No. 1 Titans Travel to Irvine for Weekend Tilt

No. 1 Titans Travel to Irvine for Weekend Tilt

April 5, 2006

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Overall Record: 24-7
Big West Conference Record: 3-0
Versus Ranked Teams: 2-6
Last Week: 4-0
Last 5 Games: 5-0
Last 10 Games: 9-1
Streak: Won 7

WIN, @ LMU, 8-4
WIN, vs. CSUN, 2-1
WIN, vs. CSUN, 6-1
WIN, vs. CSUN, 14-2

Tues., Apr. 4 @ San Diego State at 6 p.m. (Rained Out)
Fri., Apr. 7 @ UC Irvine at 6 p.m.* (WEB, GT)
Sat., Apr. 8 @ UC Irvine at 6 p.m.* (WEB, GT)
Sun., Apr. 9 @ UC Irvine at 1 p.m.* (WEB, GT)

* Denotes Big West Conference Games, WEB - broadcast on, GT - game cast on GameTracker

Fri., Apr. 7: Wes Roemer, 6-0, 1.71 ERA
Sat., Apr. 8: Lauren Gagnier, 7-2, 2.64 ERA
Sun., Apr. 9: Dustin Miller, 6-1, 3.40 ERA

KICKED UP A NOTCH: The Titans ascended to the No. 1 position in this week's Baseball America and USA Today coaches poll after winning all four games last week and running their current streaks to seven wins in a row and 15 in the last 16 games. Previous No. 1 Mississippi State lost a series to Alabama. South Carolina is the new No. 2. Collegiate Baseball has the Titans ranked No. 2 while has tabbed the streaking Fullerton squad at No. 8 in the nation.

SERIES BUSINESS: The Titans picked up their fourth-consecutive series sweep, and sixth overall as they downed the Northridge Matadors in three straight last weekend. The Titans are winners of 15 of their last 16 with San Diego State and UC Irvine on the docket for this week. The Titans have managed seven series victories in seven weekend series thus far, losing only two to ranked Rice and Stanford.

LAST WEEK WRAP UP: Of more lasting significance than the No. 1 ranking, the Titans got off to a 3-0 start in the Big West Conference race with a weekend sweep of Cal State Northridge by scores of 2-1, 6-1 and 14-2. This week they visit UC Irvine, which got swept at home by a rejuvenated Long Beach State over the weekend.

Evan McArthur was the hitting star again last week as he went 10-for-17 capped by a 5-for-5 effort from the No. 9 slot on Sunday. Going back to his 4-hit game on March 26 vs. Long Beach, he has 14 hits in his last 21 at bats. Brett Pill (6-for-13), Jared Clark (6-for-14) and Justin Turner (7-for-19) all contributed as well as the Titans got 17 hits in an 8-4 win at Loyola Marymount and 19 in Sunday's win over the Matadors.

Pitching dominated on Friday and Saturday as starters Wes Roemer and Lauren Gagnier were on top of their games. Roemer improved to 6-0 with a 12-strikeout effort over 8 innings. He allowed his first walk of the season and it produced the CSUN run. The Titans got the game winner in the eighth on an error by the CSUN left fielder.

Gagnier improved to 7-2 with 8 strong innings on Saturday, fanning eight and walking none. Brandon Tripp's 2-run double sealed the deal.

Dustin Miller missed his pitching turn on Sunday due to a bruised heel. The committee of Justin Klipp, John Estes, Bryan Harris, Ryan Paul and Vinnie Pestano filled in more than adequately. Harris, Estes, Klipp and Paul all followed Cory Arbiso and Dave Pherrin in the win at LMU.

BIG WES, PITCHER OF THE WEEK: One free pass might have broken his streak of 65 2/3 innings without a walk, but it did not stop Wes Roemer from earning t Big West Pitcher of the Week honors for the week ending Apr. 2, The Glendora-native, Roemer tied a career-high 12 strikeouts over eight innings of work and surrendered just one run and held Cal State Northridge to just four hits. The 2-1 win over the Matadors marks his sixth win without a loss. The right-handed pitcher lowered his ERA to 1.71 and with his one walk against CSUN, Roemer has a 70:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This was the sophomores second Player of the Week nod this season, and the third of his career.

