Titans Take on Pirates Starting Tonight

March 9, 2007

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THIS WEEK:
Fri., Mar. 9, 5 PM EST (GT, WEB)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (3-2, 3.60 ERA)
ECU: TJ Hose , RHP (2-2, 4.70 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 10, 2 PM EST(GT, WEB)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (3-1, 4.13 ERA)
ECU: Dustin Sasser, LHP (1-0, 2.91 ERA)

Sun., Mar. 4, Noon EST (GT, WEB)
CSF: Sean Urena, RHP (3-0, 3.00 ERA)
ECU: Josh Dowdy, RHP (0-1, 1.84 ERA)

GT = GameTracker
WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com
BWTV = Game video stream via Big West TV at bigwest.org

TITANS IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - 7
Collegiate Baseball - 8
USA Today Coaches - 6
NCBWA - 6
Rivals.com - 5

PIRATES IN THE CURRENT POLLS
Baseball America - NR
Collegiate Baseball - NR
USA Today Coaches - NR
NCBWA - NR
Rivals.com - NR

TUNE IN: All of Cal State Fullerton baseball games will be broadcast live on fullertontitans.com with play-by-play announcer Justin Alderson. 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 provide video streams of all the Titan home games and select conference road games in 2007 via BigWest.TV. For subscription information visit bgwest.org and watch all the Big West baseball you want. You can also follow select games via GameTracker (when technologically available). Follow the links on the schedule page to find the CSTV GameTracker interface.

TITANS ON THE TUBE: CSTV announced that the Cal State Fullerton-Long Beach State baseball game on Friday, May 25, at Goodwin Field will be televised by the college sports network. First pitch is scheduled at 7 p.m. PDT. More details will be released as they become available. Last year, the Titans swept two three-game series from the 49ers for the first time in the Titans' 32-year history.

LAST WEEK: The Titan baseball team (12-5) jumped three spots to No. 7 in the Baseball America poll after a midweek win over San Diego State and a big series win over then-No. 6 Rice.

Fullerton redeemed itself after a loss to SDSU a week earlier with a 9-8 victory over the Aztecs on Feb. 27. Three freshman (Billy Pinkerton, Khris Davis, and Corey Jones) were in the starting lineup and combined for seven hits in nine at bats with four RBI. Pinkerton led the way with a perfect 3-for-3 nights, driving in three RBI. A fourth freshman, Michael Morrison started the game on the mound and improved to 1-1 with a three-inning, four-strikeout performance. John Curtis' 16-game hitting streak came to a close as he struck out in a late-inning pinch-hit appearance.

Fullerton capitalized on two Brian Friday errors at shortstop with the bases loaded and scored six times in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead over the nationally-ranked Owls in the first game of the three-game series on Mar. 2. Wes Roemer ended his personal two-game skid by striking out 10 over six innings of work to improve to 3-2 in the 10-3 Titan victory. Chris Jones was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI to lead the way offensively, while Joel Weeks also added a key two-run single.

Despite a 4-for-5 performance by Clark Hardman, Rice battled back to even the series at 1-1 with a 9-3 win on Saturday night. Jeff Kaplan was tagged for his first loss of the year (3-1) as he and reliever Adam Jorgenson surrendered four earned runs apiece over the first 6 1/3 innings surrendering three Rice home runs.

Freshman Sean Urena one-hit the Owls on Sunday afternoon facing just three batters over the minimum to improve to 3-0 on the year and extend the Titans' consecutive series winning streak to 16. Urena was named conference pitcher of the week as well as a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week for striking out a career-high six batters in his first-career complete game. Chris Jones' two-run double in the second would be all the Titans would need as they went on to win 6-1 to conclude the four-game home stand at Goodwin Field.

The Titans swept the Big West Conference weekly honors this week as Jones joined Urena as the player of the week hitting.429 (6-for-14) with six RBI over four games.

TITANS SWEEP BIG WEST WEEKLY HONORS: Outstanding performances by pitcher Sean Urena and right fielder Chris Jones propelled Cal State Fullerton to a series win over nationally-ranked Rice and earned the duo Big West Conference Pitcher and Player of the Week Honors.

Urena baffled the Rice lineup on Sunday Mar. 4, in a complete-game one-hit performance that secured the Titans' 16th-consecutive series win. He struck out a career high six batter and faced just three Owls over the minimum to improve to 3-0 on the year. The Rialto-native held the owls to a .036 batting average and plowed through the lineup in just two hours, twenty-five minutes, the shortest game of the season for Fullerton.

