Rubber Game with No. 8 San Diego Tonight at Goodwin Field

April 29, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

Tuesday, Apr. 29 vs. \#8 San Diego
(Goodwin Field), 6 p.m., [WEB, GT, BWTV]
CSF: LHP, Kevin Rath, 0-0, 6.23 ERA
USD: LHP, Ricardo Pecina, 4-2, 3.53 ERA

Friday, May 2 at UC Santa Barbara
(Caesar Uyesaka Stadium), 2 p.m., [WEB, GT, BWTV]
CSF: RHP, Jeff Kaplan, 7-1, 4.50 ERA
UCSB: RHP Mike Ford, 5-3, 2.84 ERA

Saturday, May 3 at UC Santa Barbara
(Caesar Uyesaka Stadium), 1 p.m., [WEB, GT, BWTV]
CSF: RHP, Daniel Renken, 4-3, 3.02 ERA
UCSB: LHP Mario Hollands, 5-2, 3.12 ERA

Sunday, May 4 at UC Santa Barbara
(Caesar Uyesaka Stadium), 1 p.m., [WEB, GT, BWTV]
CSF: RHP, Cory Arbiso, 8-2, 4.39 ERA
UCSB: LHP Chuck Huggins, 7-1, 3.38 ERA

GT = Follow the game via Gametracker WEB = Listen for free on
fullertontitans.com BWTV - Video on BigWest.tv

BATTER UP: The No. 12 Titans jumped a few spots in the national polls with a midweek split with then-No. 6 Arizona State and a Big West series win over then-second place UC Davis. On Tuesday the first place Titans host No. 8 San Diego (35-11), winners of 16 straight, before heading to Santa Barbara for a match-up with the second place Gauchos (29-13, 8-4).

ALL-TIME VS. SAN DIEGO: The Titans are 47-7-2 all-time against USD dating back to their first meeting in 1976. After a March 1987 win by San Diego, the Titans went 20-0-1 over the next 21 meetings until a 7-4 Titan loss on Mar. 9, 2004. Since the `04 meeting, San Diego has won three of the last five meetings. The two squads have met one time in the post season with the Titans winning 3-1 in the first game of the 2003 Fullerton Regional.

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: On Tuesday, Freshman Christian Colon picked up his second consecutive game-winning hit, as he singled home Gary Brown, who tripled, as the Titans knocked off ASU, 10-9. The Titans had to overcome a 5-run deficit after the first half inning, and did so with the help of three hits by Colon and three hits and three RBI off the bat of Corey Jones.

ASU and Fullerton again locked horns on Wednesday night, this time, the Sun Devils coming out on top in 10 innings, 10-8. A two-out, two-run single from Raoul Torrez in the top of the 10th was the difference, as the Titans dropped its fourth extra-inning battle in five chances this season. Despite surrendering 10 runs, Kevin Rath and Brian Wilson each logged quality innings after having been used sparingly all season.

Solid Starting pitching from Jeff Kaplan, Daniel Renken and Cory Arbiso earned the Titans a 2-1 series win over the Aggies by scores of 5-3, 2-3, 8-5. Kaplan (7-1) tossed eight innings of two-run ball while striking out eight in Friday night's win. The senior won his fourth straight start and capitalized on Erik Komatsu's 2-for-3, three-RBI day. Kaplan's only real blemish was a fifth inning two-run home run by Ty Kelly.

On Saturday, the freshman Renken didn't have his best stuff, but pitched well enough to win had the Titan offense come alive. A three-run fifth inning was Renken's downfall dropping his season record to 4-3 in the 6.1 inning effort. The Titans left eight of their 10 runners left on base and connected for just four hits over the last six innings of the game, with two of those hits coming with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Komatsu, who had driven in both Titan runs on the day, struck out with the tying run on second to end the game.

Arbiso (8-2) overcame a season-high four Titan errors, and worked seven innings to pick up his eighth straight win. The junior surrendered just three earned runs and struck out four before Adam Jorgenson pitched the final two innings for his second save of the week. Josh Fellhauer was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run (his second of the week), and drove in two in the series-clinching victory.

FULLERTON'S TUESDAY NIGHT STARTER: Freshman Kevin Rath is getting his second career start Tuesday night against No. 6 USD. It will be the southpaw's second consecutive start against a Top Ten team. Last week, Rath got the nod against then-No. 6 Arizona State on Wednesday night and went a career high 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs (just four earned) on nine hits, to one of the nation's leading offensive teams. He also more than doubled his previous season total with five strikeouts and no walks.

VERSUS USD 2008: The Titans are 1-1 this year against the Toreros, winning the road game at Cunningham Stadium, and losing the home game at Goodwin Field. Christian Colon is 4-for-8 against the Toreros, with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Jared Clark is one of three hitters with two hits, but has driven in three in the two ballgames. Ryan Ackland and Brian Wilson have combined for two scoreless innings of work Travis Kelly earned the win in San Diego with five innings of two-run ball. He struck out three and surrendered six hits.

