Vegas Baby! Titans Head to UNLV for 3-Game Set
Feb. 6, 2007
PLAY BALL! The No. 12 Cal State Fullerton (3-0) baseball team is set to head out on its first road trip of the 2007 season, a three-game series in Las Vegas against the UNLV Rebels (3-3). The Titans are coming off a 3-0 sweep of nationally-ranked Stanford, while the Rebels are relishing a series win over No. 19 Pepperdine, missing a sweep of their own by two runs.
@ UNLV (3-3)
Earl E. Wilson Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
Fri., Feb 9., 6:30 p.m. (GT, WEB)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
UNLV: Craig Heyer, RHP (1-1, 5.25 ERA)
Sat., Feb. 10, 2 p.m. (GT, WEB)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (0-0, 16.88 ERA)
UNLV: Matt Hutchison, RHP (0-1, 5.62 ERA)
Sun., Feb. 11, 1 p.m. (GT, WEB)
CSF: Sean Urena, RHP (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
UNLV: Kevin Skrogley, LHP (0-1, 11.00 ERA)
GT = GameTracker
WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com
TITANS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - 12
Collegiate Baseball - 9
USA Today Coaches - 8
NCBWA - 9
Rivals.com - 10
LATE WEEK: The Titans opened up the 2007 season with authority, sweeping visiting Stanford in a three-game weekend series (11-5, 6-5, 12-10) at Goodwin Field.
The Titans pounded out 11 runs on 14 hits on Friday night to give staff ace Wes Roemer more than enough to pick up his first win of the year. The righty threw six innings and fanned eight before giving way to freshman Michael Morrison, who earned his first career save with three innings of effective work. Clark Hardman had a double and the Titans' first homer of the year while Joe Scott collected three singles to pace the offensive attack.
Junior Adam Jorgenson was the story on Saturday night, tossing 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief of starter Jeff Kaplan, to earn the win. Jorgenson allowed just two hits while striking out a career-high seven batters. Hardman and Scott both had three hits, with right fielder Chris Jones leading the way with two RBI.
Freshman Sean Urena made his first career start on Sunday and went five innings, allowing just one earned run and earning a no decision in his debut. He left with the Titans trailing, 2-1, but an 11-run 7th inning gave the Titans the lead they would need to sweep the series. The Titans sent 15 men to the plate, 10 of whom reached via a hit. Scott, Hardman and Jake Vasquez all had two hits in the frame. Stanford didn't go out quietly, though, scoring six times in the eighth and two more times in the ninth before Nolan Bruyninckx induced a double play and a strikeout to end the game and log a save.
TUNE IN: All of Cal State Fullerton baseball games will be broadcast live on fullertontitans.com with play-by-play announcer Justin Alderson. Go to fullertontitans.com and click the listen here icon on the right and enjoy every pitch as it happens. And for your viewing pleasure, the Big West Conference in conjunction with CSTV will provide video streams of select baseball games in 2007 via BigWest.TV. For subscription information visit bgwest.org and watch all the Big West baseball you want. You can also follow select games via GameTracker (when technologically available). Follow the links on the schedule page to find the CSTV GameTracker interface.
TITANS ON THE TUBE: CSTV announced that the Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State baseball game on Friday, May 25, at Goodwin Field will be televised by the college sports network. First pitch is scheduled at 7 p.m. PDT. More details will be released as they become available. Last year, the Titans swept two three-game series from the 49ers for the first time in the Titans' 32-year history.
HOME OPENERS: The Titans are a dominant 29-4 (.879) all-time in their first home games of the season... Under Coach Horton, the Titans are now 10-1 (.909) in Goodwin Field openers.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans are 344-102 (.771) all-time at Goodwin Field with their best-ever home record coming in 2003 when they went 32-3 (.914) in front of the home crowd.
VERSUS UNLV: The Titans are 65-17 all-time against the Rebels since their first meeting in 1979. Under Coach Horton, the team has a 20-3 mark against the UNLV squad that has taken just one game from the Titans in their last nine meetings. Last year, the Titans swept the Rebels at Goodwin Field. Fullerton is 25-10 at UNLV's home field, with the Titans taking two of the three in the last meeting at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in 2005. The Titans have won the last 11 three-game series dating back to 1991 (4/19-21 1991 @UNLV).
LAST YEAR VS. UNLV:
WITOUT THE GENERAL: The Titans will be without the services of senior third baseman Evan McArthur for approximately six weeks. The right-handed hitting McArthur suffered a fracture of the hamate bone in his left hand that will require surgery. The procedure is set for 9:00 a.m on Feb. 8, at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthapedic Clinic in Westchester, Calif., where Dr. Norman Zemel, a hand and wrist specialist, will remove the hamate bone. The small hand bone is located at the base of the palm beneath the fourth and fifth finger and is known for being "hook-shaped." Fractures of the bone are usually hairline fractures and are most common in baseball players and golfers. McArthur played through the injury this past weekend in a three-game series with nationally-ranked Stanford, posting a .308 average (4-for-13) with a double and 3 RBI before he left Sunday's game prematurely in the eighth inning. The Medford, Oregon-native's approximate return coincides with the Titans' three-game set with cross-town rival Long Beach State, Mar. 23-25 at Blair Field. Horton has named Senior Bryan Harris as McArthur's probable replacement this weekend.
