Titans Return Home for Games with Pepperdine and Cal Poly

April 20, 2010

UPCOMING SCHEDULE/PROBABLE ROTATIONS
Apr. 20 - vs. Pepperdine (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
CSF: LHP, Kevin Rath (1-1, 2.38 ERA)
PEP: LHP, Aaron Gates (2-5, 4.38 ERA)

Apr. 23 - vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
CSF: RHP, Kyle Mertins (3-2, 2.81 ERA)
CP: LHP, Matt Leonard (0-4, 4.25 ERA)

Apr. 24 - vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken (5-2, 4.89 ERA)
CP: RHP, DJ Mauldin (2-1, 8.02 ERA)

Apr. 25 - vs. Cal Poly (Goodwin Field), 1 p.m.
CSF: RHP, Tyler Pill (3-4, 3.65 ERA)
CP: RHP, Eugene Wright (1-2, 4.62 ERA)

Complete Release in PDF Format

FOLLOW THE TITANS:
All games this week will be streamed live on fullertontitans.com, BigWest.tv (subscription-based) and can be followed with CBS College Sports' GameTracker interface linked from fullertontitans.com.

WEEKEND RECAP:
Riding the momentum of a 5-2 road swing, the Titans try to improve their record at Goodwin Field with a 4-game homestand this week. Pepperdine visits on Tuesday night before Cal Poly arrives for a 3-game weekend series.

The Titans are only 8-7 at home this season but 12-6 (11-5, hostile, 1-1 neutral) away after winning a weekend series at UC Santa Barbara, in which they outscored the Gauchos, 26-9. Heroes were plentiful as the Titans climbed to No. 16 in the Baseball America poll.

The best day belonged to sophomore Tyler Pill on Sunday. He had more hits (4) than he allowed (3) while working 8 innings on the mound with a career-high 11 strikeouts in his second 6-1 victory in a row.

The best inning belonged to junior Gary Brown. In the seventh on Sunday, he lobbed a single into short right field and hustled it into a double. Then, on freshman Carlos Lopez' fly ball to fairly deep center, he tagged up and never hesitated at third and easily beat a surprised relay throw home to give Lopez a sacrifice fly.

The best series? You be the judge. Sophomore Nick Ramirez went 8-for-13 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 4 rbi while slugging 1.538 and pitching a scoreless inning. Brown went 7-for-14 with a double, triple, 2 homers, 2 stolen bases and 6 RBI. Junior Christian Colon went 6-for-13 with 3 homers and 7 rbi.

The Gauchos won Friday, 5-3, taking advantage of senior Kyle Mertins' wildness in a fill-in role for injured Noe Ramirez.

The Gauchos left 10 men on base in the first four innings while building a 3-1 lead. Freshman Dylan Floro pitched well in relief but for a 2-run home run that proved decisive when the Titans rallied in the final two innings and got the tying run on base.

Five home runs on Saturday highlighted a 22-hit attack that allowed junior Daniel Renken to cruise through 6 innings of a 17-3 win. Brown had 5 hits including 2 home runs to match the pair Colon hit on Friday.

VERSUS PEPPERDINE:
The Titans hold a 51-40 all-time record over the visitors from Malibu. Before their Feb. 20 meeting, the Titans had outscored the Waves 33-4 over the three previous games going back to May of 2008, but the Waves shut the Titans out 6-0 on the 20th to snap a four-game skid to the Titans. At Goodwin Field, the Titans have beaten the Waves 14 times in 22 total games at the current facility including a 2-1 mark in the 2004 Fullerton Regional and hold a 29-17 overall mark playing on their home field. The Titans are 3-2 against the Waves under current Head Coach Dave Serrano. The two teams will complete the broken three-game midweek series on May 12 in Malibu. The Titans were the NCAA runnersup to the national champion Waves in 1992, as they lost, 3-2, in the final game of that year at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.

VERSUS CAL POLY:
The Titans and Mustangs first met at the Div. I level back in 1984. And ever since, the Titans have dominated the series, 46-9. Since Cal Poly joined the Big West in 1997, the Titans have gone 37-9 and 1-0 in the Big West Conference Tournament in 1997. At home Fullerton is an impressive 27-3. Four of Cal Poly's nine wins over Fullerton have come since the 2007 season. In 2007, the Titans dropped their first and only Div. I series to the Mustangs, and the first series loss to the Central Coast team since 1973. Last season Fullerton won the first two games in San Luis Obispo, before dropping Sunday's finale. The two teams have never met in the postseason.

