Titans Travel To LA to Face USC Tuesday night

April 14, 2009

PLAY BALL: The still No. 6-ranked Titans (22-9) visit USC (17-14) for a non-conference game Tuesday and then host Pacific in a Big West Conference series this weekend at Goodwin Field.

USC is coming off a series sweep of George Horton's Oregon Ducks last weekend. The Trojans are led offensively by Grant Green (.389, 8 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 2 HRs, 17 RBI) and Anthony Vasquez (.328, 9 2Bs, 3 HR, 22 RBI) and are hitting .276 as a team.

The Titans will face Kevin Couture (3-2, 5.50 ERA) who is tied for the team lead with eight starts. The right-hander has accumulated the third-most number of innings on the hill and has a little more than a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Robert Stock has posted three saves and has made 11 relief appearances. Stock is 3-1 with a team-best 2.41 ERA

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VERSUS THE TROJANS: The Titans have lost the last two meeting against the Trojans (4-5 in 11 innings at USC on 4/8/08 and 4-14 on 4/15/08 at Goodwin Field) but have an all-time 40-35-1 record against USC dating back to their first meeting in 1976. The two perennial college baseball powerhouses have met seven times in the postseason with the Trojans leading the all-time postseason series 4-3. THe Titans however, did win the big one, the 1995 national championship game. Fullerton beat USC, 11-5, for the title behind a pair of home runs and strong relief work on the mound by Mark Kotsay.

TITAN-TROJAN CONNECTION: Trojan infielder Billy Pinkerton spent two season (redshirt in 2006 and 2007) in a Titan uniform before transferring to USC. Pinkerton hit .239 with seven RBI in 29 games for the Titans in 2007.

TITANS IN THE RANKINGS:
Baseball America: 6
Collegiate Baseball: 8
USA Today/ESPN Coaches: 6
NCBWA: 8
Rivals.com: 5

TUESDAY'S PITCHING MATCH-UPS:
CSF: LHP, Kevin Rath (1-1, 5.57 ERA)
USC: RHP, Kevin Couture (3-2, 5.50 ERA)

WILHITE UPDATE; TRUST FUND ESTABLISHED: Former Titan Jon Wilhite was upgraded from critical to serious condition at UCI Medical Center on Friday and faces surgery on Wednesday. Donations to help offset medical bills can be made to the Benefit Fund for Jon Wilhite, \#3980643658, at any Wells Fargo branch. Wilhite was the lone survivor of the car accident that claimed the lives of former Titan cheerleader Courtney Stewart, law student Henry Pearson and Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart.

EXTRA! EXTRA!: Fullerton is 42-43 all-ime in extra inning games at the Div. I level, and is currently 2-1 in 2009. Last week (Apr. 9/10), Fullerton and Cal State Northridge played 15 innings over two days (suspended game due to darkness) before the Titans dropped their first game of the year in overtime, 5-4. Earlier in the year, CSF took care of business with UC Irvine (5-4 win in 10 innings on Apr. 5) and UC Riverside (4-1 in 10 innings on Mar. 28). The Titans are 20-14 in 10-innign affairs; 11-7 when the game goes 11 innings; 5-9 in 12-inning games; 2-5 in 13-inning games; 3-3 in 14 innings; 0-3 in 15-inning and 1-2 in 16-inning marathons.

STREAKING TITANS: Senior Jeff Newman is currently holds the Titans longest hitting streak at six games. The left fielder has gone 9-for-22 (.409) over that span and has also walked twice, been hit once, dropped down three sac-bunts and stolen a base. Dustin Garneau (C) and Josh Fellhauer (CF) have each hit safely in the last four. Gary Brown (3B), Khris Davis (RF) and Billy Marcoe (C) each have modest three-game streaks on the line.

OUTFIELD PRODUCTION: The Titan outfield of Jeff Newman, Josh Fellhauer and Khris Davis have combined for a .394 average (28-for-71) over the last six games. The trio have produced four doubles, a home run (courtesy of Davis) and nine RBI, while drawing six walks, laying down four sacrifice bunts and stealing three bases.

YOUNG GUNS: THe Titans weekend rotation has settled into somewhat of a groove over the last three weeks, and has done so without an upperclassman. Daniel Renken (sophomore), Noe Ramirez (freshman), and Tyler Pill (freshman) have combined to go 14-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 22 combined starts. The trio have combined for 156.0 IP and have given up just 49 earned runs while striking out 131 opponents and walking just 29. They have also held their opponents to a .216 batting average against (123-for-567).

RING AROUND THE ROUSEY: CSUN Head Coach Steve Rousey got to see just how fast sophomore INF Gary Brown was last Thursday in the Big West series opener against the Matadors. With two outs, Brown singled through the right side, then promptly stole second, third and home to tie the game at 2-2. Brown's steal of home was not a traditional straight steal, but a timed steal, on the catcher's throw back to the pitcher.