CAL STATE FULLERTON AT USC
MAY 22nd • Dedeaux Field
Game Notes: Fullerton | USC | Big West
FULLERTON, Calif.- Cal State Fullerton enters its final week of the regular season with the Big West Conference title in hand, but it'll stop at USC on Tuesday, as it tunes up for the postseason. First pitch from Dedeaux Field will be at 6 pm PT and the game can be seen on Pac-12 Networks.
CSF - RHP, Gavin Velasquez (0-2, 7.88 ERA) at USC - LHP, Brian Gursky (3-1, 5.40 ERA)
CATCH ALL THE ACTION
Fans can follow the action through the audio stream by listening to Mike Martinez, watching live on Pac-12 Networks or follow along with live stats. Links to all three are available on FullertonTitans.com.
Follow @BaseballTitans on Twitter for daily updates during the 2018 season. Fullerton baseball is also on Instagram, so make sure to follow the 2018 team all season @CSF_TitansBaseball.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!
After starting the regular season just 1-7, Fullerton has now claimed 30 conference championships in program history and has qualified for postseason for the 40th time overall, while it will participate in 27 consecutive NCAA Tournaments after clinching the Big West Conference title with an 11-4 win over CSUN last Sunday. For Titan manager Rick Vanderhook, he's now led Fullerton to the conference crown in five of his seven seasons as head coach. Overall the Titans have captured 13 of the 10 Big West Conference titles in the 2000s.
To say the Titans have been dominant in league play this season is an understatement, as Fullerton has captured series victories in each of its last six Big West series.
IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE
They say it's all about getting hot at the right time and the Titans are certainly living up to that statement. Over the Titans' last 18 Big West contests they are 15-3, including three series sweeps. Here's a look at some the numbers Fullerton has put up during that span. The Titans clinched the Big West last Sunday with still a full week left to play in the season.
Category Season Last 18 Big West Games
Batting avg..270 .305
Slugging % .349 .398
On-base % .346 .367
ERA 3.49 2.70
Opponent BA .256 .245
Hank LoForte has been off the charts as of late. He currently boasts a team-best 35-game on-base streak while collecting at least one hit 24 hits over his last 25 games in addition his current 12-game hit streak. The Elk Grove, California native is batting .378 (56-for-148) with 26 RBI, four doubles, four triples, a home run a .480 slugging percentage and a .423 on base percentage over his last 35 games.
NOW THAT'S QUALITY
Fullerton's starting pitching staff of Colton Eastman, Tommy Wilson and Andrew Quezada has combined to make eight quality starts over is last nine appearances. The Titans have gone 7-2 during that span.
BERRY, BERRY GOOD
Mitchell Berryhill ranks fifth in the nation and second in the Big West in sacrifice bunts (16). He ranks fourth nationally and second in the conference sacrifice bunts per game (.33).
QUEZADA COMES THROUGH
Quezada came through when the Titans needed him most, as he tossed his first career complete game shutout, going 9.0 innings, while scattering 11 hits, surrendering zero runs and fanning a career-high equaling nine batters en route to the series clinching 8-0 victory over Hawai'i on April 22nd.
The Bellflower, California native got the help of some superb defense, as the infield turned five double plays in the game and didn't commit an error. Quezada has now tossed five quality starts on the year, while four of them have come in his last five starts. The performance earned him Big West Pitcher of the Week honors on April 23rd. He tossed his second complete game shutout on May 6th at UC Davis.
EASTMAN TOSSES HISTORIC NO-HITTER
Colton Eastman recorded the fifth no-hitter in program history on March 28, 2018 at UC Santa Barbara (W, 3-0). He pitched easily his best game of his collegiate baseball career, tossing 9.0 shutout innings, without allowing a run or hit, while striking out seven and just walking one. The no-hitter marked Fullerton's first since Justin Garza also recorded one in a 3-0 win over CSUN on May 24, 2014. The no-no was just the Titans' first no-hitter on the road, as the previous four came at home.
Fullerton's no-no was the 17th in DI baseball so far this year, which already breaks the all-time record for no-hitters in a single season set in 2013. Eastman also wears No. 17. He was named Perfect Game's National Player of the Week, NCBWA's National Player of the Week and the Big West Pitcher of the Week on April 2 thanks to the historic performance.
Eastman has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning three times this season.
All-Time Titan No-Hitters
Longo Garcia – 1987
Ted Silva – 1995
Kirk Saarloos – 2001
Justin Garza – 2014
Colton Eastman – 2018
STOP…HE NEARLY DID IT AGAIN
Just one week after tossing the fifth no-hitter in the Titan baseball history, Colton Eastman nearly did it again on April 6 vs. Cal Poly. Eastman tossed 5.2 innings of no-hit baseball to begin the game. Before Cal Poly's Kyle Marinconz finally got a hit in the sixth, Eastman had faced 55 consecutive batters without surrendering a hit. In all Eastman tossed 8.0 innings while recording the win, allowing just three hits, one run, but zero earned and fanned eight in what was another unbelievable performance.
