Marquee Match-up Between Titans and Frogs This Weekend

Feb. 24, 2011

PLAY BALL: In what could be one of the biggest series in the nation this season, Cal State Fullerton (2-2) heads to Fort Worth to take on the Horned Frogs of TCU (3-1) in a three-game non-conference series at Lupton Stadium.

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THIS WEEK:
Fri., Feb. 25, at TCU (Lupton Stadium), 4:30 p.m. PT
Probable Pitching:
CSF: RHP, Noe Ramirez (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
TCU: RHP, Kyle Winkler (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Follow the game:
GameTracker / Audio / TV - The MTN (DirecTV 616, Cox 313 check you local listings)

Sat., Feb. 26, at TCU (Lupton Stadium), 12:00 p.m. PT
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
TCU: RHP, Steven Maxwell (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
GameTracker / Audio / Taped Delayed TV - The MTN (DirecTV 616, Cox 313 check you local listings)

Sun., Feb. 27, at TCU (Lupton Stadium), 11:00 a.m. PT
CSF: RHP, Colin O'Connell (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
TCU: LHP, Matt Purke (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
GameTracker / Audio / TV - The MTN (DirecTV 616, Cox 313 check you local listings)

FOLLOW US: Technology is all around. You can hear Titan baseball (live audio broadcasts on fullertontitans.com), watch Titan baseball (subscription based bigwest.tv video streams) and track Titan baseball (CBS College Sports GameTracker links on fullertontitans.com) right from your computer. If you need to be away from your computer, you can follow us on our Twitter feed for sporadic scores and information, or listen to the audio broadcast on fullertontitans.com - connecting just like you would on your computer - right from your cell phone (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and most Android phones). This weekend's games will not have a bigwest.tv feed, but will be televised on The MTN (Channel 616 on DirecTV or 313 on Cox). Check your local listings for details and availability.

TITAN BASEBLOG: Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Floethe will be this year's special guest blogger. You can read what he has to say every week on fullertontitans.com. Just go to the baseball page and click his link in the right-hand sidebar and get his unique perspective on being a player at Cal State Fullerton. This week, Jake talks Titan nicknames.

LAST WEEK: Fullerton carries with them a 2-2 record after a soggy opening weekend that saw pitching dominate, particularly with men on base. The Titans won two of three games with Long Beach State after a 4-3, 11-inning loss to North Carolina on Saturday.

The game with the Tar Heels became the season as well as the doubleheader opener when Friday night's game at Long Beach was rained out. Carlos Lopez sent it into extra innings with a 2-out, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.

On Saturday night, Noe (7 IP, W) and Nick (2 IP, SV) Ramirez combined on a 7-hitter for a 2-1 win over the 49ers. Tyler Pill's double, Joe Terry's triple and Richy Pedroza's sacrifice fly were the big plays in a 2-run seventh inning.

On Sunday afternoon at Long Beach the Titans suffered a frustrating 8-5 defeat. A 4-0 lead and 18 hits weren't enough in a game that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours including a 30-minute delay for an injured umpire. Fullerton eventually stranded 14 runners and the 49ers used a 5-run sixth inning against the Titan bullpen for a come-from-behind win. Pedroza and Nick Ramirez each had 4 hits in defeat.

Friday's game was made up Monday night and the Titans hung on for a 4-3 win. Colin O'Connell allowed one run over seven innings for the win. Walker Moore's pinch-hit RBI double broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh and Michael Lorenzen followed with an RBI single. The Titans got a gift run in the ninth on a blooper and three wild pitches and it proved the difference when the 49ers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth off Chris Devenski, who worked the final two innings and logged his first save.

VERSUS TCU: The Titans head into Fort Worth expecting nothing less than a championship atmosphere. Last weekend, the Horned Frogs drew record crowds at Lupton Stadium with visiting Kansas and figure to surpass that with Fullerton in town. These two teams have been meeting regularly now since 2008, with no plans to change that pattern for years to come. The Titans and Horned Frogs first met in a series in Fullerton back in 1987, then met up in the 1994 Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma with Fullerton taking all four of those games. In 2008, the Titans went to Fort Worth and took 2 of 3 games in that series, but have managed just 1 win in the last 2 series at Goodwin Field. Overall, the Titans hold a 8-5 record against the Frogs, 2-1 on the road.

TAKE THIS LOB AND SHOVE IT: The Titans' offense struggled to find a rhythm in the first four games of the year, and despite an 18-hit attack on Sunday at Long Beach, the Titans left an abundant amount of runners on base waiting to come around to score. The Titans averaged 11 men left on base throughout the first four games, including 14 left on in their 18-hit outburst. The Titans hit just .190 with runners in scoring position and drove in just four runs (in 14 chances) with runners at third and less than two out. The Titans also hit just .154 (2-for-13) with the bases loaded.