Jones, in four games against San Diego State and No. 6 Rice, hit .429 with six hits in 14 at bats in the week that saw the Titans go 3-1. The San Clemente-native shared the team lead in hits with six, but posted six RBI and a .643 slugging percentage to lead the team also scoring thee runs. The first of Jones' three doubles on the week capped a six-run first inning that ensured the Titans their first victory over Rice on Friday night. He later doubled, singled and scored two runs and finished a perfect 3-for-3. On Sunday, his third double of the weekend proved to be the game-winning hit, bringing home a pair of runs in the second inning off Rice All-American Joe Savery. The right fielder jumped his batting average from .234 to .279 with the solid effort at the plate.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION: For his complete game one-hitter versus then No. 6 Rice, freshman Sean Urena found himself garnering multiple national player of the week honors becoming the Titans first player to receive such honors since Ricky Romero and Ryan Schreppel did it early in the 2005 season. Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA both honored Urena with National Player for the Week honors as did InsidePitching.com. Rivals.com named the Rialto-native Freshman Pitcher of the Week and the College Baseball Foundation named him to its weekly Honor Roll.

The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning for the second week in a row, but it was broken up with a Jared Gayhart one-out triple. The Sunday starter retired 13 of the first 15 hitters he faced and then 14 of the last 15 after Gayhart's lone hit. Urena, who improves to 3-0 on the season, while striking out a career-high six on 110 pitches and holding the Owls to a .036 batting average.

WITHOUT THE GENERAL: The Titans remain without the services of senior third baseman Evan McArthur after successful hand surgery that removed the hamate bone in his left hand on Feb. 8. The small hand bone is located at the base of the palm beneath the fourth and fifth finger and is known for being "hook-shaped." Fractures of the bone are usually hairline fractures and are most common in baseball players and golfers. McArthur played through the injury opening weekend in a three-game series with nationally-ranked Stanford, posting a .308 average (4-for-13) with a double and 3 RBI before he left the Sunday game prematurely in the eighth inning. The Medford, Oregon-native's approximate return to the starting lineup coincides with the Titans' three-game set with cross-town rival Long Beach State, Mar. 23-25 at Blair Field. McArthur has made two late-inning defensive/and pinch-hit appearances on Mar. 2 and Mar.4. Senior Bryan Harris and Billy Pinkerton have been filling in at the hot corner in McArthur's abscence.

VS. EAST CAROLINA: The Titans played the Pirates for the first time ever last season, nearly shutting them out in the three-game series. The Titans beat ECU 5-0, 8-0, and 8-1 in the three-game set, surrendering the only Pirate run of the weekend in the sixth inning of the Sunday affair after a rare 1:03 rain delay at Goodwin Field. Fullerton got their first looks at North Carolina teams in 2006. The Titans met the East Carolina squad on Mar. 10-12, then faced North Carolina at the College World Series on June 16 and 21. The Tar Heels handed the Titans their two losses in Omaha.

EAST COAST SWING: This is Cal State Fullerton's first trip to the state of North Carolina and the first trip to the East Coast since 2001. The Titans have not revisited the right side of the country since becoming the first team to ever sweep Miami at Mark Light Stadium from Mar. 30-Apr., 2001 with 8-2, 8-5, 9-2 victories over the Hurricanes.

FRESH FACES: The Titans started four freshman (three position players and a pitcher) on Feb. 27 (last Tuesday) night against the visiting San Diego State Aztecs, all of which contributed to the 9-8 win. The young position players, Billy Pinkerton, Khris Davis, and Corey Jones, combined for seven hits in nine at bats, scoring six runs, while driving in four in their first starts in the field in 2007. Pinkerton led the way with a 3-for-3 night, with three RBI and a stolen base. Freshman Michael Morrison notched his first collegiate win with a three-inning midweek start, surrendering a run on two hits, while fanning three Aztecs.

SUPPORTING THE ACE: In five Friday night starts, the Titans have combined to hit just .263 for their ace Wes Roemer as opposed to .305 on weekend games that Roemer doesn't pitch. Granted, they are likely facing the opponent's best arms and there is a difference between day and night games, but the offense is scoring and average of 2.5 runs less per start for Wes than for the Jeff Kaplan and Sean Urena. The Titan bats are scoring an average of 5.8 runs per game on Fridays, while scoring and average of 8.3 runs per game on Saturdays and Sundays.

VS THE TOP 25 AT HOME: Since 1992 the Titans have posted an all time record of 40-32 (.555) in regular-season weekend series vs ranked opponents at Goodwin Field. The Titans have gone away winners 14 times in the 24 total series on their current home field, four of them were won via the sweep. Since the Titans first game at Goodwin field, they have posted an overall 66-41 (.617) record against ranked teams at home.

