Titans Take on No. 1 Arizona This Weekend

March 14, 2008

Tucson, Ariz. - A 6-2 midweek loss to No. 21 San Diego on Tuesday snapped a five-game winning streak for Cal State Fullerton (8-5) which has four games against nationally ranked opponents this week. Next up for the Titans are the No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (10-1) in a three-game series in Tucson, Arizona.

Daniel Renken replaces Adam Jorgenson in the weekend rotation for the Titans, and will throw on Saturday night, moving Cory Arbiso to Sundays. Jeff Kaplan will move back to his Friday night role, after two starts on Tuesday and Sunday of last week.

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UPCOMING/TITAN PITCHING ROTATION
Friday, Mar. 14 at Arizona - 7 p.m.
RHP, Jeff Kaplan (2-1, 5.89 ERA)
RHP, Preston Guilmet (2-1, 2.84 ERA)
Broadcast on fullertontitans.com and GameTracker

Saturday, Mar. 15 at Arizona - 6 p.m.
RHP, Daniel Renken (3-0, 1.26 ERA)
LHP, David Coulon (3-0, 2.45 ERA)
Broadcast on fullertontitans.com and GameTracker

Sunday, Mar. 16 at Arizona - Noon
RHP, Cory Arbiso (1-2, 5.28 ERA)
RHP, Ryan Perry (1-0, 4.00 ERA)
Broadcast on fullertontitans.com and GameTracker

VERSUS THE WILDCATS: Cal State Fullerton holds a 58-31 all-time Div. I lead over Arizona dating back to their first meeting in 1977. The two teams have met a total of five times in the postseason (CSF leads 3-2) including one game at the 1979 College World Series (CSF 16, UoA 3). In their last postseason meeting, the Titans went 2-1 at the Fullerton Regional in 2005 (5-6, 7-2, 6-3). The Titans are currently riding a brief two game winning streak versus the Wildcats dating back to last year's series at Goodwin Field.

LAST YEAR'S SERIES: The Titans won the 2007 series at Goodwin Field 2-1. In game one (Feb. 16) Wes Roemer struck out the first five batters he faced, but Preston Guilmet one-upped him striking out the first seven Titans he faced as the Wildcats went on to out-duel the Titans, 2-1. Both hurlers struck out nine.

In game two (Feb. 17), the Titans offense woke up behind a strong Jeff Kaplan effort on the mound as they took care of the Wildcats by a score of 9-0. Kaplan struck out a career high 11 batters in one of his two complete-game shutouts of the year. The Titan win snapped Arizona's nine-game winning streak and also snapped their 82-game period over which they had not been shut out. Both Joe Scott and Clark Hardman produced two hits and two RBI to lead the Titan offense.

Another nine-run game (9-2) gave the Titans the series win on Feb. 18. Hardman was 4-for-5 and missed hitting the cycle by a single. Sean Urena retired 13 of the last 15 hitters he faced to earn his first collegiate win.

THE LAST TIME AT ARIZONA: The last time the Titans visited Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium, they swept the Wildcats 6-4, 5-3, 5-3 from Mar. 17-19, 2006.

TUESDAY'S RESULTS: San Diego's Anthony Strazzara's bases-clearing double off reliever Adam Jorgenson broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning as the No. 21 Toreros handed the Titans their first midweek loss of the year, 6-2.

Christian Colon and Chirs Jones each doubled and drove home a run in the third inning as the Titan offense struggle to catch on the rest of the way. Colon had two of the Titans' six hits on the night.

Michael Morrison suffered the loss from the mound after going 1.2 innings and giving up three runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batter. Josh Romanski, for the second year in a row, picked up the win against the Titans striking out four in 5. 2 innings of work.

LAST WEEK: What a difference a week makes. After getting swept at Stanford and almost swept off the runway at Ontario Airport on March 2, the Titans on March 9 celebrated a home sweep of Southern Mississippi to cap a 5-0 week that began with a 2-game sweep of then-No. 3-ranked UCLA.

This week the Titans host University of San Diego, a national seed last year, and then play a 3-game series at No. 1-ranked Arizona.