TUESDAY NIGHT'S STARTER:
LHP Kevin Rath made his last start on Apr. 6 at then-No. 3 UCLA where he worked 4.1 innings and gave up a run on two hits and left with a 5-1 lead, but did not qualify for the win. His only bugaboo was the four walks to one strikeout. That start came on the heels of one of his most dominant relief appearances of his career, striking out five of the six batters he faced on Apr. 2 against UC Davis. The southpaw is 1-1 with a 2.76 ERA, earning both his decisions in back-to-back starting appearances on Mar. 2 vs. San Diego (W, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and Mar. 7 at Arizona (L, 2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). Rath has logged 22.2 IP so far this season, and earned his first career save in a four-inning appearance at Washington (4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K) in the Titans' 19-6 victory. Last weekend at UC Santa Barbara, Rath made one appearance and worked two hitless and scoreless innings and struck out two. This will be Rath's fourth start of the year and 13th of his career (all midweek starts).

INJURY STATUS:
Sophomore right-hander Noe Ramirez continues to be listed as day-to-day after suffering a fracture to the tip of his left radius bone near his wrist (glove hand) after a fall that occurred during last Wednesday's practice at Goodwin Field. The pitcher was conditioning on the outfield warning track and was struck in the face by a batted ball during batting practice. The blow to the face wielded no injury other than a black eye, but the resulting fall caused the fracture. As of this past weekend in Santa Barbara, Ramirez was in a splint to stabilize the wrist and was in good spirits. With an off-day scheduled for the players and coaches on Monday, no information regarding Ramirez's return date or follow-up examinations has been announced.

TITAN TIDBITS:

&\#149; The Titans won their fifth straight weekend series with a 2-1 weekend against UC Santa Barbara. If you take it back a week earlier at the San Diego State Tournament, the Titans have come out on the winning end in each of their last six weekends. Over the last six weekends, the Titans are 15-4.

&\#149; The Titans' 1-2-3 hitters Christian Colon, Gary Brown and Carlos Lopez hit a combined .538 (21-for-39) with six doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 13 RBI last weekend at UC Santa Barbara.

&\#149; Christian Colon (two on Friday) and Gary Brown (2 on Saturday) had back-to-back multiple home run days for the Titans. It was Colon's second multi-homer game of the year, and it was Brown's first career two-homer game.

&\#149; Fullerton hit nine home runs in three games against UC Santa Barbara this past weekend.

&\#149; The four hits allowed by the Titan pitchers on Sunday tied the team's Mar. 13's performance against San Diego for the fewest hits allowed in a game this season.

&\#149; Fullerton has won 13 of its last 17 games.

WHAT A RELIEF:
The Titan bullpen has been nails over its last 37.0 innings of work (13 games) giving up just nine earned runs - good for a 2.18 ERA over that time frame. Of the eight pitchers that have thrown an inning, just two have allowed runs (Nick Ramirez - 4 runs in 8.2 IP, and Dylan Floro - 5 runs in 12.1 IP). If you take away just one pitch over the past 13 games - Nick Ramirez's pitch to UC Irvine's Jeff Cusick that resulted in a three-run walk-off home run - the pen's ERA falls from 2.18 to 1.46. Over the last 37 innings, the relief squad has collected 31 strikeouts and has walked just seven.

APRIL POWER:
The Titans hit just two long balls in February, hit 16 in all of March, but have flexed some muscle by hitting an impressive 19 taters in 10 April games. The only game this month the Titans HAVE NOT homered was Apr. 11 at UC Irvine. In five of those 10 games, multiple home runs were hit including a season-high power surge of five belted in one game last Saturday (Apr. 17) at UC Santa Barbara. Nick Ramirez has hit seven of his eight home runs this year in the month of April. Christian Colon has hit five of his Big West leading 11.

PILL POPPING:
Sophomore right-hander Tyler Pill gave up a run on two hits in his first inning of work Sunday, but then settled down to allow just one more hit the rest of the way (8 IP). The Covina, Calif., native retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced, before Coach Serrano elected to bring in a reliever for a competitive inning instead of bullpen work to finish the game. Pill fanned a career-high 11 UCSB hitters and walked just one. And not only that, the pitcher hit for himself in the series finale with UC Santa Barbara and went 4-for-5 with an RBI at the plate. He had more hits in the game than he gave up. On the week, Pill hit .462 (6-for-13) with a home run and three RBI and hit safely in all three Big West games. Pill's victory on the mound Sunday bumped him to 3-4 on the year and dropped his ERA to 3.65 overall and a minuscule 0.55 in Big West games.

THREE BASIN':
A triple on Saturday at Santa Barbara has moved Gary Brown to within one three-base hit of tying the school single-season and career records for triples. He now has eight on the year and 17 in his career. Dante Powell (9 in a season and 18 in a career) holds the school record for triples from 1992-94.

THE MOVE DOWN HAS BEEN GOOD:
Ramirez started the first 19 games as the team's clean-up hitter but was then moved to the No. 7 spot in the lineup. Since the switch 13 games ago (Mar. 28), Ramirez has been the team's leading hitter (.457, 21-for-46) and has hit all eight of his home runs and the Titans are 10-3. He is slugging 1.174 and has driven in 22 of his 39 RBI in the seven slot. He has also scored 16 runs over that span (second most on the team behind Gary Brown).