FULLERTON'S EVAN P.O.W. ERLESS: Third baseman Evan McArthur's 10-hit week that included two doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI in four games was not enough to get this week's conference player of the week after garnering the honor last week. The junior was beat out by Long Beach's Evan Longoria who went just 5-for-11 including two home runs in a three-game series against UC Irvine. McArthur is 14 for his last 21 (.667) dating back to Mar. 26 (five games), including a three-hit game, a 4-for-4 game and a 5-for-5 game.

SLUMP-BUSTED: Freshman David Cooper's 0-for-22 that began Mar. 18 at Arizona, came to an end Sunday afternoon as the lefty connected for an RBI-single to center, pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of the final game with Northridge. Cooper is now 5-for-7 (.714) as a pinch-hitter on the year. Cooper splits time with teammate Bryan Harris as the team's designated hitter.

WALKS WILL KILL YOU: For all the little leaguers out there... take it from Titan hurler Wes Roemer - walks do not pay off. Prior to Friday night's game against Cal State Northridge, Roemer had not walked a single batter in 60 2/3 innings, the longest walk-less streak by anyone in the nation. The sophomore added five more innings to increase the streak to 65 2/3, before walking Jonathan Sakurai to lead off the sixth inning. And proving the old adage right, Sakurai then came around to score on a single by Matador James Scott, the lone run Roemer would surrender over eight innings of work.

"HURRICANE" RELIEF: In his last nine appearances, closer Vinnie Pestano has earned six saves and a win without allowing a run. The righty has tossed 9 innings of relief, fanning 16 opposing hitters over that span surrendering just 7 hits. Pestano is currently leading the Big West Conference in appearances (20), saves (11) and games finished (19). "Hurricane" has posted a 0.38 ERA in 24 innings thus far, holding the opponent to a .138 batting average against him.

QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 18 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 23 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (8 QS), Lauren Gagnier (7 QS) and Dustin Miller (3 QS) are a combined 19-3 on the season with Roemer (1.71) and Gagnier's (2.64) ERAs both under 3.00. The three lead the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier earning 7 while Miller and Roemer each have 6.

WHO'S HOT: Evan McArthur: Is 14 for his last 21 (.667) with 3 doubles, a triple, 2 homers and 6 RBI over the last five Titan games.

John Curtis: Is 5-for-12 in three starts over the last five Titan games, hitting .417.

Justin Turner: "Red" has collected 9 hits in 22 at bats, good for a .409 clip and has driven in 4 RBI over the last five games. The second baseman is also a perfect 5-5 in stolen bases over that same span.

Dustin Garneau: The freshman back-up catcher has gotten two plate appearances over the last five Titan games. He picked up his first hit of his career against LMU on Mar. 29 then another on Sunday in Fullerton's 14-2 rom over CSUN.

Fullerton Bullpen: has a 2.12 ERA over the past five games, with 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. The pen is 2-0 and has two saves over that five game span.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Mother Nature already knocked out one of the Titans' road game this week, but they still have a three-game series with Dave Serrano's UC Irvine Anteaters Friday-Sunday at Anteater Ballpark. The Titans have posted an 8-5 road record with losses at Stanford (3) and Rice (2), both ranked teams at the time of the contests. Blake Davis leads the team in hits away from Goodwin Field, collecting 18 of them, including two doubles, two triples and a homer. Justin Turner and Jared Clark have each hit a pair of home runs to lead in the power department, while Turner leads the way with four stolen bases in the speed category. Wes Roemer has tallied three of his six wins on the opposition's bump leading the staff with 29 strikeouts in 35 innings. Vinnie Pestano, dominant on any mound has posted four saves, 11 strikeouts and a miniscule 0.97 ERA in 9 1/3 innings away from home.

BIG-LEAGUE NEWS: Nine former Titans can be found on the Opening Day rosters of the 30 major league baseball teams. The only newcomer this year is outfielder Shane Costa, who made the 25-man roster of the Kansas City Royals. The Big West Conference player of the year in 2003 divided time last year between Class AA Wichita, Class AAA Omaha and Kansas City, where he batted .235 in 27 games. The other eight veterans are: outfielder Mark Kotsay and right-hander Kirk Saarloos in Oakland, utilityman Mike Lamb in Houston, outfielder Reed Johnson in Toronto, right-hander Matt Wise in Milwaukee, right--hander Chad Cordero in Washington, outfielder Aaron Rowand in Philadelphia and designated hitter Phil Nevin in Texas. The latter two began last season with the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres, respectively.


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