SERIES BUSINESS: With and 10-3 (Mar. 2) and 6-1 (Mar. 4) victories over then-No. 6 Rice last Friday ad Sunday, the Titans captured their 16th-consecutive series win dating back to Mar. 3-5, 2006 vs. the Owls in Houston.

HOME COOKIN': The Titans are 8-3 this season in the friendly confines of Goodwin Field with the three losses coming on Feb. 16 (Arizona), Feb. 16 (UCLA) and Mar. 3 (Rice). The team is hitting .293 in the 11 games at home so far, led by junior center fielder Clark Hardman who is hitting a cool .438 with a pair of home runs and 12 RBI in front of the home fans. Overall the Titans are 349-105 (.769) in 454 total games at Goodwin Field.

ON THE ROAD: Fullerton is hitting .295 as a team on the road this season, posting a 4-2 record in games away from Goodwin Field. The Titans dropped a games at UNLV and San Diego State for their only losses.Senior catcher John Curtis leads the team on the road hitting .391 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI. Joel Weeks is also liking the road, bitting .381 and getting on base seven times either via the walk or hit-by-pitch. The Titan pitching staff give up nearly one more run per nine innings on the road, posting a 5.13 team ERA in games away from Goodwin Field.

SETTING THE TABLE: Titan leadoff hitters Clark Hardman and Joe Scott have been doing their job as far as getting on and moving around the bases. So far the duo have combined for a .347 average (25-for-72) and 19 runs scored in 17 games thus. They have also combined for two homers, sox doubles, a pair of triples and 14 RBI from that No. 1 spot.

ALL-AMERICAN NUMBERS: Clark Hardman is back with a vengeance in 2007 after two years of injury and injury recovery that has hindered his ability to play the way he did in 2004 when he earned freshman All-America status. As a freshman Hardman hit .341 in 61 games, collecting 73 hits with 31 RBI stealing five bases. So far in 2007, the junior is hitting a team-leading .403 with 2 homers and 19 RBI and is also a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases.

RISP: The Titans as a team are driving in runs when the opportunity presents itself. As a team they are hitting .373 with runners in scoring position and are led by John Curtis (10-for 19 with RISP), Clark Hardman (11-for-24 with RISP) and Chris Jones (9-for-22 with RISP).

THE LAST FIVE GAMES: The Titans as a team have hit .272 as a team over the last five games against Rice, San Diego State and UCLA and are led by Chris Jones and Clark Hardman who have combined for 16 of the Titans' 44 hits, and 14 of their 34 RBI. Billy Pinkerton and Josh Fellhauer also broke a three week slump that saw no non-starter pick up a hit coming off the bench to help out the starting eight position players.

ROEMER'S LAST START: Junior Wes Roemer snapped a personal two-game losing streak last week against No. 6 Rice winning for the first time since Feb. 9 at UNLV. For the fifth time in his career, the righty posted 10-or-more strikeouts, fanning 10 Owls and walked two batters in a game for the first time this year. He lasted six innings and surrendered eight hits as the Titans went on to beat Rice 10-3on Mar. 2. Roemer has walked two-or-more just six times in 35 career starts.

THE BEST DRAW IN TOWN: College baseball fans crowds in Southern California are often times hard to come by, but the Titans are averaging 2,586 fans in attendance over the first 11 home games of the season, not a bad number for West Coast baseball. They have drawn a total of 28,453 over those 11 games, compared to the 4,904 they have drawn on the road (averaging 817 over 6 dates.) Long Beach State and Stanford are averaging about 1,000 less fans per home game. East Carolina is averaging about 3,000 per game in North Carolina, drawing just over 33,000 in11 home dates.

HATS FOR BATS, KEEPS BATS WARM: The Titan bench may need to resort to some non-tradition methods of breaking out of a slump as the non-starting Titans are hitting just .179 so far this season, posting just 5 hits in 28 at bats while driving in five runs. Hits by Josh Fellhauer and Billy Pinkerton off the bench last weekend vs. Rice, boosted the non-starter average from a dismal .143. Jon Wilhite and Corey Jones also extended the non-starters RBI total by two as they reached via the walk and hit batter with the bases loaded last week

BULLPEN vs. STARTERS: The Titan bullpen has a combined 6.26 ERA and has a 2-1 record with 5 saves in 50 1/3 innings. Starting pitching, on the other hand, has combined for a 3.82 ERA and a 10-4 record in 101 1/3 innings of work. Fullerton's pen has a 2.4:1 strikeout-for-walk ratio while the starters are at 3.6:1, led by Roemer who is pacing the squad with a 15.3:1 mark.