TOUGH WITH TWO:
Catcher Billy Marcoe is batting .500 (17-for-34) when he strides to the plate with two outs. He and Nick Ramirez are tied for second when it comes to two-out RBI. Leading the way with the most two-out hits (19) and RBI (12) is centerfielder Gary Brown, who is 19-for-45 (.422) when down to the team's final out of the inning.

WHEN IT COUNTS:
Gary Brown is hitting a ridiculous .611 (22-for-36) when he comes to the plate with runners in scoring position. Carlos Lopez (17-for-43, .395) and Nick Ramirez (17-for-46, .370) are tied for the second most hits with ducks on the pond. Tyler Pill has converted more than half the time when faced with the same situation, going 14-for-26 (.538). As a team, the Titans are hitting at a .340 clip (130-for-382) with runners in scoring position.

WHEN IT COUNTS, PART II:
Nick Ramirez has converted the run 15 times in 18 chances when there is a runner on third with less than two outs (83.3 percent of the time). Gary Brown has driven the run home eight times in nine chances (88.9 percent of the time). Carlos Lopez and Corey Jones have each converted nine runs in the same situation, tied for second behind Ramirez. As a team, the Titans get the run home 65.5 percent of the time (76 RBI in 116 chances).

IN A PINCH:
The Titans boosted their pinch-hitting numbers with two hits in two chances from the bench last weekend at Santa Barbara. Titan pinch-hitters are 9-for-33 (.279) on the year with catcher Billy Marcoe leading the team with a pair of knocks from the bench. Both pinch hits extended his hitting streak at the time during his career-best 13-game streak. Anthony Hutting has the most trips to the plate from the bench (7) but has just one pinch hit to show for it. David Carrillo, Ivory Thomas, Richie Pedroza, and Joey Siddons are all 1-for-2 from the bench.

CAREER MILESTONES: Christian Colon
&\#149; Notched his 200th career hit against UC Davis (currently has 217 career hits)
&\#149; Picked up his 100th RBI of his career last weekend at UC Santa Barbara, and currently stands at 104.
&\#149; Is just 4 runs shy of breaking into the CSF career record book's Top 10
&\#149; His 39 HBP ranks 6th all-time in a CSF career
&\#149; His 428 assists from shortstop ranks 6th all-time in CSF history.

CAREER MILESTONES: Gary Brown
&\#149; Notched his 200th hit against UC irvine and has since picked up his 210th career knock.
&\#149; With 70 career stolen bases, Brown is tied with former Titan second baseman David Bacani in 5th place all-time and is tied for 8th place in the all-time Big West career record book.
&\#149; His 35 HBPs ranks 7th all-time in a CSF career
&\#149; Ranks 2nd all-time with 17 career triples and is just one away from tying the all-time mark. He ranks third all-time in the Big West Conference, and when he ties Fullerton's record, he will also jump to No. 2 in the BWC.

CAREER MILESTONES: Nick Ramirez
&\#149; His 11 career saves place him 10th all-time in the CSF career record book, bumping Adam Johnson (9 saves from 1998-2000) from the Top 10

CAREER MILESTONES: Daniel Renken
&\#149; Daniel Renken joined Mike Parisi and Todd Simmons at No. 10 in all time career starts (40) last Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara. With his next start this weekend, he will join Mike Harkey in the No. 9 spot.

FORMER TITANS IN THE BIGS:
Cal State Fullerton has had 47 of its former players ascend to the big league level and six of them made their way onto 2010 MLB Opening Day rosters, and one has already been called up within the first week of the season. Mark Kotsay, Chicago White Sox - The longest tenured Titan in the bigs - has begun his 13th major league campaign, in his first full season with the White Sox. Kotsay has played with six different big league teams. Kurt Suzuki, Oakland A's - Is beginning his fourth season with the A's and third as the team's starting catcher. In addition to playing at the big league level, Suzuki and his wife, Renee, will be honored this year by Cal State Fullerton with the Recent Graduate Achievement Award, the highest honor given to an alumni at the Vision & Visionaries ceremony Saturday night. He was one of 30 nominees for MLB's 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contribution to their team. Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays - Looks to headline a young Toronto rotation after being the top arm behind Roy Halladay in 2009. Romero is in his second season at the Major League level. Aaron Rowand, San Francisco Giants - has begun his 10th major league season and third in San Francisco. Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers - After two years in the NL with Chicago, Johnson returns home to be the Dodgers' fourth outfielder in his eighth big league season. Mike Lamb, Florida Marlins - After a year out of the big leagues in the Mets minor league system, Lamb returns for his 10th season with his fifth team. Justin Turner, Baltimore Orioles - Turner who spent a portion of last year on the big leage roster, was called up on Apr. 12, after the Orioles placed Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Apr. 10).