It's TIme To Play Ball: Titans to Open `08 at TCU
Feb. 18, 2008
Overall Record: 0-0
Big West Conference Record: 0-0
Fri., Feb. 22 at TCU (Lupton Baseball Stadium), 6:30 p.m. CT [GT, WEB]
Sat., Feb. 23 at TCU (Lupton Baseball Stadium), 2 p.m. CT [GT, WEB]
Sun., Feb. 24 at TCU (Lupton Baseball Stadium), 1 p.m. CT [GT, WEB]
GT - Follow game on Gametracker; WEB - listen to play-by-play on fullertontitans.com
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday @ TCU
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan (2007: 11-3, 3.30 ERA, 122.2 IP, 83 K, 43 BB)
TCU: RHP, Seth Garrison (2007: 1-0, 1.96 ERA, 23 IP, 23 K, 3 BB)
Saturday @ TCU
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso (2007: 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 K, 0 BB
TCU: RHP, Steven Maxwell (2007: 1-0, 4.29 ERA, 21 IP, 22 K, 6 BB)
Sunday @ TCU
CSF: RHP, Adam Jorgenson (2007: 4-2, 4.29 ERA, 8 SV, 63 IP, 57 K, 19 BB)
TCU: RHP, Greg Holle (2007: NY State POY at Christian Brothers Academy)
FOLLOW THE TITANS: Every Titan baseball game can be heard live on fullertontitans.com. 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 be again providing subscription-based video streams of every Titan home game and Big West Conference game at BigWest.TV. Virtually every Titan game will also be available through CSTV's GameTracker (where technologically permits). Just follow the links on the schedule page to find the CSTV GameTracker interface.
TITANS ON TV: CSTV announced that Cal State Fullerton will play in one of three Big West Conference baseball games to be televised by the college sports network on May 9. The Titans will be hosting rival Cal Poly with a new game time of 5 p.m. to accommodate CSTV's program scheduling. CSTV will also be televising UC Irvine at Long Beach State on Apr. 13 (2:30 p.m.) and UC Riverside at UC Irvine on Apr. 20 (1 p.m.). Check with your cable provider for channel listings.
OPENING DAY: The Titans are 18-15 all-time on Opening Day with most of the wins coming at home and most of the losses coming on the road. Opening the season at home the Titans are 16-4 opposed to the dismal 2-11 start on the road. The Titans have dropped their last seven Opening Day games on the road, five of them to Stanford, the other two to Pepperdine and Cal State Northridge. The last Opening Day road win came on Jan. 28, 1994 at Stanford (12-2).
OPENING SERIES: The Titans are 17-16 all-time in their first three-game series of the season at the Div. I level.
VERSUS THE HORNED FROGS: Cal State Fullerton and TCU have hooked up four times since their first meeting in 1987 with the Titans finishing on top all four times. This will be the first time the two have played in Fort Worth, Texas. The last time the two teams met was on May 28, 1994 at the Oklahoma State Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Fullerton defeated the Horned Frogs, 4-1, in the second game of the Regional. In that game, RHP Mike Parisi (11-3) pitched 7.2 innings of one-run ball and RHP Ted Silva picked up the save (13) behind a pair of hits by both Jack Jones (SS) and Jeremy Giambi (RF). Jones, Dante Powell (CF) and Jeff Ferguson (2B) each drove in a run in the win. Prior to 1994, Fullerton hosted TCU for a three-game series in 1987, sweeping them, 4-1, 4-1 and 3-2 in 10 innings at the old Titan Field (Mar. 12-14, 1987).
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS...Cal State Fullerton is 26-23 all-time in the state of Texas, and last played there in 2006 against Rice going 1-2 against the Owls. The Titans are 2-1 against Baylor, 6-2 against Houston, 3-3 against Rice, 1-0 against Sam Houston State, 10-15 against Texas and 0-2 versus Texas A&M in the Lonestar State. The Titans have never played Texas Tech or TCU in Texas.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Fullerton is returning 18 letter winnners and six position player starters coming off a 2007 campaign that saw them finish with a 38-25 overall record and a 10-11 Big West Conference schedule, tying their worst-ever performance in league. Despite their troubles in the Big West, the Titans managed to win some key series throughout the year, and snuck into the NCAA playoffs with a big series win over nationally-ranked Wichita State late in the year. Fullerton proceeded to sweep through the San Diego Regional, and took two straight from UCLA at the Fullerton Super Regional to advance to Omaha for the 15th time in the school's history. The Titans did go 0-2 at the College World, but lost both their games by just one run, while setting the record for the longest game in CWS history (in time) with a 5:40 minute affair against Dave Serrano's UC Irvine Anteaters.
Over the summer, long-time coach George Horton resigned at Titan manager to rekindle a defunct University of Oregon baseball team, making room for 2007 National Coach of the Year Serrano and his staff to come over from Irvine making Serrano the Titans' fourth Div. I head coach in 33 years.
