March 2, 2012
PLAY BALL: Cal State Fullerton (5-3) is riding a four-game winning streak heading into its weekend series with visiting Utah Valley (2-5), the 2010 and 2011 Great West Conference Champions. This will be the first meeting between the two programs and the first time the Wolverines have met a team from the Big West in a three-game set.
CSF - RHP: Dylan Floro (0-1, 3.21 ERA)
UVU - RHP: Jeremy Gendlek (0-2, 7.36 ERA)
CSF -LHP: Kenny Mathews (0-0, 5.14 ERA)
UVU - RHP: Adam Gunn (1-0, 2.45)
CSF - TBA
UVU - RHP: Blake Krahenbuhl (1-1, 8.22)
CATCH ALL THE ACTION: Audio for all three games of the Fullerton-Utah Valley 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. Live video at BigWest.tv will be streamed live on Saturday and Sunday. No Friday night broadcast will be available.
VERSUS THE WOLVERINES: This will be the first meeting between Utah Valley and Cal State Fullerton. The Titans have played 19 games against teams from the Beehive State, going 15-4 since 1975. Fullerton is 5-0 against Southern Utah, 7-4 against BYU and 3-0 against the University of Utah.
LAST WEEKEND: Last weekend, Fullerton won its first series of the season, 2 games to 1, over then No. 15-ranked TCU in three games that went down to the final pitch. The feat lifted the Titans back into the Baseball America poll at No. 20.
On Friday, Dylan Floro was sailing along for 7.1 innings but four hits in a row including a pinch-hit triple by Jerrick Suitor cost him 2 runs and eventually a 3-2 decision. The Titans got a run home in the ninth despite a double play and had the go-ahead run at the plate. Fullerton batters fanned 14 times.
On Saturday, another pitchers' duel developed. TCU got a run in the first off Kenny Mathews and the Titans came back with two on three walks and RBI singles by Anthony Hutting and Richy Pedroza. The score stayed that way until the eighth. TCU pushed across an unearned run to tie but the Titans came back with a pair to win, 4-2. Jesse Jenner's pinch-hit single in his first collegiate at bat brought home the go-ahead run. Michael Lorenzen got an RBI on a ground ball for insurance and then proceeded to take the mound and load the bases with two walks and a single. But he got a strikeout and a double-play grounder to get the save (No. 2) for winner Koby Gauna.
On Sunday, in a game started at 11 a.m. and restricted to no new innings after 2:15 p.m. due to TCU's travel, the Titans built an 11-3 lead but had to hold on for dear life for an 11-10 win cut short to 8 innings. Lorenzen, Carlos Lopez and Keegan Dale combined for 10 hits and 7 RBI but it almost wasn't enough. Again, the Horned Frogs loaded the bases in their final at bat. A strikeout on a pitch in the dirt turned into a double play to end the game when catcher Casey Watkins' throw from the backstop to pitcher Willie Kuhl beat the TCU runner trying to score from third. The Titans sent 14 men to the plate in a 9-run fourth inning but didn't score again. Freshman pitcher J. D. Davis started and went 4+ innings to get the win.
SO FAR THIS WEEK: The Titans picked up midweek wins over San Diego State and Loyola Marymount on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Five Titan pitchers combined to three-hit the Aztecs in the 3-0 shutout. Michael Lorenzen singled and scored the first run on J.D. Davis' pop single to right in the first and then drove in the second run of the game with a two-out single in the fifth. Matt Chapman's first career hit drove home Carlos Lopez, who had singled, without he third and final run of the game.
Dave Birosak earned the staff day win. Lorenzen earned the save by recording the final out of the game with the tying run at the plate in the ninth.