CONINE CLOSING THE DOOR
Conine currently boasts a 3-1 record to go along with a 3.78 ERA, while racking up nine saves in 27 appearances. He's also fanned 33 batters thus far. His nine saves rank 50th most nationally and third most in the Big West, while his 27 appearances are 6th most in the country and is tops in the league. He's been named to the NCBWA's Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch list. Conine is one of just 12 players on the list of 41 that what appeared on the initial list back in February.
THAT'S MORE LIKE IT
After a rough start to 2018, the Titans are starting to look more like…well, the Titans. Fullerton has captured victories in 26 of its last 38 games, including claiming a win over No. 1 Oregon State and series sweeps over Grand Canyon, Arizona State, Cal Poly, UC Irvine and UC Davis.
After a tough 1-7 record in February, the Titans continue to get better as the calendar continues to turn. The Titans went 9-8 in March, went 12-5 in April and are 7-2 so far in May.
SAYING GOODBYE TO A LEGEND
Augie Garrido, one of college baseball's legendary coaches who claimed five National Championships, with three coming at Cal State Fullerton, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 79. Garrido's storied 48-year baseball coaching career spanned six decades, while his remarkable 1,975 victories goes down as the most managerial wins in the history of the game (1,975-952-9.) He will be remembered as one of the most successful coaches in not only baseball, but college sports history.
Garrido retired from the game of baseball in June 2016 after completing his unprecedented coaching career as the head coach at the University of Texas. He was the first coach to claim National Championships with multiple college baseball programs, leading the Titans to three of the program's four overall titles (1979, 1984, 1995) and claiming two with the University of Texas (2002, 2005).
Andy Lopez is the only other coach to claim multiple College World Series Championships, winning the title with Pepperdine in 1992 and again with Arizona in 2012. Garrido was also one of only three coaches in NCAA history to guide five or more teams to NCAA championships in college baseball history. He's tied for second, trailing only USC's Rod Dedeaux (10).
During his two stints with the Titans (1973-87 and 1991-96), Garrido's teams compiled an impressive mark of 875-341-5 for a winning percentage of .719, which is still the best in school history. In addition to his three titles with the Titans, he helped guide Fullerton to seven College World Series appearances and 16 conference championships, including 11 straight from 1974-84. He was named the National Coach of the Year six different times during his career (1975, 1979, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2005), with four of those instances coming with the Titans.
We all know the impact legendry head coach Augie Garrido had on the game of college baseball, but the two programs most affected by his greatness, Texas and Cal State Fullerton, seem to be playing inspired baseball in his honor. Since he passed, the two programs he won national championships with (three with the Titans and two with the Longhorns) have combined to go 53-21. Texas has gone 28-9 since starting the season 9-9, while Fullerton has gone 25-12 since beginning 4-10. Both programs clinched their respective conference titles on Sunday.
CSF vs. USC • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1975/2018
Overall Record: 52-43-1
Current Streak: Lost 1
NCAA Regional Record: 2-4
NCAA College World Series Record: 1-0
Overall NCAA Postseason Record: 3-4
Home Record: 27-18
Road Record: 21-22
Neutral Record: 4-3-1
Longest Winning Streak: 6 games (02/23/82 to 05/25/84)
Longest Losing Streak: 5 games (02/07/89 to 02/05/91)
Extra Innings: 2-3
Most Runs Scored in a Game: 17 runs, 2 times (last on 05/20/14)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent: 14 runs (04/15/08)
Largest Margin of Victory: 14 runs, 2 times (last on 05/20/14)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 10 runs (04/15/08)
GOOD OLE GOODWIN
The Titans have regained that home field advantage, as they've gone 10-3 over their last 13 home games. Overall the Titans are 608-89 at home all-time. They won their 600th home game on April 7th vs. Cal Poly.
After opening weekend's series sweep at Stanford, the Titans have been swept (lost three in a row) at Stanford to begin a season four times in school history and in the previous three instances, some pretty good things ended up happening. They were swept in 2000, 2004, 2006 and here in 2018. In 2000, Fullerton made the postseason and won the Big West crown. In 2004, the Titans won their fourth National Championship and in 2006, Fullerton claimed a spot in the College World Series.
ANYTHING FOR THE SQUAD
The Titans currently rank fifth in the country in sacrifice bunts. That mark is second best in the Big West (54).
A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?
