CSF to UCR as Conference Race Revs Up!

April 26, 2007

THIS WEEKEND:
Fri., Apr. 27, 7 pm (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (6-4, 3.18 ERA)
UCR: James Simmons, RHP (8-2, 2.06 ERA)

Sat., Apr. 28, 6 pm (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (7-2, 3.20 ERA)
UCR: Marc Rzepczynski, LHP (5-1, 3.28 ERA)

Sun., Apr. 29, 1 pm (GT, WEB, BWTV)
CSF: TBA
UCR: Pat Cassa, LHP (2-3, 3.81 ERA)

GT = GameTracker, WEB = Game broadcast on fullertontitans.com,
BWTV = Streamed video on bigwest.org/tv

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PLAY BALL: Riding a season-best eight-game winning streak, the Titans play another critical Big West Conference series this weekend at UC Riverside.

The winning streak began with an Apr. 10 home win over USC and has carried through series sweeps of sub-.500 clubs in UC Davis, Pacific and another win over the Trojans on Tuesday night. Riverside is coming off a win over No. 18 UCLA on Tuesday and a series win over Cal Poly and has legitimate title aspirations of its own. Again this week only two games separate the top six teams in the Big West standings

Adam Jorgenson and the other six Titan arms kept the USC offense quiet for eight innings on Tuesday before a bit of a scare in the bottom of the ninth. The Titans came out on the winning end with a 3-1 victory, and Bryan Harris picking up his first save of the year.

Matt Wallach homered and Dustin Garneau and Corey Jones drove in the other two runs as CSF out-hit USC 9-7.

Fullerton outscored Pacific, 32-2, last weekend, winning 18-1, 2-0 and 12-1. Both Tigers runs were unearned as Wes Roemer and Michael Morrison made solid starts and Jeff Kaplan came up with his second complete-game shutout of the season in the most competitive game on Saturday.

Kaplan (7-2) earned Big West pitcher of the week honors for his 5-hitter, which included 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in a 2 hour, 6-minute gem. Evan McArthur got player of the week accolades after hitting his first two home runs of the season in a 6-for-11 series with 8 runs and 5 RBI. Other hitting stars were Clark Hardman (7-for-14 with 5 RBI), Nick Mahin (4-for-9 with 5 RBI) and Joe Scott (5-for-11 with 6 RBI).

Roemer (6-4) went 6 innings in Friday night's win, which took a lot of extra groundskeeping to make happen after all-day rain that stopped shortly before game time. He fanned six and allowed only 3 hits and three relievers pitched scoreless, one-hit relief.

Morrison (5-1) won his first weekend start of the year with 5.1 innings of work, allowing 4 hits and 4 walks. A quartet of relievers pitched scoreless, one-hit relief.

ON THE WEB: All three Titan baseball games will be broadcast over the internet this weekend fromthe Riverside Sports Complex. Join Justin Alderson on Friday and Saturday and Mel Franks on Sunday as they bring you all of the Big West Conference action as it happens.

GAMETRACKER: Follow the Titans and Highlanders pitch by pitch with the CSTV.com GameTracker interface. LInks are conveniently located on the baseball schedule page on the right hand side, ready to take you to each game with a simple click of your mouse.

BIGWEST.TV: This weekend's games will be video streamed over the internet live via BigWest TV. Subscribe at bigwest.org/tv and follow most Big West Conference baseball games all year long.

VERSUS THE HIGHLANDERS: Cal State Fullerton holds a 18-12 advantage over UC Riverside at the Div. I level dating back to the 1978 season. Fullerton is currently riding a two game winning streak over Riverside, with a par of wins at Goodwin Field to secure the series win in 2006. The Titans trail the Highlanders 8-7 in Big West Conference play bating back to UCR's first season in the league in 2002. Fullerton has lost five of the six last meetings at the Riverside Sports Complex.

STREAKING: The Titans are currently amidst an eight -game winning streak, their longest of the season. Over that span the team is hitting .322 and are scoring 8.25 runs per game. The pitching staff has compiled an ERA of 1.65. Last season the Titans had three streaks of eight -or-more wins in a row.

BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton third baseman Evan McArthur hit a team-leading .545 and hit his first two homers of the year in the Titans' three-game sweep over the Pacific Tigers last weekend. The senior from Medford, Ore. Was 3-for-4 with a pair of walks and five runs scored in the 18-1 pounding over the Tigers on Friday night. He also hit his first home run of the season and doubled in the win. On Sunday, his second home run of the weekend, proved to be the game-winner, as Fullerton won 12-1. McArthur finished the series with another 3-for-4 effort on Sunday, again missing the cycle by just a triple. His 14 total bases, 1.273 slugging percentage and .615 on base percentage also led the team adding to multiple fine fielding plays at the hot corner.

