Takin' It to the Tree

Feb. 28, 2008

Fullerton, Calif. - Fullerton (3-1) heads to dreaded Sunken Diamond on the campus of Stanford University this weekend, where they are losers of six straight to the Cardinal (3-2), and have just one win in their last 15 meetings. Titans look to reverse their fortune heading into Palo Alto, winning three of their first four games of 2008, and winners of two straight.

Stanford has been the Titans' opening weekend opponent for the last nine years straight (and 18 of the last 19 years), but this year, for the first time since 1998, the Titans opened the season with a weekend series with another opponent.

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THIS WEEK:
Tues., Feb. 26 LMU (Goodwin Field), WIN, 4-0
Friday Feb. 29, at Stanford (Sunken Diamond), 5 p.m., [GT, WEB]
Sat., Mar. 1, at Stanford (Sunken Diamond), 1 p.m., [GT, WEB]
Sun., Mar 2, at Stanford (Sunken Diamond), 1 p.m., [GT, WEB]

GT = Follow the game via Gametracker WEB = Listen for free on fullertontitans.com BWTV - Video on BigWest.tv

FRIDAY NIGHT STARTERS
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
STAN: LHP, Jeremy Bleich (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

SATURDAY AFTERNOON STARTTERS
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso (0-1, 1.50 ERA)
STAN: RHP, Erik Davis (0-1, 23.62 ERA)

SUNDAY AFTERNOON STARTERS
CSF: RHP, Adam Jorgenson (0-0, 6.23 ERA)
STAN: RHP, Jeffrey Inman (1-0, 2.25 ERA)

FOLLOW THE TITANS: Every Titan baseball game can be heard live on fullertontitans.com. Just click the "listen here" icon on the right of the home page and enjoy every pitch as it happens. And for your viewing pleasure, the Big West Conference will be again providing subscription-based video streams of every Titan home game and Big West Conference game at BigWest.TV. And where technology permits, you can follow the Titan games via CSTV's GameTracker. Just follow the links from the schedule page to find the 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.

AGAINST THE CARDINAL: Stanford holds a 48-38 all-time division I advantage over Cal State Fullerton dating back to their first meeting in 1979. The Titans and Cardinal have met in every year since 1979 except for 1980 and 1986. Fullerton is 11-24 all-time at Stanford and is 24-17 when the Cardinal travel to Fullerton. The two teams have met 10 times over five years (1988, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003) at the College World Series with Fullerton going 3-7 on the big stage. Fullerton has made two appearances at Regionals hosted by Stanford in 1997 and 2002, but met just once in the `02 postseason, losing the game, 3-2, in 10 innings.

Hopefully George Horton has better luck in Pac-10 play against Stanford now that he is at Oregon. During Horton's 11-year tenure at Fullerton as head coach, his Titans posted a 14-25 record against the Cardinal, a dismal 1-14 record at Sunken Diamond and 1-5 record against them in Omaha. The Titans have lost the last six games in Palo Alto.

ON TUESDAY: Fullerton enjoyed a solid "staff day" pitching performance turned in by Daniel Renken, Jason Dovel, Michael Morrison and Brian Wilson, as the quartet four-hit LMU in the Titans' 4-0 non-conference win. Renken went four innings of one-hit ball while fanning four for his first collegiate win. Josh Fellhauer, Jared Clark and Dustin Garneau each recorded RBIs in the win with Christian Colon stealing second and third and advancing home on a catcher's throwing error in the eighth to account for the Titans' scoring. Fullerton stole six bases on the night.

LAST WEEK AT TCU: Cal State Fullerton started the Dave Serrano era with a series win at host school TCU, setting Fort Worth series attendance records with over 7,500 fans catching the three-game set.

Friday night saw the Titans open with a bang, pounding out 18 hits in an 11-5 win in sub-40 degree weather. Outfielder Erik Komatsu made his presence felt by doubling, tripling and homering in his debut, driving five in the win. Josh Fellhauer was 4-for-6, while Jeff Kaplan notched his first win of the year.

