Jan. 24, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton baseball garnered six of the nine available first-place votes and have been picked by the coaches as the favorite to win the Big West Conference championship in 2012 as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.
Fullerton, winner of the past two league titles, took home the 2011 trophy with a 19-5 mark by three games over rival UC Irvine. Fullerton has won nine conference championships in the Super Regional era (dating back to 1999; 13 years), sharing the titles with Nevada in 2000 and Long Beach State in 2008.
Behind Fullerton (76 points, six first-place votes) in the coaches poll is UC Irvine (70 points, 3 first-place votes), Long Beach State (58 points), Cal Poly (54 points), UC Riverside (44 points), UC Santa Barbara (37 points), Pacific (25 points), UC Davis (23 points) and Cal State Northride (18 points).
The Titans are ranked 25th in the preseason by Baseball America, and 21st by Collegiate Baseball while UC Irvine is the only other ranked team in the conference coming in at No. 29 on Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 Preseason Poll.
Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 655-228-2 (.742) conference record over 37 seasons and has won 25 Div. I conference championships dating back to 1975. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, will get his first crack at a Big West crown in 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 14 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-11). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 17 total Big West championships and a 482-182 (.725; 29 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record.
The Titans open the 2012 season at No. 1 Florida on Feb. 17 before returning for their home opener on Feb. 24 with No. 15 TCU. Fullerton's first Big West game will be at home against Cal State Northridge, Mar. 30 to Apr. 1.
For ticket information, please check out the ticket link at fullertontitans.com, or call the Athletic Ticket office at (657) 278-CSUF.