Jeff Kaplan got last week going well with six scoreless innings against UCLA at Goodwin Field. Joel Weeks had 3 hits and helped Fullerton jump out to a 5-0 lead after three innings. The next night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, the Titans again jumped ahead 5-0 with a 5-run second inning. Jared Clark's home run started it and Christian Colon's 2-run double capped it.

A 3-run pinch-hit home run by Khris Davis and a productive night by the bottom of the lineup led to a lopsided 13-2 contest. Freshman right-hander Daniel Renken silenced the Bruin bats, retiring the first 12 hitters on his way to a 3-hit, 10-strikeout performance over 7 innings.

The wins over USM were by scores of 4-1, 8-3 and 19-6. Jason Dovel pitched 5.2 innings of 2-hit, scoreless relief to key the Friday win. On Saturday, Cory Arbiso had a strong start and home runs from Colon and Dustin Garneau helped the Titans manufacture 8 runs on only 6 hits. Nine walks helped. Sunday's game was a 5-5 tie in the fifth before Fullerton rolled a 5 in the fifth and a 7 in the sixth. Renken picked up his second win of the week with a nicely timed 1.1 inning effort. Erik Komatsu and Jared Clark homered to lead the 22-hit assault that featured Josh Fellhauer getting 4 hits.

INJURY REPORT: Outfielder Josh Fellhauer is listed day-to-day after spraining his ankle chasing a double in the gap of Tuesday's game at home versus San Diego. Fellhauer was replaced defensively after three at bats. His 10-game hitting streak came to an end.

Junior infielder Joe Scott had successful surgery on Feb. 26 to repair a sports hernia suffered late in the fall and was seen last week taking ground balls. He is progressing ahead of schedule but is likely out another two weeks. Scott was expected to miss up to six weeks.

Senior Brad Barrager received some bad news prior to the Stanford series two weeks ago. The right-hander, who head Coach Dave Serrano praised highly coming into the spring, has had another major set-back, all-but ending his Titan career. Doctors have diagnosed a pre-existing torn labrum that he was working through, and will now needs surgery to repair his shoulder. The transfer from Alta Loma College in 2007 missed all of last year due to a broken arm and Tommy John surgery. He never pitched in a game at the DI level.

Senior Paul Canedo is still out recovering from an injury to a finger on his pitching hand (left). The southpaw lacerated his ring finger in a weight room accident just weeks before the start of the season. He will not resume his throwing routine for at least three weeks.

RENKEN NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton's freshman Daniel Renken (Cypress, Calif.) went 2-0 last week striking out 12 to garner his first Easton Big West Pitcher of the Week honor as announced by the league office Monday afternoon.

Renken's (Cypress, Calif. / Orange Lutheran High School) tossed seven innings of three-hit, one run baseball against No. 3 UCLA on Wednesday (Mar. 5) in Los Angeles, then picked up a win in relief on Sunday, leading the Titans pitching staff with two of the team's five wins this week all while holding his opponents to just a .167 batting average against him.

On Wednesday, in just his second career start, the right-hander pounded the strike zone and notched a career-high 10 strikeouts against the Bruins. He worked perfect through four innings setting all 12 batters he aced down on just 35 pitches (30 strikes) before back-to-back extra base hits broke the no-hit and shutout bid leading off the fifth inning. Renken did not allow his third hit of the game until the seventh inning.

On Sunday, Renken came on in a 5-5 game against Southern Miss and worked 1.1 innings collecting a pair of strikeouts and his third win of the year. He was the beneficiary of a five-run Titan outburst in the eventual 19-6 win.

With his performances last week, Renken has been promoted to the weekend rotation and will pitch Saturday night.

LAST WEEK'S UNSUNG HERO: Titan first baseman Jared Clark (Castaic, Calif.) had a fantastic week worthy of conference player of the week honors, but was beaten out by Irvine's Ollie Linton (6-for-15, .400 BA, 8 RBI, 6 SBs in four games vs. Tulane and San Diego). Clark posted multiple hits in four of the five games the Titans played versus No. 3 UCLA and Southern Miss, finishing with nine hits (including two homers and a double) in 14 official at bats (.643 average) while driving in seven and drawing a team-leading seven walks in the five-hole in the order. He also led the team in slugging, posting a 1.143 slugging percentage, totaling 16 total bases on the week. He was also 4-for-4 in stolen bases and scored eight runs to boot. Like the entire Fullerotn offense, Clark cooled on Tuesday against San Diego, going 0-for-3.