CO-BIG WEST PITCHER OF THE WEEK: A night after the Titans pounded out 18 runs on 16 hits, Jeff Kaplan tossed his second complete-game shutout of the year last Saturday night (Apr. 21), surrendering five hits while striking out seven in the Titans' slim 2-0 win over Pacific. He made quick work of the Tigers, finishing the game in just 2:06 and held them to just a .167 batting average. Kaplan retired the first six Tigers he faced and then set down the final 10 and struck out four over the last three innings to seal his team-leading 7th win of the year, dropping his ERA to 3.20. The righty is the only Titan hurler to have a shutout to his credit.

CAREER MARKS: John Curtis has com into his own for his senior season, and is currently hitting 22 points higher than than his career-best .277 set last season. The catcher from Newhall, Calif., has also set career-highs in home runs (2), doubles (11) and RBi (32).

ALL-AMERICAN PUSH: Clark Hardman (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) continues to show the form that earned him Freshman All-American status in 2004. Over the last five games, Hardman is leading the team in hits (10) and has tallied six RBI (second-most on the team) from the leadoff spot in the lineup. He is also saving hits and runs in the outfield, running down fly balls, even throwing a guy out at the plate in those same five games. Hardman has collected 61 hits on the year so far and has 23 more than the next player on the Titan squad. His 32 RBI already surpasses his career-best freshman effort of 31 set in 2004. So far he has posted-multi-hit efforts on 21 occasions and currently leads the team with a six-game hitting streak.

DOING WORK: Over his past five starts, Wes Roemer has been back to form going 3-1, with a 1.96 ERA. His only loss was a complete-game, 2-1 loss to nationally-ranked UC Irvine in which he struck out 10, and retired the final 23 hitters he faced. Over those last five starts, the Titan ace has fanned 35 in 36.1 IP, surrendered just 8 earned runs and has held hitter to just a .204 batting average against him.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Friday night's pitching match-up will feature two of the best arms the Big West Conference has to offer in Fullerotn's Wes Roemer (6-4, 3.18) and Riverside's James Simmons (8-2, 2.06). Last year the two met at Goodwin Field and it was anything but a pitcher's duel as the Highlanders beat the Titans 9-7. Roemer went 7.0 innings allowing six runs on 10 hits while Simmons lasted 6.1 surrendering five runs on nine hits. Titan closer Vinne Pestano earned the 2006 loss giving up two runs in top of the 11th inning.

NAILED DOWN: Give credit where credit is due, the Titan pitching and defense has held strong late in the game as the Titans have gone a perfect 22-0 when leading after eight innings.

ENTERING THE TOP 10's: Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) has entered the Cal State Fullerton record books in six new career Top 10 categories adding to the two records for Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio (1st, 8.4, 303:36) and Fewest Walks Per 9 Innings (1st, .9) set last year as a Sophomore. Roemer this year moves into six new categories and is currently just outside the Top 10 in ERA. Roemer ranks in Wins (t-10th, 26), Starts (t-8th, 41), Innings Pitched (9th, 324.1), Hits Allowed (8th, 295), Strikeouts (5th, 303), Strikeouts Per 9 Innings (7th, 8.4)

A HIT RECORD: Despite setting the CSF single-season record with 23 hit batters last year, Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) missed the NCAA single-season record by just two HBPs. His current career mark leaves him just 10 away from tying the NCAA record for hit batsmen in a career.

STINGY STAFF: The Titan pitching staff has surrendered just three total runs, just one of them earned, over the last four ball games spanning 33 innings. Their team ERA has dropped from 3.98 to 3.60 over that span.

POWER SUPPLY: The Titans have produced nearly 30 percent of their home run output over the past four baseball games blasting five combined four-baggers off Pacific and USC. That said, the Titans are still on pace (over a 56-game season) to set the record for fewest home runs in a season (26), breaking the old mark of 28 set by the 1975 Titans.

CLOSING IN: Head Coach George Horton is inching closer to both his 500th career win and his 200th Big West Conference win. The 11th-year head coach is just 21 shy of the career mark, and just five wins away from the conference plateau. Former Long Beach Head Coach Dave Snow is the only one sitting in front of Horton on the all-time conference win list with 218 as skipper of the 49ers.

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY: Since breaking out of his 2-for-44 slump on Apr. 15, Joe Scott (Corona, Calif.) has been the Titans' hottest hitter going 10-for-17 (.588) with two doubles a triple and a tie for the team lead with 8 RBI. The shortstop has also tallied three walks, a hit by pitch, and three sac-bunts upping his on-base percentage to a whopping .667 leading the team by more than 91 points.

ROAD RAGE: Right fielder Nick Mahin (Cypress, Calif.) has seemed to be the best hitter in games played away from Goodwin Field. On the road the junior is hitting .327 (16-for-49) with four doubles, two homers and 13 RBI. He and Chris Jones are the only two Titans to have a better-than-.300 average on the road. The team as a whole is hitting just .268 in 19 ballgames on the opponent's turf, posting a 13-6 record. Four of Jeff Kaplan's wins have come on the road and five of Adam Jorgenson's six saves this year has beenin front of the opponent's fans.