Fullerton's win March 9th at No. 2 Oregon State was its first victory over either a No. 1 or No. 2 team in the nation since defeating No. 1 Florida 8-5 on Feb. 19, 2012. The Titans were 0-3 against top-two teams since then. Fullerton also improved to 3-2 all-time vs. the Beavers and earned a little bit of revenge after last year's College World Series contest. The win also snapped what was at the time longest current home win streak in the nation. Oregon State was previously undefeated at home and had only lost one game at home all of last season.
On March 4 at Tulane, pitchers Andrew Quezada and Brett Conine earned their first collegiate at bats. Conine even recorded his first collegiate hit, going 1-for-4 with a single. He played eight innings in right field and one inning at first base. Quezada was a late substitution at second base, while Tommy Wilson was a late substitution in right field. Colton Eastman even entered the game to pinch run.
COPE IS DOPE
Daniel Cope was named Big West Field Player of the Week back on March 12th for the first time in his career after he batted .400 in three games against No. 2 Oregon State, including blasting a home run scoring two runs and recording an RBI, all while helping to hand the previously undefeated Beavers their first defeat of the season. It snapped what was the longest home win streak in college baseball.
The catcher blasted a home run and a double to help hand the Beavers a 5-3 defeat in the opening game of the series. Cope opened the scoring in the second inning with a solo shot to left field to put the Titans up 1-0. The jack was his third homer over the last four games. The homer was also the first one hit off of OSU's Luke Heimlich since May 14th, 2016. The Oregon State All-American had gone 21 starts without surrendering a home run.
Cope collected two hits and scored a run in the second game of the series, while walking a career-high three times in the series finale on Sunday.
FINDING THE RIGHT FORMULA
In Fullerton's 51 games this year, the Titans have run out 29 different lineups in the field and the batting order has been different in 38 in of 51 contests.
Yes the Titans may have 15 returners back from last year's College World Series squad, but only two of those guys are seniors in Joe Wills and Chris Prescott. Neither of them are four-year seniors as they both transferred from community colleges. The squad consists of 13 freshmen and six sophomores.
GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD
The Titans are a convincing 20-5 this season when scoring first, while they're just 9-17 when the opponent scores first. Fullerton is 21-1 when leading after six innings, 23-1 when leading after seven innings and 23-1 when leading after eight innings.
WIN AT ALL COSTS
The Titans needed 15 innings to clinch their first victory of the season on Friday, Feb. 23 vs. the Houston Cougars. The 2-1 walk-off win was the Titans' first walk-off win since earning a 3-2 14-inning victory over UC Irvine last year (April 29, 2017). The 15-inning affair was the longest game the Titans have played in innings wise since playing a 16-inning contest vs. Fresno State on April 23, 2014. The contest was the longest time wise, since the Titans took down Arizona State 3-2 (14) in five hours and 12 minutes during the Fullerton Regional on May 30, 2015. The Titans earned the win without recording an RBI in the game.
Ten of the Titans' first 21 games came against ranked opponents, while six of those contests coming on the road.
Team Rank When Played Current Rank
Stanford (3) 13 3
Houston (3) 24 21
UCLA (1) 11/9 18
Oregon State (3) 2 2
Newcomer Tommy Wilson has been nothing short of spectacular so far this season. He's surrendered 24 earned runs in seven appearances out of the pen this season and 10 starts. He's pitched 73.2 innings total, while fanning 70 batters. He came on in relief on Feb. 23 in extra innings vs. Houston. He pitched tossed 5.0 scoreless innings in the extra session, while surrendering just one hit and striking out nine. The Cougars had a runner at third base with less than two outs on two separate occasions while Wilson was on the mound. He wiggled out of trouble both times. Fullerton eventually won 2-1 in extra innings. He also recorded his first collegiate start on Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. GCU, fanning eight Lopes in 7.0 innings pitched, while surrendering just one earned run.
After missing most of the 2017 campaign with a back injury, Ruben Cardenas is back in a big way. He's currently batting .305 and has boasted two separate hitting streaks of at least seven games. He currently leads the team in hits (62),total bases (89) and stolen bases (12).
FOR FULLERTON....FANTASTIC PITCHING IS NOTHING NEW
The Titans 3.51 ERA is ranked 29th nationally and is tops in the Big West. It's 1.28 WHIP is ranked 35th nationally and leads the Big West, while it's 2.67 walks per nine innings is fifth lowest in the country and is best in the league. The Titans' 3.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio is also seventh nationally and tops in the Big West.
2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
For the Titans, it'll be a good mix of returners and newcomers that should make up a team worthy of its top-10 preseason ranking. Fullerton welcomes back 16 letterwinners from a year ago, including two all-conference performers from 2017 in junior closer Brett Conine and sophomore infielder Sahid Valenzuela. The Titans will also be under the leadership of four-time Big West Coach of the Year Rick Vanderhook, who enters his seventh season as head coach. The returners will be joined by a recruiting class that is ranked 27th in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball. The Titans enter the 2018 season ranked in every national preseason poll, with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association awarding Cal State Fullerton with the highest ranking of 10th.