Saturday night, a completely different Titan offense showed up, picking up just four hits in the 4-2 loss. Komatsu was the only bright spot offensively, as he homers to get the Titans within two runs in the sixth. Freshman Daniel ranked turned head as he pitched two near perfect innings while striking out four of the nine hitters he faced.

A pinch-hit double by Shevis Shima and a squeeze bunt by Joel Weeks proved to be the game winner on Sunday in the series finale. Fullerton won by a score of 7-3 as Brian Wilson picked up the win in 2.1 innings of work. Josh Fellhauer homered and speedy Jeff Newman had a bases-loaded steal of home in the ninth to hand the Titans a pair of insurance runs in the win.

INJURY REPORT: 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 likely be out of the Titan lineup for 4-6 weeks recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia. He had successful surgery on Feb. 26, and was at the field for the Titans 4-0 shutout of LMU.

Relief pitcher Paul Canedo (Diamnod Bar, Calif.) is still out at least a month after an accident in the weight room lacerated the ring finger on his pitching hand the week before the season started.

OPENING DAY: The Titans improved their all-time opening day record to 19-15 with a win on Feb. 22 at TCU. The win on the road snapped a 7-year road opening day losing streak dating back to 1994. Fullerton is now 3-11 all-time in road opening days.

HOME OPENERS: Fullerton is now 14-2 at Goodwin Field in home openers. The Titans blanked LMU, 4-0, in the 2008 home opener on Feb. 26.

OH BROTHER! Freshman pitcher Jason Dovel made his home debut on Tuesday evening (Feb. 26) against his older brother Sean's LMU team. The younger Dovel was next in line to pitch in the Titan's staff day effort when an error prolonged the inning, allowing Sean to bat and make the last out of the inning against Daniel Renken. Dovel entered the game the next inning and proceded to face eight batters over two innings facing everyone except ...you guessed it, Sean, who was left on deck when the third out was recorded. The brother will have another chance to face off on April Fool's Day at Loyola Marymount.

THEY DO RUN, RUN, RUN, THEY DO RUN, RUN: The Titans have been blazing up the base paths to start the 2008 season stealing 17 of their first 20 in the first four games. Last year, the Titans stole 53 bases in 63 games. Gary Brown is leading the team with four stolen bases (five attempts) with Erik Komatsu in tow with three bags in three chances.

CAUSING A KOMO-TION: Since opening the season with a double, a triple and a pair of home runs and 7 RBI in the first two games as a Titan, Erik Komatsu either has a really good eye, or is being pitched around by the opponents. The junior transfer from Oxnard College has drawn six walks (two intentional) over the last two games, and has been held to just one hit and a run scored in four official at bats. No other Titan has more than one walk in the first four games.

In the season opener at TCU, the left-fielder doubled, tripled and homered, all the while driving in five in his Titan debut. On Saturday, with the Titans down 4-0, Komatsu hit a ball high and deep into the wind, still undoubtedly leaving the park, plating the only two runs for Fullerton on the day. On the weekend, Komatsu totaled 13 bases, had a series-leading slugging percentage of 1.182 and drove in seven in the Titans series win against the up-and-coming Horned Frogs.

TWO-OUT NIGHTMARE: Fullerton has scored 16 of their 24 total runs after the second out has been recorded.

FRESH ARMS: Freshmen Daniel Renken and Jason Dovel have shown tremendous poise on the hill for the Titans early on, posting a combined 8.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just five hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks. Renken made a four-inning mindweek start that earned him his first career win. Renken is holding the opponents to a .143 batting average, while Dovel is holding them to a .200 clip.

HITTING STREAK: Third baseman Joel Weeks has hit in all four of the Titans' games so far this year, going 5-for-16 (.313) with four singles and a double.

GO FIGURE: Junior RHP Cory Arbiso grew up in La Mirada, Calif (South Los Angeles County) and went to Buena Park High School. Freshman RHP Jason Dovel, grew up in Buena Park, and attended La Mirada High School. The two counties are separated by one street within a residential area (Alondra Boulevard).