Titans Look to Rebound Against Huskies

March 18, 2011

PLAY BALL: The Titans look to rebound this weekend after a disappointing showing on their four game road trip to Baton Rouge, La., and College Station, Tex. After winning six in a row heading into last weekend, the Titans have now lost four in a row and sit just one game over .500 at 8-7. This weekend's opponent, the Washington Huskies have not played since Mar. 12 and come to Fullerton with a 3-10 mark on the year.

The Titans' four-game losing streak is the first within a season since 2007. The Titans did lose four in a row between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Due to impending weather moving into the Southern California area on Sunday, the Titans and Huskies preemptively rescheduled their Sunday game to now be played at 2 p.m. on Saturday preceding the regularly scheduled 6 p.m. game at Goodwin Field. One ticket will be good for both games.

THIS WEEKEND:
Friday, Mar. 18 vs. Washington (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
Follow the game: GameTracker / Live Audio / Big West TV
Probable Pitching Match-up:
CSF: RHP, Noe Ramirez (2-2, 2.57 ERA)
UW: RHP, Austin Voth (1-1, 3.95 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 19 vs. Washington (Goodwin Field), 2 p.m.
Follow the game: GameTracker / Live Audio / Big West TV
Probable Pitching Match-up:
CSF: RHP, Colin O'Connell (2-1, 1.54 ERA)
UW: RHP, Aaron West (0-2, 7.23 ERA)

Sat., Mar. 19 vs. Washington (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
Follow the game: GameTracker / Live Audio / Big West TV
Probable Pitching Match-up:
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (1-0, 2.31 ERA)
UW: RHP, Jacob Clem (1-2, 2.45 ERA)

LAST WEEK: Fullerton suffered its first series sweep since early in the 2008 season (at Stanford) at the hands of No. 16-ranked LSU, which thrilled about 30,000 fans with a pair of dramatic 7-6 wins before a 10-2 rout on Sunday. The Titans committed 10 errors in the series after making only seven in the previous 11 games of the season.

Each game had an ominous beginning for Fullerton as the Tigers scored 2 runs aided by Fullerton walks and errors.

On Friday, Noe Ramirez settled down and kept LSU quiet enough to allow the Titans to rally for a run in the sixth and three in the seventh for a 4-3 lead. But LSU got to Ramirez and reliever Dylan Floro for 4 runs in the eighth and it needed all of those to offset Carlos Lopez' 2-run double in the ninth.

On Saturday, the Titans fell behind, 6-2, before rallying behind freshman Michael Lorenzen. He hit Fullerton's first home run of the year to make it 6-4 and then walked to trigger a 2-run eighth that tied the game at 6-6. But LSU got a bases-loaded walk in the bottom half to win by the same score.

On Sunday, Colin O'Connell's streak of no walks this season didn't get past the leadoff hitter. He didn't get out of the second inning, surrendering 6 runs (2 earned).

ON TUESDAY: The Titans were again the vicim of a defensive bugaboo and dropped the Tuesday night game against nationally-ranked Texas A&M, 2-0. Jake Floethe faced just one batter over the minimum through six innings and gave up three of his seven hits in his seventh and final inning of work.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, Floethe loaded the bases on three straight Aggie singles with nobody out. The righty got what appeared to be three big outs, (fly ball, ground ball, ground ball), but the 2-out grounder to first got by Nick Ramirez for a two-run error that proved to be the difference.

VS WASHINGTON: The Titans and Huskies have met just five times since 1987 with Fullerton winning all five affairs. Th first two times the teams met, Washington was in Fullerton on Mar. 20 and 22, 1987 (15-7, 6-1). This will be the first meeting between the two at Goodwin Field. Lat year the Titans handled the Huskies in Seattle, 9-7, 19-6, 6-0. This is Lindasy Meggs second season at the helm of the Washington program after three years at Indiana State. Meggs was also the Head Coach at Chico State where he won two National Championships and appeared in the Div. II World Series seven times over 13 years.

LOSING STREAKS: The Titans are currently amidst a four game losing streak, one of the longest in school history. In 36 years that the Div. I level, the Titans have lost four-or-more games just 16 times. 13 of those streaks were of the four-game variety, and two of those happened over two seasons. There have been just two five-game losing streaks (end of 2005-beginning of 2006, and 1991) and one six game losing streak (1983).