ANNOUNCING HIS PRESENCE WITH AUTHORITY: Cal State Fullerton pitcher Adam Jorgenson earned Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week in his first appearance of the season out of the bullpen. After a rough start for the Titans that saw nationally-ranked Stanford score five times in the first 2 2/3 innings on Saturday, the Costa Mesa-native came in and tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just two singles in the come-from-behind, 6-5 win. The righty struck out a career-high seven Cardinal including all three outs in the top of the eighth inning. None of the 23 Cardinal he faced were able to advance past second base.
WICKED PITCH OF THE WES: Friday night starter Wes Roemer (RHP, Glendora, Calif) amazed the country with his pinpoint control walking just seven batters all last season in 155 innings pitched. The then-sophomore started the 2006 campaign by going 65 2/3 innings without issuing a free pass. That amazing control helped the sophomore earn Collegiate Baseball's Co-National Player of the Year honor and unanimous first-team All-American status. Though he hardly walked anyone last season, he did however, keep the hitters honest, hitting a school record 23 batters to break his own record set as a freshman (18 HBPs in 2005). In his first start of 2007, though he struck out eight anvd picked up his first win, e also walked a batter in just the third inning of the Feb. 2 game.
SHOPPING AT THE GAP: Of the 39 hits the Titans knocked out last weekend against Stanford, 15 of them were for extra bases. The offense tallied thirteen doubles (averaging more than four a game), a triple and a home run. Catcher John Curtis led the squad with four extra base hits, all of them doubles.
HARDMAN TO GET OUT: 2003 Freshman All-American Clark Hardman seemed back to form this past weekend in games against Stanford. The junior center fielder knocked in a team leading 5 RBI with seven hits in 13 at bats (.538) and scored a team-leading six runs. He paced the Titans with 13 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage...The outfielder hit for the cycle from Friday to Sunday including his first home run since 2005, Hardman spent last season working back from shoulder and back surgery that kept him out most of the 2005 season. He hit just .224 in 2006 with just 12 RBI in 62 games.
GREAT SCOTT! After just 14 AB in 2006, second baseman Joe Scott made quite a splash at the top and bottom of the Titan line-up going 9-for-12 (.750) in three games vs. Stanford. He posted back-to-back-to-back 3-for-4 efforts against the Cardinal and scored five runs on the weekend. In Saturday's game his one-out double in the bottom of the eighth inning set the table for a Clark Harman single in which he scored the winning run as the Titans went on to win, 6-5. On Sunday, with the Titans trailing 2-1, the Infielder came to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked his eighth hit of the series, driving home the go-ahead run. He followed with an RBI-double later that inning, as the Titans hit 15 batters en-route to an 11-run seventh inning.
NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Wes Roemer (JR, RHP, Glendora) will again be the center of attention as he has already been recognized as a Preseason All-American (Baseball America, NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, Rivals.com) and as a 2007 National Player of the Year Candidate (Collegiate Baseball, CSTV.com, Brooks Wallace Awards, Roger Clemens Award) and has been projected by Baseball America as the Big West Conference's top draft pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft... Roemer was 13-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 2006 striking out 145 in 155 innings pitched with just seven walks.
INCOMING!: Baseball America has ranked Cal State Fullerton's Khris Davis (19th, .592, 10 HR, 50 RBI in 2006 with Deer Valley HS in Glendale Ariz.) and Nate Bridges (22nd, .461, 9 HR, 33 RBI in 2006 with Villa Park HS in Villa Park, Calif.) in their Top 50 Incoming Freshman for both their immediate impact as well as their long-term potential.
A LONG TIME COMING: He's been in the program since 2004, but Nolan Bruyninckx (BROO-nix) converted his first career save on Feb. 4 by rolling up a double play then striking out the last hitter of the game. It was his 25th career appearance, and 20th career strikeout in his 30th inning of work.
BASEBALL AMERICA PREDICTS: The baseball publication looked into their crystal ball and saw that the Titans would again repeat with a Big West Conference Championship in 2007. They also mentioned that junior centerfielder Clark Hardman (Trabuco Canyon, Calif) will be the leagues most valuable player. Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) was also slated to be the conference's best pitcher and top major league prospect.
