Fullerton Heads North For First Series at Klein Family Field

April 19, 2006

FOLLOWING THE TITANS: GameTracker will be unavailable for the weekend series vs. Pacific. The Tigers are still working out some of the kinks of their new stadium, and have yet to have phone lines installed in the press box. Justin Alderson will bring the game live to you on KSPA AM 1510 and fullertontitans.com (from his cell phone) on Friday at 2 p.m. and on the web only Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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THIS WEEK IN TITAN BASEBALL:
Tuesday, April 18 vs. LMU
6 p.m. at Goodwin Field
Lost, 8-4

Friday, April 21 vs. Pacific (simulcast on AM 1510 and fullertontitans.com)
2 p.m. at Klein Family Field
Wes Roemer (RHP, 7-1, 1.51 ERA) vs. Luke Massettt (RHP, 5-3, 3.79 ERA)

Saturday, April 22 vs. Pacific (broadcast on fullertontitans.com)
1 p.m. at Klein Family Field
Lauren Gagnier (RHP, 8-3, 2.64 ERA) vs. Joey Centanni (LHP, 3-1, 2.36 ERA)

Sunday, April 23 vs. Pacific (broadcast on fullertontitans.com)
1 p.m. at Klein Family Field
Dustin Miller (RHP, 7-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. TBA

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
Loss, 2-1, vs. UC Davis
Win, 11-2, vs. UC Davis
Win, 8-1, vs. Davis

Overall Record: 28-10
Big West: 5-1
Non-Conference: 23-9
vs. Ranked Teams: 2-6
vs. Un-ranked Teams: 26-4
Goodwin Field: 18-4
Away: 10-6
Day: 11-4
Night: 17-6
February: 9-4
March: 13-3
April: 6-3
Midweek: 3-2
Weekend Series: 25-8
Weekend Series Wins-Losses: 9-2
Series Sweeps: 6
Last Five Games: 3-2
Last Ten Games: 7-3
Streak: Lost 1

KEY DATES FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNEY:
May 28
Regional SITES will be announced at 12:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN news.

May 29
Regional brackets will be revealed on ESPN at 9:30 a.m.

June 2-5
Regional competition

June 6
Press release to announce Super Regional sites, approximately 11 a.m. PDT

June 9-11 or June 10-12
Super Regional competition

BATTER UP: The Titans get their first look at Pacific's new on-campus facility -- Klein Family Field -- and the improved Tigers' program this weekend while trying to hold onto first place in the Big West Conference standings and their share of the nation's No. 1 ranking.

Fullerton remained No. 1 in the Baseball America national poll for a third week after taking two of three non-conference home games over the weekend from UC Davis, but the hold is tenuous. No. 2-ranked Rice (32-8) went 4-0 to extend its winning streak to 14 in a row. No. 4-ranked Nebraska (28-5) also went 4-0 to run its current winning streak to 10 in a row. The No. 3 team is North Carolina (31-7), which also went 4-0 and replaced Fullerton as the No. 1 team in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

VERSUS LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: LMU's Brian Wilson pitched six scoreless innings, holding the Titans to just eight hits and Sean Dovel drove in three runs as Loyola Marymount upset the Titans in a midweek match-up on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field. The Titans were unable to muster any offense against the Lion right-hander, scoring all their runs in the last three innings off of the bullpen. Five unearned runs in the top of the first off of Titan starter Justin Klipp proved to be the deciding factor of the game. Blake Davis had a nice night at the plate going 4-for-5, with four singles in his last four plate appearances. Brandon Tripp extending his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the fifth inning.

LAST WEEK: Davis brought a 12-16 record into last week's series at Goodwin Field and escaped with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night. Wes Roemer absorbed his first loss after allowing his first home run and walking his second and third batters of the season. The Titans had the tying run in scoring position several times but couldn't come up with the clutch hit.

The bats awoke on Friday and Saturday for 11-2 and 8-1 wins. Matt Fahey and Brandon Tripp, who made the final two outs on Thursday night, each homered on Friday night to lead a 15-hit attack that enabled Lauren Gagnier (8-3) to increase his team-leading win total and work only five innings.

Dustin Miller went 6 innings to get Saturday's win with Danny Dorn celebrating his return to action from the injured list with a long home run and four runs scored. Tripp added two RBI.

