Feb. 23, 2012
PLAY BALL! The Titans return to Fullerton this weekend to kick-off an 8-game homestand beginning with No. 15 TCU Friday through Sunday at Goodwin Field.
The team returned from Gainesville after dropping their opening series to the top-ranked Florida Gators, 2 games to 1. The Titans fell out of this week's Baseball America Top 25, while climbing two spots in Collegiate Baseball's rankings to No. 19.
Rookie Koby Gauna hurled five innings of six-hit relief on Sunday, holding a very solid Gator line-up to just one run. The 8-5 come-from-behind win was the first of the year for the Titans and their new Head Coach Rick Vanderhook.
Offensively on Sunday, junior Carlos Lopez and freshman J.D. Davis each had three hits and three RBI while Michael Lorenzen had three hits and logged his first career save with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Titans struck first in each of the first two games of the series, but a four-run seventh inning on Friday and a four-run fourth inning on Saturday proved too much as the Gators rallied for 7-3 and 5-2 victories.
Lorenzen led the team with six hits in the series, while Lopez drove in a team-leading five runs.
CATCH ALL THE ACTION:Audio for all three games of the Fullerton-TCU series will be streamed for free on fullertontitans.com. Fans can track the games as well via GameTracker. The links to each game are on the baseball schedule at fullertontitans.com. All three games of the series will be video streamed on BigWest.TV for free.
PROJECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS
CSF: RHP Dylan Floro (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
TCU: RHP Andrew Mitchell (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
CSF: RHP Grahamm Wiest (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
TCU: RHP Stefan Crichton (0-0, 5.79 ERA)
VERSUS TCU: The Titans hold an all-time record of 10-6 against TCU dating back to the 1987 season. The two teams hooked up for a series in Fullerton in 1987, and had one postseason game in 1994 at the Oklahoma State Regional before a 14 year hiatus between meetings. The Titans have had a four consecutive series with the Horned Frogs since 2008 with the visiting team winning each of the series. Fullerton swept the series in 1987 but have won just two of the six meetings since 2008.
GAUNA EARNS FIRST WIN: Freshman Koby Gauna (pronounced Gown-uh) was thrown into the fire in his first collegiate appearance (bases loaded, with one out), but it was his relief appearance in his second outing of the weekend that earned him his first collegiate win against the No. 1 team in the nation. Trailing 3-0, Gauna entered the game in the third inning and held a team that boasts 7 preseason All-Americans, scoreless for 4.1 innings until a solo home run with the Titans up 8-3 in his fifth and final inning. The Torrance native scattered six hits, but other than the home run, did not allow a Gator past second base.
LOPEZ PRODUCES: Junior Carlos Lopez was the most productive Titan at the plate last weekend against the top-ranked team in the country. The first baseman hit in all three games and drove in a team-best five RBI. His two-run single in the fifth inning of Sunday's game proved to be the game-winner as the Titans defeated the No. 1 Gators to give Rick Vanderhook his first win as the Titans new head coach. Lopez accounted for 7 of the Titans 13 runs by driving in five and scoring two.
DAVIS HITS ONE OUT: After struggling in the first two games of the series with Florida, rookie J.D. Davis redeemed himself in Sunday's game, by going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a towering three-run home run to left field off Florida reliever Steven Rodriguez in the sixth inning. It was Davis' first career home run and the first of the year for Cal State Fullerton. Davis' first career hit was a single to left in the Titans' 4-run fifth inning.
KINGSOLVER SEES IT WELL: Junior Austin Kingsolver led the team last week with a .556 batting average, picking up five hits in 9 at bats over two starts and three games.
DEBUTS GALORE: Eight Titans made their Div. I debut last weekend in Gainesville - Designated hitter J.D. Davis, pinch-hitter and shortstop Matt Chapman, pitcher Kenny Mathew, pitch Koby Gauna, pitcher Jose Cardona, pitcher Grahamm Wiest, pitcher Dave Birosak and pitcher Dimitri DeLaFuente.
WELL ROUNDED WEEKEND FOR LORENZEN: Sophomore Michael Lorenzen tallied the most hits by any Titan last weekend, connecting for six of them in 13 at bats (.462). The centerfielder had four singles and two doubles, drove in one and stole a base in the three game series. He also made his collegiate debut on the mound, saving the game for the Titans and Rick Vanderhook, who earned his first career win as a head coach.
CLEAN DEFENSE: The Titans started the 2012 season off on the right foot defensively by not committing an error in their first three ballgames. Seems fairly insignificant this early in the season, but the Titans played errorless ball three straight games just two times in all 2011 and didn't do it after the Hawaii series Mar. 26-27.
HELPING WITH THE DRAW: The Titans helped set a couple of attendance records last weekend at Florida's McKethan Stadium. Opening night drew 5,356 fans despite threats for thundershower. That set a new opening night record for the park in Gainesville. The weekend total of 14,389 was the largest opening weekend crowd in the history of the stadium and the third-best series draw all-time for the Gators.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Titans return home this weekend to face TCU and kick off an 8-game homestead that will feature the Horned Frogs, USC, San Diego State and Utah Valley. The Titans are 461-145 (.751) all-time at Goodwin Field which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season. Last year the Titans went 23-6 (.793) in the friendly confines, with 2 of those losses coming in the postseason. Friday night marks the first of 30 home games this year for Cal State Fullerton. 24 games will be played on the road.
GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH: Sophomore outfielder Michael Lorenzen and junior pitcher Dylan Floro were both listed on the initial USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List for the award that goes to the top college baseball athlete in the nation. The Titans, along with Arizona State, have had three winners of the award over the years dating back to the 1978 season. Tim Wallach (.391, 23 HR, 102 RBI) was the Titans' first winner in 1979. He was followed by Phil Nevin (.402, 22 HR and 86 RBI) in 1992 and Mark Kotsay (.422, 21 HR, 91 RBI) in 1995.