IN THE POLLS: Despite being ranked No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com, No. 15 by the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and No. 14 by the NCBWA, the Titans were left off Baseball America's Preseason Top 25 for the first time in 10 years. The Titans were last left off the Durham-based publication's preseason list back in 1998. That year the Titans finished 47-17 overall, 25-5 (1st) in Big West Conference play and went 3-2 at the Baton Rouge Regional under second-year head coach George Horton.
A WINNING TRADITION: The Titans have 22 40-win season and eight 50-win seasons in the 33-year Div. I history of the program. 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.
TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 29 NCAA regional appearances in their 33-year Div. I history and have not missed the post-season since 1991. The 16-year run is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (35), Florida State (30), and Clemson (21) have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 15 times, coming away with College World Series titles in 1979, 1984, 1995, and 2004.
BIG WEST COACHES POLL: Cal State Fullerton baseball received 74 points and was ranked No. 2 in the Big West Conference, tallying four of the nine first-place votes in the annual preseason coaches poll. Fullerton trailed only Long Beach State, which picked up five first-place votes and 77 total points. Cal Poly (58 points, 3rd), UC Irvine (52 points, 4th), UC Riverside (51 points, 5th), UC Santa Barbara (29 points, 6th), Pacific (24 points, 7th), Cal State Northridge (20 points, T-8th) and UC Davis (20 points, T-8th) rounded out the coaches' predictions. Fullerton has taken home six of the last eight Big West Conference titles. The Titans have been the coaches pick to win the Big West in every year since the 2000 season, and have been omitted from the top spot on just three occasions since joining the Big West (2008, 1999 and 1991).
RATED ROOKIES: Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com selected the Titans' Gary Brown (OF/INF, Diamond Bar HS) as one of the nation's Top 10 Freshman in 2008. Brown was a 12th-round selection by the Oakland A's in 2007 and is expected to be at the top of the Titans' lineup this year. Christian Colon (SS, Canyon HS) also earned a mention in Rogers' picks in his "next ten". Colon, a 10th-round pick by the Padres in 2007, was also the subject of another baseball writer's rookie predictions. Doug Kroll, college baseball editor of CSTV.com, picked the slick-fielding Colon as one of five newcomers that will make an immediate impact at the Div. I level.
WALLACE WATCHES KAPLAN: Friday night hurler Jeff Kaplan was put on the initial 2008 Brooks Wallace Award Watch list (national player of the year) announced by the College Baseball Foundation in December.
Kaplan was a mainstay in the Titans' 2007 rotation and posted an 11-3 record and a 3.30 ERA in 122.2 innings. The right-hander worked into the seventh inning or beyond in seven of his 19 starts last year, picking up wins against Top 15 opponents UCLA, UC Irvine and Wichita State as well as one against Fresno State in the San Diego Regional.
The righty form Dana Point, Calif., earned a spot on the Easton Big West All-Conference Second Team and was a two-time recipient of the league's Player of the Week honors a junior. In arguably his best outing last year, the hurler struck out a career-high 11 Wildcats in a complete-game shutout over Arizona at Goodwin Field in February. The Wallace Award is in its fourth year of existence and is awarded to the nation's top collegiate baseball player. Former Titan catcher Kurt Suzuki took home the award in its first year back in 2004, and more recently, pitcher Wes Roemer was a finalist in 2006.
TOP BASEBALL PROGRAMS: Cal State Fullerton was ranked No. 2 by Kendall Rogers in the Rivals Five: Top Overall College Baseball Programs in December, 2007. The Titans finished second only to Oregon State, which has back-to-back national titles on its side. Fullerton however, has been one of the nations best for years, and has been to the College World Series in four of the last five seasons (coming within two runs of making it five straight years in 2005), and 15 times in its 33-year history. Other schools in the Rivals.com top five were Texas (3), Rice (4) and North Carolina (5).
PITCHING DOMINANCE: With the addition of Wes Roemer as an NCBWA selection in 2006, the Titans can now say they have had 10 consecutive seasons with at least one All-American pitcher, and at least one in 15 of the last 16 seasons (1997 is the exception) - by far the best string in the nation. In 2001 (Kirk Saarloos, Darrick Merrell, Chad Cordero and Jon Smith) and 2003 (Jason Windsor, Chad Cordero, Dustin Miller and Ryan Schreppel) the Titans set school records with four All-American hurlers each season. The only other programs to come close to the Titans in consecutive All-American hurlers are 2008 opponents Southern Miss and TCU. Both teams snapped their string of four in a row in 2007.
IRON MAN OUT: Junior infielder Joe Scott (Corona, Calif.) was the lone Titan to start all 63 games in 2007. Despite being named the opening day second baseman by Head Coach Dave Serrano, Scott will be out of the Titan lineup with a sports hernia that has been bothering him since the fall. Scott himself, and Athletic Trainer Chris Mumaw confirmed that surgery has been scheduled to repair the hernia on Feb. 26. The second baseman will likely miss 4-6 weeks.
ANOTHER INJURY: Baseball Athletic Trainer Chris Mumaw also noted that relief pitcher Paul Canedo (Diamnod Bar, Calif.) will miss approximately one month due to a lacerated ring finger on his pitching hand (left) from an accident that happened in the weight room.