VERSUS PACIFIC: The Titans are 63-8 all-time against the Tigers since 1975 and have won 10 games in a row dating back to the 2002. In 2002, the Tigers took the middle game of a series at Billy Hebert Field, 8-7. The teams have never met in post-season play. Last season, Fullerton swept Pacific in a three game series at Goodwin Field, 8-5, 11-1 and 9-4.

Apr. 15, 2005 at Goodwin Field
Titans 8, Tigers 5 - WP Ricky Romero (7-3)
Apr. 16, 2005 at Goodwin Field
Titans 11, Tigers 1 - WP Wes Roemer (3-1)
Apr. 17, 2005 at Goodwin Field
Titans 9, Tigers 4 - WP Scott Sarver (5-2), SV Adam Jorgenson (2)

COOOOOPER: After breaking out of an 0-for-22 slump on Apr. 2 with a pinch-hit against Cal State Northridge, freshman David Cooper has put together a modest five-game hit streak that has seen him go 6-for-14 (.428) with a double and 4 RBI over that span.

ANOTHER HORTON MILESTONE: Head coach George Horton, in his 10th year, is just two conference wins shy of moving into third place in the Big West with 177 conference victories. With the two wins, he will tie and pass former Titan head coach Augie Garrido (176) before settling behind only Fresno State's Bob Bennett (187 wins in 15 years) and leader, Long Beach State's Dave Snow (218 in 13 seasons).

WELCOME BACK: Danny Dorn made his return to the Titan lineup last Friday night at Goodwin Field after being sidelined with a shoulder injury for over a month. The senior had seen some time as a late-inning defensive replacement, but had not started since Mar. 11 against East Carolina. Dorn singled in his first game back and then singled and homered on Saturday. The monsterous blast into the Arboretum beyond the right field wall was the lefty's first of the year and 22nd of his four-year Titan career. Dorn finished the weekend going 3-for-7 with four runs scored and a pair of RBI. The senior started his third consecutive game on Tuesday versus LMU and added an RBI-double in five plate appearances.

WHO'S HOT: (Last five games)
Blake Davis: Is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with a double and an RBI.
Brandon Tripp: Is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with a double, triple and homer while driving in a team-leading seven RBI.
David Cooper: Five for his last 13 (.385) with a double and three RBI.
Cory Vanderhook: 3-for-9 (.333) in three starts with a double and three RBI.
John Estes, Vinnie Pestano, Ryan Paul, Bryan Harris, Justin Klipp and Dave Pherrin: Have thrown a combined 16 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run while striking out 13.

"HURRICANE" RELIEF: Closer Vinnie Pestano has not given up a run since March 3 against Rice. In his 15 appearances since then, the junior side-armer has tossed 19 scoreless innings, surrendering just 9 hits, while fanning 22. Over that span he has collected a win, eight saves and a just a .141 batting average against him. The "Hurricane" is currently posting a miniscule ERA of 0.32 in 28 frames of work with 34 strikeouts. The run surrendered on Mar. 3 is the only run he has allowed all season. Pestano currently leads the Big West in Appearances (23), Saves (11). Games Finished (22) and Games in Relief (23).

QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 21 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 29 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (10 QS), Lauren Gagnier (7 QS) and Dustin Miller (4 QS) are a combined 22-5 on the season with Roemer (1.51) and Gagnier's (2.64) ERAs both under 3.00. The three lead the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier pacing the conference with 8 wins with Roemer and Miller sitting at 7.

ROUND TRIPPER: Right fielder Brandon Tripp is currently leading the team with six home runs and is amidst a 13-game hitting streak dating back to Mar. 25 vs. Long Beach State. The Junior has a team-leading .419 batting average (18-for-43) over that span including nine hits for extra bases (four doubles, two triples and three homers). Tripp is also pacing the Titans with 15 RBI over the past 13 games.

YOU'RE THE BEST AROUND: The Titans 2.43 ERA is the best in the nation as the NCAA posted cumulative stats for all the Div. I schools as of Apr. 9. This comes as no surprise as in 11 three-game series this season, Titan hurlers have allowed an average of just 8.3 TOTAL (not just earned) runs per series (with a low of 1 run vs. ECU to high of 16 runs by UCI in the non-conference series). Over last six series the average has dropped to 5.5 runs per series (with a low of 1 vs ECU to the high of 10 at Arizona.)

