16
Perfect Game: No. 13
D1Baseball: No. 16
Cal State Fullerton ranks 39th in the latest RPI, while Long Beach State is 18th
TITANS ON THE TUBE
Cal State Fullerton baseball will appear on television a league-leading seven times this season.
HOW THE (BIG) WEST WAS WON? HOPEFULLY
After claiming their 21st Big West Conference title a year ago and their sixth in the last seven years, the Titans are the favorites to do it again in 2017, as Cal State Fullerton has been picked as the team to beat in the Big West Conference, according to the nine league coaches that voted on the Big West baseball preseason poll. Fullerton received a total of 76 points and eight of nine first place votes in the poll, while Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara tied for second, as each tallied 65 points.
2017 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton (8) - 76
T2. Long Beach State - 65
T2. UC Santa Barbara - 65
4. Cal Poly - 55
5. UC Irvine (1) - 48
6. CSUN - 33
7. UC Riverside - 27
8. Hawai'i - 23
9. UC Davis - 13
( ) First-place vote
BEST IN THE WEST
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 756-265-1 (.741) conference record over 42 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 99-32 Big West Conference record in his five seasons and has led Fullerton to the conference crown in four of his five seasons at the helm. The four conference titles for Vanderhook is the second most in school history, only behind Augie Garrido (14). Overall, the Titans have won 29 conference titles.
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 18 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015-16). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 569-215-1 (.725; 34 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record
TITAN PRIDE NEVER GRADUATES
Cal State Fullerton held its annual Alumni Game back on Jan. 28th and it was the Alumni squad coming up with a 5-3 victory over the Titans. The win marked its first over the Titans since 2007, snapping what was an eight-game losing streak. However, the news isn't all bad for the Titans. The last time Fullerton dropped a contest to the Alumni, the team put together a magical season that ended up seeing the Titans in Omaha.
DINOSAURS ARE EXTINCT
Cal State Fullerton earned a 4-3 victory over the NC Dinos on Tuesday night. The contest marked the third straight year the two sides had gotten together for an exhibition game. The Titans now own a 2-1 lead in the all-time series, as they defeated the Dinos 8-7 in 2015 and lost a 10-1 decision in 2016.
THERE'S A STANDARD HERE
Fullerton has won 30-plus games in each of its 42 seasons at the Div. I level and is 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.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Arizona State 54
2. Miami, Fla. 46
3. Cal State Fullerton 42
3. Clemson 42
IT'S COOL TO STAY IN SCHOOL
Ten Titans on the current roster have been selected previously in the MLB First-Year Players draft. Newcomer Dillon Persinger has actually been selected twice, in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians (31st round) and in 2016 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He decided to attend Cal State Fullerton instead.
Titans in the Draft (by round):
Tristan Hildebrandt 2014 16th round St. Louis Cardinals
Connor Seabold 2014 19th round Baltimore Orioles
Dillon Persinger 2014 17th round Los Angeles Dodgers
Colton Eastman 2015 20th round Minnesota Twins
Chris Hudgins 2014 35th round New York Yankees
Ruben Cardenas 2015 37th round Miami Marlins
John Gavin 2014 39th round Milwaukee Brewers
Timmy Richards 2013 40th round Miami Marlins
TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES
The Titans have had 61 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In 2017, the Titans will face five teams that qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Gonzaga, Arizona, New Mexico, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. Both UCSB and Arizona advanced to the College World Series last year, while the Wildcats finished as the national runner-up in Omaha.
All three weekend starters of an overall pitching staff that set records last season are back in 2017. All-Conference performers Colton Eastman, Connor Seabold and John Gavin are expected to hold down the weekend rotation once again this season. The three combined to win 17 games for the Titans in 2016.
Sophomore right-handed hurler Colton Eastman has earned a spot on USA Baseball's 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. The Golden Spikes Award is given out to the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2017 season. Last year as a freshman, Eastman proved why deserves to be on this list, as he compiled an 8-3 record to go along with a 2.24 ERA with a freshman school-record equaling 100 strikeouts in 100.2 innings pitched. He racked up numerous honors last season, as he was named a Baseball America Freshman All-American, D1Baseball.com Freshman All-American, NCBWA Freshman All-American, the Louisville Slugger Freshman Pitcher of the Year, Louisville Slugger All-American Third Team member, the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a member of the Big West All-Conference team.
In addition, he finished his freshman campaign ranked 23rd nationally in WHIP (0.97), 38th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.00), 41st in ERA, 49th in wins and 91st in walks allowed per nine innings (1.79). He also led the team in wins, strikeouts and games started.
LOOK'S LIKE A PRO
Connor Seabold was named to the Big West All-Second Team a year ago after claiming two Big West Pitcher of the Week honors during the season and boasting an overall 7-6 record to go along with a 2.48 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 83.1 innings pitched. He's been named on Baseball America's Top-100 Prospects list coming into this season.
Cal State Fullerton will dedicate the 2017 season to Coben Swanson. Eight year old Coben Swanson of Yorba Linda, Calif., is on the road to recovery from a Nov. 2015 diagnosis of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), brain hemorrhage, craniectomy and cranioplasty. He is currently battling the side effects of chemotherapy and has been tested at Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) since his diagnosis. He is the son of Jon and Brittany Swanson, and big brother to sister, Saffryn (5). Through the help of Team IMPACT, the Titans have joined Coben in his fight against ALL and made him a permanent member of the Titan family. Throughout the 2017 season you'll see #TEAMCOBEN imprinted on the right side of the Titan batting helmets. Coben has part of his right skull removed last year to repair some damage as a part of his recovery.