March 16, 2012
The Titans host Long Beach State in a 3-game non-conference series this weekend at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton began the week ranked No. 15 by Baseball America before playing their third 1-run game in a row. After beating Texas A&M 6-5 in 11 innings and 4-3 with a ninth-inning run with a pair of saves by Michael Lorenzen, the Titans lost Tuesday night at home to Washington State, 9-8, in 11 innings. Wasted was a 4-run seventh-inning rally to forge an 8-8 tie. Anthony Hutting, who delivered a pinch-hit RBI for the winning run in the extra-inning win at A&M, capped the inning with a 2-run pinch-hit home run.
This weekend, the Titans an 49ers will not only battle each other, but will have Mother Nature to contend with. The Schedule has already been shifted to accommodate the likelihood of a shortened weekend.
THIS WEEKEND IN TITAN BASEBALL
Friday, Mar. 16
vs. Long Beach State (Goodwin Field), 2:30 p.m.
vs. Long Beach State (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 17
vs. Long Beach State (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.*, or
Sunday, Mar. 18
vs. Long Beach State (Goodwin Filed), 1 p.m*
* Saturday and Sunday are dependent on the weather. If third game is played on Saturday, there will be no Sunday games. If Saturday's game is rained out, they will try to play on Sunday. If both are rained out, they will make up the Game on May 8 at Goodwin Field at 6 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
FRIDAY - GAME 1
CSF: RHP Dylan Floro (1-2, 3.46 ERA)
LB: RHP Shawn Stuart (1-0, 3.42 ERA)
FRIDAY - GAME 2
CSF: LHP Kenny Matthews (1-0, 3.10 ERA)
LB: RHP Matt Anderson (1-0, 2.59 ERA)
SAT/SUN - GAME 3
LB: LHP Ryan Strufing (2-1, 2.82 ERA)
FOLLOW THE GAME: All three games of the Long Beach State series will have free audio broadcasts provided live as the action happens at fullertontitans.com. To hear the games presented with our audio partner Stretch Internet, go to our website and click the headphones in the upper right hand corner of your browser - that applies from your computer or your iPhone and Android smart phones. There will also be video streams of all three games on the subscription-based BigWest.Tv. Just click the video icon in the upper right to access the video stream. We will also be providing GameTracker for all home games. Just click the GT mark in the rotating scoreboard on the home page of fullertontitans.com, or find the link on the baseball schedule page, and track most all of college baseball in just a few clicks of the mouse.
VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Titans and 49ers have met 178 times dating back to 1975 (the first season for the Titans at the Div. I level), with Fullerton winning over two thirds of the games played (120-58). They have been just as dominant in conference match-ups, winning 94 games while losing just 46 throughout three different conference alignments (PCAA, SCBA and the Big West). The Titans have been very consistent in their dealings with the 49ers and have gone 61-28 at home and 58-29 on the road. In their more recent history, the Titans have won 23 of the last 29 meetings dating back to 2004. Under Dave Serrano, the Titans were 13-3 against the 49ers. Last year, the Titans won five of the six meetings and have gone 12-1 in their last 13 meetings outscoring the 49ers 95-41 in those contests. The only loss since 2008 came on opening weekend 2011, an 8-5 defeat at Blair Field. This is Coach Rick Vanderhook's first meeting as a head coach against the 49ers, but in 21 seasons as an assistant, the Titans posted a 67-41 record with Hook on the coaching staff.
THE RIVALRY: Despite the long history between Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, the rivalry between these two schools was at its height between 1989 and 2001 with Dave Snow at the helm of the 49er program and Augie Garrido and George Horton skippering the Titans. Over 13 season, Snow (a former Titan assistant coach under Garrido in the early years at the Div. I level) led the 49ers to its most prosperous times, not only overall (511-290-4, .637 and 4 College World Series appearances), but also against the Titans. Snow had a winning record against the Titans (31-30), but had a hard time doing it, watching the Titans winning nearly half of the 61 games played. Since Snow's departure (under Mike Weathers and now Troy Buckley), the 49ers have not fared nearly as well, going just 17-36 against the Titans under coaches Horton (1997-2007) and Dave Serrano (2008-11).
RANKED COMPETITION: One half of Fullerton's 10 wins and four of the its six losses so far this year have come against opponents sitting in the Top 15 of Baseball America's national rankings. Overall the Titans are 5-4 against those that are ranked, 2-1 in those games at home. The Titans dropped a season-opening series to No. 1 Florida in Gainesville, Fla., before coming back to win series against then-No. 15 TCU at home. Last weekend, the Titans came back from College Station with a series win over the then-No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies after a pair of one-run victories in the final two games.