THE LAST TIME VS. NO. 1: The last series Fullerton played against a No. 1 team in the country was exactly three years ago this week in 2005 when it traveled to New Orleans to take on the top-ranked Green Wave of Tulane at Turchin Stadium. The Titans, No. 2 at the time, took two-of-three from Tulane (Mar. 11-13), 15-1, 9-8, 9-13 before heading home to take on Arizona at Goodwin Field.

COMING ON STRONG: Billy Marcoe (Soph., Bellevue, Washington) has been hot as of late and has posted a team-leading.636 batting average over the past five games. Marcoe, is 7-for-11 with an RBI and 5 runs scored in three starts behind the dish. The catcher is also a perfect 2-for-2 in stolen bases. Marcoe currently has the team's longest hitting streak with a four-gamer under his belt.

Freshman shortstop Christian Colon (Corona, Calif., Canyon HS) has also been playing well over the past five ballgames. The rookie has hit in the last three straight, and has hit .381 with a tie for the team lead in hits with Josh Fellhauer (8 hits) over that period.

Over the past five games, Travis Kelly (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ryan Ackland (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Brian Wilson (San Diego, Calif.) have combined for 8.2 innings of scoreless innings between them while holding the opponents to just 4 hits (.133 average). The trio has struck out nine between them with Wilson recording the only Titan save of the year on Mar. 7 vs. Southern Miss.

ON THE ROAD: Fullerton is 3-4 on the road this year and are hitting .292 as a team this year when playing away from Goodwin Field. Josh Fellhauer is leading the team with 14 hits (.424 average) while Erik Komatsu has driven home 10 runs and Jeff Newman has the best road average at .462 (6-for-13).

From the mound, Ryan Ackland, Brian Wilson and Daniel Renken have posted a 2-1 record with ERAs below 1.59, while the rest of the staff has compiled a 1-3 record and ERAs of no less than 4.50.

GRAND THEFT: The Titans are on pace to steal 176 stolen bases in the regular season if they keep up their current pace of 3.2 per game. No team since the 1980 squad that stole a record 209 bases has stolen more than 144 (1999). As a group, the 2008 team has swiped 41 bases in 52 attempts in just 13 games, compared to the 53 the team stole in 63 games a year ago. Josh Fellhauer is leading the team with six (6-for-8) while three others have five each.

FRESH ARMS: The Titans have been enjoying two rookie arms in Daniel Renken (Cypress, Calif., Orange Lutheran HS) and Jason Dovel (Buena Park, Calif., La Mirada HS). The pair have combined for a 4-0 Record with a 2.03 ERA over have 11 appearances posting 35 total strikeouts and just eight walks. Opposing batter have hit just .151 off the young hurlers.

HIS GOES TO 10: Outfielder Josh Fellhauer (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) saw his 10-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday after leaving the game with an ankle sprain after going 0-for-3. During the streak, Fellhauer hit .465 with a team-leading 20 hits and 6 RBI. Fellhauer is currently hitting a team-leading .429 with six stolen bases. Regarding his injury, Fellhauer is listed as day-to-day.

PLAYING TIME IN TUCSON: Jared Clark is the only Titan to record any playing time against the Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz. Clark, a member of the 2006 team, was 4-for-12 (.333) with four runs scored at Kindall Field that year. Active players remaining from the 2006 squad that played at Arizona in 2006 include: Clark, Cory Arbiso, Dustin Garneau, Adam Jorgenson, Joe Scott, and Jon Wilhite.

TWO OUT NIGHTMARES: The Titans have clutched up and hit .344 (55-for-160) as a team with two outs in an inning and have driven in nearly half (37 of 79) of their RBI with two down. Erik Komatsu has driven in 11 of his 16 RBI and he and Joel Weeks have collected a team-leading seven hits with the end of the inning looming.