Fullerton capitalized on a number of LMU miscues on Wednesday night to win the game, 6-2. An error by pitcher Aaron Griffin with the bases loaded, opened the door for a four-run Titan eighth inning. Christian Coronado pitched a solid 3.1 innings of relief for the win. Koby Gauna worked a solid 5 innings in his first career start. Matt Orloff had a career- high three hits in the win.&\#8232;
FLORO PITCHING WELL: Junior starter Dylan Floro has pitched well in his first two starts as the Titans' Friday night ace, though the numbers might show otherwise. Floro made a quality start against No. 1 Florida on Opening night, allowing three-runs on five hits over six innings. He didn't figure in the decision as he and Gator workhorse Hudson Randall went toe-to-toe before leaving the game tied 3-3. Against TCU, Floro had retired 11 in a row and had held the Frogs to just two hits over 7.1 before surrendering four straight hits including a big triple that lost him the game in the eighth. The Titans offense has scored just five combined runs in Floro's two starts
HOME COOKIN': The Titans are hitting just .256 as a team at Goodwin Field so far, but Keegan Dale, Richy Pedroza and Michael Lorenzen seem seeing the ball well in front of the Titan faithful. Dale (.455) and Pedroza (.417) are atop the Titan batting averages with five hits each and a combined 5 RBI. Lorenzen is hitting .364 at home with a team-leading eight hits and six RBI.
ORLOFF TAKES ADVANTAGE: Reserve infielder Matt Orloff got a pair of starts this week against San Diego State and Loyola Marymount and took full advantage. The junior from Simi Valley was 1-for-3 with a double on Tuesday and followed that with a career-best 3-for-4 performance on Wednesday from the No. 8 and No. 9 spots in the line-up. His double on Tuesday was just his second career extra base hit in thesis third year in a Titan uniform.
LORENZEN BOUNCES BACK: Since going 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts (six consecutive) in the first two games of last weekend's series with TCU, Michael Lorenzen has since been on a tear, going 8-for-12 (.667) with two doubles, four runs scored, five RBI and three stolen base in the last three games. Lorenzen heads into the weekend leading the team in batting average (.400), hits (14) and stolen bases (7).
JOHNNY ALLSTAFF: Titan pitchers in the two midweek games this week have combined for a 2-0 record with an ERA of 1.00 by surrendering just to runs in 18 innings. They have allowed just nine hits and have fanned 16.
STAFF PITCHES TITANS TO FIRST SHUTOUT: Dave Birosak, Dimitri DeLaFuente, Tyler Peitzmeier, Willie Kuhl and Michael Lorenzen held San Diego State to just three hits on Feb. 28 as the Titans went on to defeat the Aztecs, 3-0. The five Titan hurlers walked just one and struck out 10. DelaFuente worked three hitless innings and struck out for to lead the way. Birosak took the staff day victory and Lorenzen got the final out for his third save in as many chances.
FIVE IN A ROW FOR PEDROZA: Third baseman Richy Pedroza has hit in five straight games, going 7-for-17 (.412) with two RBI and 6 runs scored. In this five games, only Michael Lorenzen (8) has more hits. Pedroza and first baseman Carlos Lopez both have seven hits in those five games. Pedroza did not play on Tuesday night against San Diego State, giving way to freshman Matt Chapman for the day.
CATCHERS CATCHING THEM: Opponenets have attempted to steal 12 bases against the Titans and have succeeded just six times (.500). Junior Casey Watkins have cut down four would-be base stealers in seven attempts and sophomore Chad Wallach has nailed on in tree chances. Pitcher Koby Gauna caught the other runner, before he delivered the pitch.
DEBUTS GALORE: Thirteen Titans have made their Div. I debuts thus far in 2012: INF/RHP J.D Davis, C Jesse Jenner, INF Matt Chapman, OF Austin Diemer, OF Cla Williamson, LHP Tyler Peitzmeier, RH Willie Kuhl, RHP Dimiti DeLaFuente, RHP Koby Gauna, LHP Kenny Mathews, RHP Grahamm Wiest, LHP Dave Birosak and RHP Jose Cardona. Fourteen players have made their debut as a Titan if you count INF Derek Legg, who transferred from Long Beach State in 2010.