• Cal State Fullerton finished the 2017 season with a record of 39-24 (.619), securing the 43rd consecutive winning season in program history. It was also the 43rd straight year the Titans won at least 30 games in a season. The postseason appearance was also Fullerton's 26th straight, which is the second longest streak in the nation, behind only Florida State (40).
• The Titans made their 18th trip to the College World Series and second in the last three years. The 18 appearances in Omaha ranks the Titans tied for 7th with LSU all-time behind Texas (35), Miami (25), Arizona State and Florida State (22), USC (21) and Oklahoma State (20).
HOW THE (BIG) WEST WAS WON
The Titans have now claimed the Big West title seven out of the last nine seasons after doing it again in 2018. Cal State Fullerton was 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 73 points and six of nine first place votes in the poll, while Long Beach State tallied 65 points and two first place votes to finish second.
2018 Coaches Poll Results
1. Cal State Fullerton - 73 (6)
2. Long Beach State - 65 (2)
3. Cal Poly - 64
4. UC Santa Barbara - 49
5. CSUN - 48
6. UC Irvine- 43 (1)
7. Hawai'i - 27
8. UC Riverside - 26
9. UC Davis – 10
( ) First-place vote
BEST IN THE WEST
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 776-275-1 (.738) conference record over 44 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 121-43 Big West Conference record in his seven seasons and has led Fullerton to the conference crown in five of his seven seasons at the helm. The five conference titles for Vanderhook is the second most in school history, only behind Augie Garrido (14). Overall, the Titans have won 30 conference titles.
A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 19 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015-16, 2017-18). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 21 total Big West championships and a 600-229-1 (.722; 36 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record
TITAN PRIDE NEVER GRADUATES
Cal State Fullerton held its annual Alumni Game back on Jan. 27th and it was the Titans coming up with a 6-3 victory over the Alumni. The win Fullerton's ninth win in 10 tries over the Alumni squad.
THERE'S A STANDARD HERE
Fullerton has won 30-plus games in each of its 43 seasons at the Div. I level and is tied for second 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. Fullerton is one win away from reaching the 30-win mark, Clemson has already done it, while Miami is still three wins away.
Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)
1. Miami, Fla. 47
2. Clemson 44
3. Cal State Fullerton 43
TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES
The Titans have had 65 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In 2018, the Titans will face six teams that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Stanford, Houston, UCLA, Oregon State, Long Beach State and San Diego State. Oregon State advanced all the way to Omaha last year, while Fullerton knocked out LBSU in Super Regional play Stanford in Regional play.
In 2017, Conine established himself as one of the best Titan closers of all-time. He picked up 15 saves on the season, which was sixth best nationally, best in the Big West and was the fourth-most saves any Titan has ever picked up in a single season.
Overall, the Orange, California native compiled a 1.39 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched while collecting 43 strikeouts while only walking six in 2017. Conine earned All Big-West First Team honors, Collegiate Baseball All-American Second Third Team honors and was a finalist for the Gregg Olson award, which goes to the nation's best closer a year ago. He also picked up a six-out save in game three of the Long Beach Super Regional to send the Titans to the CWS.
Conine was named to NCBWA's Preseason All-American Second Team, Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, Perfect Game's Preseason All-American Third Team and D1 Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team and was placed on NCBWA's Initial Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Junior right-handed hurler Colton Eastman has earned a spot on USA Baseball's 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list for the second straight season. The Golden Spikes Award is given out to the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2018 season. Eastman is one of just five athletes on the list to be featured now in back-to-back seasons with preseason recognition and the lone member from the Big West Conference.
He put together one of the most heroic seasons in college baseball in 2017. After being injured most of the season, Eastman came back just in the nick of time. The Fresno, California native compiled a perfect 2-0 mark to go along with a 2.14 ERA and 37 strikeouts in only eight appearances.
He saved his best performance for the biggest game of the season, as he tossed seven innings, struck out eight, surrendered just one hit and zero earned runs en route to a 2-1 victory over Long Beach State to send the Titans to Omaha. Conine picked up the six-out save in that game.
In addition to the Golden Spikes Award recognition, Eastman has been placed on Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Second Team, D1Baseball's Preseason All-American Third Team, and has been named to Baseball America's Top-100 Prospects list.
He's now been named to USA Baseball's 40-player midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.
LOOKS LIKE A PRO
It may be just Andrew Quezada's first year at Cal State Fullerton, but he's already getting the love from the pros. The Bellflower, California was nearly unhittable at Cypress College, as he compiled a microscopic 1.17 ERA and led his team to a state semifinal berth. He also recorded the first no-hitter in program history. D1Baseball has placed Quezada on its Top-100 MLB Prospects List.