BE LIKE MIKE: Sophomore Michael Lorenzen is lighting up the radar guns (in the 95-97 mph range) when he trots in from centerfield to close out games on the mound, but the Titans are more impressed with the results they are seeing than with the velocity. In his first year as the Titans' closer, and without weekly bullpen sessions, Lorenzen has converted his first six collegiate save opportunities including two last Sunday at Texas A&M. Lorenzen has worked six innings and has yet to give up a run while striking out nine opponents. In his two-save Sunday last week, Lorenzen struck out four of the six batters he faced. Lorenzen is currently tied for second in the nation with six saves behind San Diego's Michael Wagner who has closed out nine ballgames.
STINGY OUTSIDE THE ZONE: The Titans rank 8th in the nation in fewest walks per nine innings. As a team they have allowed just 2.18 walks per game and are led by freshman RHP Koby Gauna who has surrendered less than a half a walk per game, ranking 12th in the nation. Dylan Floro also ranks in the Top 50, coming in at No. 41 with just over one free pass per nine innings.
CLUTCH HUTTING: Junior outfielder Anthony Hutting's last two at bats have been clutch coming off the bench in key pinch-hit opportunities. On Sunday with the bases loaded and time running out (travel curfew), Hutting drove in the game-winning run with a ninth inning, bases-loaded groundout to give the Titans a 2-games-to-1 series win over No. 6 Texas A&M. On Tuesday, despite the 11-inning loss to Washington State, it was Hutting who came off the bench and connected for a two-run, game-tying home run to make it 8-8 in the bottom of the 7th inning. It was his first career four-bagger.
RPI UPDATE: According to Boyd Nation at Boydsworld.com, the Titans currently No. 6 (.663) in the RPI rankings behind Florida, Rice, Purdue, UCLA and Miami.
SOS UPDATE: According to Boyd Nation at BoydsWorld.com, the Titans have the No. 1 overall strength of schedule in the nation and rank 12th in his Iterative Strength Ratings (ISR) updated daily. The ISRs are the author's best attempt at an objective rating system which covers all Division I teams. More information about the rating system - including past results so that you can get a feel for how accurate they are, a technical description of the methods used, and information about the author - can be found at BoydsWorld.com Records listed are those against Division I competition only.
JUST FOR KICKS: Rick Vanderhook's Div. I career is off to a solid start considering the very tough non-conference schedule. Hook is 10-6 heading into the weekend series so we decided to see how all the Fullerton coaches fared in their inaugural seasons after 16 games.
Augie Garrido: First Div. I season as head coach: 1975
Skip won 11 of his first 16 games at the Div. I level including wins in his first five games. Losses to Garrido's team, an eventual College World Series participant, came at the hands of USC, Chapman, ASU and Cal State Dominguez Hills. His first Div. I win came against Southern California College.
Rick Vanderhook: First Div. I season: 2012
Hook has won 10 of his first 16 games and strung together a seven-game winning streak from Feb. 25 to Mar. 4. His losses came to Florida (2), TCU, USC, Texas A&M and Washington State. Five of his first 10 wins came against Top 15 programs. Hook picked up his first-career win against No. 1 Florida on Feb. 19.
George Horton: First Div. I season as head coach: 1997
The Commissioner won 9 of his first 16 games with losses coming to Cal State Northridge, Stanford, No. 1 Florida State (2), Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine (2). His first two Div. I wins came against No. 1 Stanford and a few short week's later his Titans won a third game against No. 1 Florida State. Horton had a six game winning streak and a four-game losing streak in the first 16 games.
Larry Cochell and Dave Serrano both served as head coaches with other schools before coming to Fullerton, but their first seasons in a Titan uniform went like this:
Larry Cochell: First season as Titan head coach: 1988
Coach Cochell went 10-6 in his first 16 games. Losses came to Chapman (2), USC, Stanford and Arizona (2). His first Titan win came on opening day against Cal Poly Pomona. He took the `88 team to the College World Series, the first of three schools he took to play at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. At Game No. 16 he was at game five of a seven game winning streak.
Dave Serrano: First season as Titan head coach: 2008
Coach Serrano won 9 of his first 16 games as skipper of the Titans with the losses coming to TCU and Stanford (3), No. 21 San Diego and No. 1 Arizona (2). His first win in a Titan uniform came on opening day at TCU. Serrano's Titans had a five-game winning streak sandwiched by a pair of three-game losing skids. He too had a win against a No. 1 team in Arizona.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Titans are off to a 7-2 record at Goodwin Field in 2012 thanks to a solid homestand that saw them take series from both TCU and Utah Valley and a couple of midweek pairings against San Diego State and Loyola Marymount. Fullerton is 468-147 (.761) all-time at Goodwin Field which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season. Last year the Titans went 23-6 (.793) in the friendly confines, with two of those losses coming in the postseason. The Titans have 30 games slated at home this year. Twenty four will be played on the road.