ERRORS OVER THE PAST 10 SEASONS: The recent slew of Titan errors is among the most over a short period of time in the last 10 seasons. The 10 errors for Fullerton in the three-game series with LSU last weekend was the most in a three game series since at least 2002. The next closes mark was 8 errors in three games (Apr. 26-May 2 at Cal Poly and at UC Riverside) since 2003. Seven errors have been committed in a straight weekend series four other times including 2010's Pacific series and the 2010 Super Regional against UCLA... The Titans' 11-errors in four games is second to the 2002 season when they committed 12 against Fresno State and UNLV (Feb. 10-17)... The record over a five-game stretch in the past 10 years also goes to the 2002 Titans, they committed 13 errors over five games (at Stanford and vs. Fresno State, Feb. 2-10) and 16 errors over 6 games (UNLV / at LMU / at ASU / vs. Houston, Feb. 17-Mar. 1)... Other error notes: Titans had 15 errors in the 2010 postseason over the course of 8 games... The Titans committed errors in 15 straight games in 2008 from Mar. 30 to Apr. 25 (24 errors)... Titans committed errors in 26 of the first 28 games of 2007 (41 errors)... Titans committed 6 errors in one game on Feb. 10, 2002 vs. Fresno State.

TITAN TIDBITS: &\#149;The Titans hit just .208 in the series with LSU. Carlos Lopez and Richy Pedroza each had four hits in the series, accounting for a little over 1/3 of the Titan 21 hits.

&\#149; Just one runner in 23 attempts was thrown out trying to steal on the Titans' 4-game road trip. Cal State Fullerton stole 9 bases in 10 tries while LSU was a perfect 12-for-12 and Texas A&M was 1-for-1.

&\#149; The Cal State Fullerton starting pitching that had gone 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA two weeks ago, struggled at LSU, combining to go 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA. The Tigers had a .300 batting average against the Titans' starting line. Noe Ramirez lasted the longest going 7 innings despite giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits. He did strike out 9. Tyler Pill worked just four innings and got a no-decision and Colin O'Connell didn't make it to see the fifth out of the game. O'Connell's string of three starts (22-plus innings) without a walk came to an end when he walked the first batter he faced on Sunday. Jake Floethe helped out the cause in his Tuesday night effort, dropping the opponents' bating average down to .292 over the past 4 games. Floethe allowed seven hits over seven innings.

&\#149; The Titans have just one home run through the first 15 games. Freshman Michael Lorenzen hit a two run homer at LSU last Saturday after a 12-game dry spell to begin the season. The Titan pitching staff has also managed to keep the ball in the park and have also only given up one home run over the first 15 games of the year.

&\#149; Ivory Thomas started in each of the last three games for Fullerton after seeing time in just two other ball games previously. Thomas has reached base in five of his last 12 plate appearances (2 hits, 2 BB, 1 HBP) and is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. He has also scored 3 runs.

&\#149;Carlos Lopez was the most productive hitter for Fullerton in the series at LSU and the midweek game at Texas A&M. The redshirt sophomore was 5-for-16 (.313) with three doubles and 4 RBI on the weekend and was the only Titan player to hit safely in all three games.

&\#149;Ryan Ackland was the only Titan to log a scoreless appearance last weekend at LSU. He gave up just one hit in two innings in his first appearance since May 29, 2009.

Head Coach Dave Serrano said after the game... "The only guy that pitched in character [this weekend] was Ryan Ackland, who was probably the brightest spot for me on the weekend... a guy that hasn't pitched in almost 2 years because of arm surgery... and I threw him into a situation in front of 9,000 people and he took it to the game. No one else did that."

&\#149; Sophomore shortstop Richy Pedroza saw hit 10-game hit streak come to an end on Tuesday at Texas A&M. Over the streak, he went 18-for-43 (.419) with a pair of doubles and four RBI.

The Titans are hitting just .249 as a team through the first 15 games with Richy Pedroza (.365) and Carlos Lopez (.315) as the only to representatives over the .300 mark. The offensive struggles are consistent throughout with runners on base. With runners on, the Titans are hitting .238, with runners in scoring position, the team is hitting .227 and with two out in an inning, the average drops to just .168.