TO COACH OR NOT TO COACH?: Volunteer Assistant Coach Bill Kernen has a tale (or two) to tell you, that not many in the baseball business could fathom. Kernen, a veteran collegiate coach, left the game after more than 20 years and moved to New York to become a playwright in 1995. He went to Columbia University in New York to study writing and while there, penned "And Other Fairy Tales" and "A Graveyard Symphony" within his first two years. Two more, "Galleria degli Angeli" (1998) and "Musica de Mariposa" (1999), would follow in the next two years, with his 1998 effort being honored as a finalist in the Oglebay Institute National Playwriting Competition. Kernen's play "Snapshot of Molly and Her Man" (2002) was turned in to a 16 minute short film in 2002, with the Titan pitching coach earning credit as the film's casting director as well. Kernen was the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1989-95 where he accumulated a 240-154-3 (.609) career record, just missing a trip to Omaha in CSUN's first year at the Div. I level.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Junior College transfer Matt Wallach (Jr., Catcher, Yorba Linda, Calif., Cypress College) has some pretty big shoes to fill being that he is the son of a 17-year major leaguer, five-time All-Star and one of the most iconic Titans in the program's 32-year history. Matt was a JC All-American in 2006, and hit .301 with four home runs and 34 RBI for the Chargers, earning himself All-Orange Empire First Team honors. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 23 round in 2006, but chose to play his junior year at Fullerton and major in business. This season, he will start the season behind senior catcher John Curtis, but will no doubt get some at bats whenever possible from the bench. So far, Wallach has gone hitless in two pinch-hit appearances, and was hit by a pitch in one of those times at bat.
CHANGING UNI'S: Jake Vasquez (SR, INF, Diamond Bar, Calif.) is the Only Titan in 2007 to transfer from another Division I school. The projected starting first baseman played last season at Texas A&M and has the skills to make Head Coach Geroge Horton say, "How Texas A&M cut him loose has all of us shaking our heads. It will make the loss of Brett Pill and David Copper [from 2006 Titan squad] acceptable." Despite hitting .276 with 5 home runs in 122 at bats, Vasquez has passed every test the Titan coaching staff as thrown at him in the fall land winter workouts. In his first three games as a Titan vs. Stanford, the junior posted a .357 average (5-for-14) collecting a pair of doubles and an RBI.
TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 28 NCAA regional appearances in their 32-year Div. I history and have not missed the post-season since 1991. The 15-year run is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (34), Florida State (29), and Clemson (20), have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 14 times, coming away with College World Series Titles in 1979, 1984, 1995, and 2004.
A WINNING TRADITION: On May 23, 2006, the Titans captured their 22nd 40-win season with a 6-3 win over USC. The Titans also picked up their eighth 50-win season as they defeated Clemson, 7-6, in the College World Series. Fullerton has never had less than 30 wins or finished the season with a losing record (since 1975, first year at Div. I). Larry Cochell's Titans captured the lowest win total in the school's history with a 30-27 overall record in 1989.
MILESTONES AHEAD: 11th-year Head Coach George Horton is 45 wins away from his 500th career win. Last season Horton tallied his 188th career Big West Conference win, tying him with Fresno State's Bob Bennett for second place on the all-time Big West leader board. His next conference victory will put him in sole possession of second place behind former Long Beach State skipper Dave Snow's 218 Big West wins.
TO THE SHOW: Three former Titans made their big league debuts in 2006 boosting the school's total number to 43 former Fullerton players that have played a big league game. Mike Rouse (with CSF in 2001) and Jason Windsor (with CSF from 2003-04) both made appearances with the Oakland A's, while Wes Littleton (with CSF from 2001-03) debuted with the Texas Rangers. The trio joined Shane Costa, KC (with CSF from 2001-03), Reed Johnson, TOR (1997-99), Chad Cordero, WAS (2001-03), Brandon Duckworth, KC (1997), Mark Kotsay, OAK (1994-96), Mike Lamb, HOU (1995-97), Phil Nevin, TEX-CHC-MIN (1990-92), Aaron Rowand, PHI (1996-98), Kirk Saarloos, OAK (1998-2001) and Matt Wise, MIL (1996-97), to bring the current total of Fullerton products in the bigs to 13.
TOP 10 RECRUITING CLASS: Cal State Fullerton baseball's recruiting effort was rewarded with a pair of "top ten" rankings by the two major college baseball publications in 2007. The Titans' incoming class, assembled by Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach Jason Gill, has been ranked 8th by Collegiate Baseball and 9th by Baseball America. "It is nice to be recognized on a national level for our recruiting class and we are happy with the talent we have coming in," Gill said, "but we have a lot of new names on the backs of our jerseys, and we have to wait to see how well they adapt to playing for the name on the front." Following the College World Series last June, the Titans lost three-fourths of arguably the best defensive infield in the nation, two-thirds of both the outfield and starting pitching rotation, a setup man and a closer to last year's MLB draft and free-agency.
BEST IN THE BIG WEST: The Cal State Fullerton baseball has been picked to claim its fourth-consecutive Big West Conference championship as shown in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll.
George Horton's Titans garnered seven of the eight first place votes (63 total points) giving them the edge over UC Riverside who finished in second with 50 total points. UC Irvine and Long Beach State finished close behind in third and fourth places, respectively.
1. Cal State Fullerton (7), 63 2. UC Riverside, 50 3. UC Irvine (1), 48 4. Long Beach State, 43 5. Cal Poly, 31 6. UC Santa Barbara, 23 7. Pacific, 22 8. Cal State Northridge, 8
( ) indicate first-place votes