IN THE PEN: The Titans relief corps has been fabulous thus far this season in over 100 innings of work. As a whole they have posted a 2.00 ERA while striking out 113 in 121 1/3 innings. All but three of the pitchers (Dustin Miller, 4.50, John Estes, 3.95, and Dave Pherrin, 4.91) who have worked out of the pen this season have an ERA of less than 3.00. Hitters are hitting just .208 against the pen an have scored just 27 earned runs (38 total) off of the Titan arms.

SHORT-STOPPERS: RHP Vinnie Pestano and LHP Ryan Paul have combined for 44 2/3 innings of short relief work and have allowed just two earned runs (one each), good for a spectacular 0.40 combined ERA. The one-two punch has also struck out 61 and surrendered just two extra base hits (two doubles charged to the righty). Pestano currently has a 0.32 ERA and a .140 batting average against him and is third in the nation with 11 saves.

RED ALERT: Having played in every one of the Titans' 38 games thus far, senior Justin Turner has broken his way into the all-time top 10 in games played at Cal State Fullerton. "Red" has taken the field 226 times in his four-year career, placing him all alone in the No. 6 spot all-time, passing another four-year second baseman Jason Corapci (216 games from 2000-03). If Red can stay healthy, he could reach as high as the No. 2 spot behind the NCAA record holder, former Titan John Fishel (295 games from 1982-85). Turner Has also broken the 500-assist mark as a Titan, a feat only two other Titans have accomplished. Turner has 105 on the season and 578 in his career. He sits behind only Shane Turner (636 from 1982-85) and record holder David Bacani (673 from 1998-2001). Turner is now No. 3 all-time with 883 career at-bats, and fourth all-time with 44 hit by pitches.

NEXT STOP... SILVA: Reliever Vinnie Pestano has broken into the middle of the pack on the all-time career appearance list with 23 so far this year and 87 in his three-year career at Fullerton. He currently sits at No. 6, trailing current Volunteer Assistant Coach Ted Silva, who tallied 94 between 1993 and 1995. Pestano also Trails Silva in career saves by just two. Pestano currently sits in the No. 4 spot behind his coach with 25 career saves while Silva remains No. 3 for the Time being with 26. Vinnie is just two saves off his career-high 13-save season, set last year as a sophomore that again tied him with Silva for the third-best single-season save total behind Chad Cordero (14, 2001) and Scott Wright (22, set in 1984).

SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton has won 19 of its last 23 games and have won nine of the eleven weekend series they have competed in, six of them coming via the 3-0 sweep. The Titans have dropped just two series, one to Stanford (0-3) and the other to Rice (1-2) with both losses coming with tie games going into the ninth inning.

OLD FAITHFUL: Wes Roemer has averaged 7 2/3 (83 2/3 IP in 11 starts) IP/start this season and has struck out a career-high 12 batters twice (Mar 10 vs. East Carolina and Mar. 31 vs. CS Northridge). The sophomore averaged 7 1/3 IP/start in 2005 (72 IP in 10 starts) and has a career average of just over 7 1/3 IP/start.

TITANS IN THE NATIONAL STATS (for games through 4/16):
Vinnie Pestano, 3rd in the country with 11 saves
Wes Roemer, 18tht in the country with a 1.51 ERA
Lauren Gagnier, 4th in the country with 8 wins
Wes Roemer, 22nd in the country with 7 wins
Dustin Miller, 22nd in the country with 7 wins

FULLERTON IN THE NATIONAL STATS (for games through 4/16):
CSF has the best ERA in the country at 2.44
CSF ranks 4th in the country in Fielding Percent at .980
CSF has the 11th-best W/L Percentage at .757

CSTV.com PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH: The first week is in - and CSTV has a few guys clearly on top of their voting for the nation's top collegiate baseball player. As of Apr. 19, Titan hurler Wes Roemer sits atop that list. Three of the top five players are pitchers - could it be the "Year of the Hurler"?

The Top Five
1. Wes Roemer (P, Cal State Fullerton)
2. Eddie Degerman (P, Rice)
3. Kellen Kulbacki (OF, James Madison)
4. Evan Longoria (3B, Long Beach State)
5. Andrew Miller (P, North Carolina)