DEBUTS A PLENTY: Nine Cal State Fullerton players made their Div. I debuts last weekend in games against North Carolina and Long Beach State. Ten made their Titan debuts. Michael Lorenzen, Joe Terry, and Jared Deacon all made their first career starts. Jake Floethe, made his first career start as a Titan. He had pitched at Fresno State prior to transferring to Cal State Fullerton. Chad Wallach, Greg Velazquez, Christian Coronado, Anthony Trajano, Chris Devenski, and Blake Barber all got into games as well.

BIG DAY FOR THE WALLACHS: On the evening that it was announced that his father would be inducted into the National College Hall of Fame, Chad Wallach made his Titan debut as a pinch-hitter. The youngest son of the Wallach clan, Chad, walked in his first official plate appearance on Monday night in Long Beach, becoming the third Wallach family member to play in a Titan uniform. Chad's father, Tim, is a Cal State Fullerton Hall of Famer, former Golden Spikes Award winner, first round draft pick and long-time major league third baseman and All-Star. He dominated on the baseball field for the Titans from 1978 to 1979, and was voted into he College Baseball Foundation's National College Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday. He will be inducted in July in Lubbock, Tex. Two of Tim's sons have chosen Fullerton as their school of choice. Matt Wallach, a Los Angeles Dodgers farm hand, also played for the Titans back in 2007. The Wallachs now join the Motas (Andy, Domingo and Jose) as the only two families to have had three family members go through the program.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE: Joe Terry let his bat and his legs do the talking last weekend in his Div. I debut. Coming off injury in 2009 at Cerritos College, Terry started his Titan career by leading the team in RBI (4) and stolen bases (2) in his first four games. The third baseman hit .308 (4-for-13) with three walks and two triples to his credit. Three of his 4 RBI also came in the clutch, scoring them with two out in the inning.

GET SHORTY: Sophomore Richy Pedroza was heckled by a Long Beach State fan on Sunday prior to his fifth at bat of the day with "That's why they call you a SHORTstop" that drew laughs from the 49er fans. Maybe they didn't see that he was 3-for-4 at the time on base all four times to the plate. Anyway, he promptly lined a double for his fourth hit of the day and reached for a fifth time. Pedroza stands just 5-foot-5, but can providedthe wallop of a 6-footer.His four hits in the Titan 18-hit attack tied a career high. In 21 plate appearances in the four-game set (against North Carolina and Long Beach State), Pedroza reached base twice via walk, four times via error and five time via a hit. He also scored a team-leading 5 runs form the leadoff spot.

LOPEZ TONIGHT: Sophomore Carlos Lopez and his bat showed up last weekend leading the Titans with 8 hits in four games against North Carolina and Long Beach State. The 8 hits going into this weekend is the second highest total in the Big West Conference, trailing only UC Irvine's Jordan Fox, who was named the conference player of the week. The left-handed hitter hit .471 (8-for-17) but had little to show for it. He was 4-for-11 with runners on and 4-for-6 with the bases empty, driving in just one run and did not score himself at all.

COLIN ALL CARS: Lanky right-hander Colin O'Connell continued where he left off last season by composing a stellar first outing on Monday night. He tossed 7 innings of 5-hit ball while striking out Long Beach State batters, holing them to just 1 run and a.217 batting average on the night. In his last start of 2010, O'Connell, making just his 16th appearance and 4th start of the year, tossed a complete-game 7-hitter against Minnesota in the Fullerton Regional to force a seventh and deciding game of the tournament.

THAT THING YOU DO: Preseason All-American Noe Ramirez (1-0, 1.29 ERA) pitched as expected, out-dueling Long Beach State's top draft prospect Andrew Gagnon for a Titan victory last Saturday night. The junior righty scattered 6 hits and allowed just 1 earned run over 7 innings of work as the Titans held on for a 2-1 win. Ramirez struck out 5 49ers without a walk. This weekend, Noe will face off against TCU's Kyle Winkle (1-0, 0.00 ERA), missing a chance to lock up with ace southpaw Matt Purke (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

LOOKING GOOD BOTH WAYS: Nick Ramirez, a 2010 All-American utility player and finalist for the inaugural John Olerud 2-Way Player of the Year, had a solid weekend at the plate and on the mound against North Carolina and Long Beach State. In four games, NiRam hit .412 (7-for-17) with 2 walks and an RBI at the plate and was the only Titan pitcher to not allow a run from the mound. On Saturday night, Nick relieved Noe Ramirez (no relation) and logged his first save of the season with a 2-inning, 2-strikeout effort.

SAVERY COURSE: According to a list compiled by Minnesota SID Steve Geller, Cal State Fullerton's Nick Ramirez is among the nation's active saves leaders with 19 career saves. He trails Ryan Duke (28, Oklahoma), Matty Ott (28, LSU), Scott Matyas (26, Minnesota) and Kevin McKague (22, Army) in the top 5 in the country. Nick's 19 career saves at Cal State Fullerton ranks 7th all-time among Titan closers.