NOTES ON GAME ONE OF SERIES WITH USD: Anthony Strazzara's two-out bases clearing double broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth and lifted then-No. 21San Diego to a 6-2 non-conference win over the Titans snapping a five-game winning streak for Fullerton. Losing pitcher Michael Morrison (0-1) issued a two-out walk to Sean Nicol that loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, sparking a pitching change from Serrano who brought on Adam Jorgenson who issued Strazzara big hit to the right-center gap. The Titans tied the game at 2-2 courtesy of RBI doubles off the bats of Chris Jones and Christian Colon but that is all they could muster off the three Torero arms. Muno, Sanchez and Hansen each had two hits to lead San Diego. Colon matched the USD trio with two hits of his own to lead Fullerton. The loss by Fullerton started a toreero winning streak for USD, one they would snap in San Diego 11 games later.

NOTES ON GAME TWO OF SERIES WITH USD: The Titans, behind a two-hit, three-RBI day by Jared Clark and a four-run first inning, upended then-No. 14 San Diego 6-3, in the midweek match up. The Titans got to the Toreros and starter Ricardo Pecina right away sending 10 men to the plate in the top of the first. After two quick Pecina strikeouts, Erik Komatsu singled to right and Clark split the gap in left-center to bring home the first Titan run. Two Titan walks, a pair of hit batters and a Gary Brown infield single later, the Titans were on top, 4-0. Pecina (1-1) lasted just eight batters and picked up his first loss of the year. The Titans added a fifth run in the top of the second by way of a Clark sacrifice fly. Two homers by Victor Sanches would account for the only runs San Diego would collect, handing Travis Kelly his first career win. Torero reliever Sammy Solis was very effective out of the bullpen, pitched 4.1 innings of relief to do his best to keep things close. Michael Morrison did the same for Fullerton, setting the eight men he faced down in order, striking out one. Ryan Ackland pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the year and snap San Diego's 10-game winning streak.

MIDWEEK RUNDOWN: The Titans are 6-5 in midweek match-ups this season with two wins over then-No. 3 UCLA, a win over then No. 6 Arizona State, and another victory over then No. 14 San Diego. Leading the way offensively is Jared Clark, who is hitting .382 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, scoring a team-leading 10 runs, while also driving in 10. Both Erik Komatsu and Christian Colon lead the team with 15 hits in the 11 games. From the mound, Michael Morrison has logged the greatest number of midweek innings (24), while striking out a team-leading 20. Other than typical weekend starters Jeff Kaplan (1-0) and Daniel Renken (2-0), Travis Kelly, Morrison and Adam Jorgenson have each picked up a win. Ryan Ackland has the only midweek save of the year.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans are 15-6 and are hitting .318 and pitching with a 4.18 team ERA when playing at home so far this season. Leading the way offensively is Erik Komatsu with a .487 average and a team-leading 37 hits, nine doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs. Jared Clark has amassed 23 RBI in front of the home fans and has also hit two of his homers at Goodwin Field. From the mound, Adam Jorgenson (2.18) and Ryan Ackland (1.69) have managed to keep their ERAs under 2.50, while Cory Arbiso is a perfect 5-0 in front of the home fans. Jeff Kaplan has set down 39 opposing hitters via the strikeout at home while Adam Jorgenson has fanned 33 while issuing just four walks and holding the opposing batters to just a .187 batting average.

BIG GAME PITCHER: Senior Jeff Kaplan has been at his best and has come through for the Titans in three starts against Top 5 teams in the nation. The right-hander has gone 2-0 in three starts against No. 3 UCLA, No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine posting a 2.70 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. He picked up wins against the Bruins and Anteaters and held the top-ranked Wildcats to two runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings in the no-decision. The senior has put together a fine season so far, posting a 7-1 record with a 3.89 ERA in 10 starts. He also ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with 62 strikeouts. Kaplan is a winner in each of his last six starts that includes five conference openers and an eight-inning win last weekend over second-place UC Davis.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT (FOR FIGHTING): The Titans are 3-7 overall on Saturdays and 2-5 since freshman Daniel Renken joined the official weekend rotation on March 15 at Arizona. It is not like Renken is pitching poorly. The righty is averaging 6.1 innings per outing and is allowing an average of 3.6 earned runs per start. It's the run support. Since Renken's Mar. 15 start, the Titan offense is scoring just 4.86 runs for the right-hander as opposed to 7.60 runs for Cory Arbiso (Sunday), and 9.27 for Jeff Kaplan (Friday). Fullerton has lost four Saturday conference games by no more than two runs. Renken is 4-3 on the year with the team's second-best ERA of 3.02 in 59.2 innings.

BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR ARBISO: Sunday's daylight has treated Cory Arbiso (8-2) well since being moved to the Sunday slot in the Titans rotation back on Mar. 9. The right-hander from La Mirada has recorded eight straight wins and has averaged 7 innings in each of his starts. The junior posted his first complete game on Mar. 30 where he fanned a career high 10 hitters as he seven-hit UC Riverside. He has also posted wins over No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 UC Irvine in that slot in the rotation. Arbiso started the season as the Saturday night pitcher, but was moved to Sunday when Daniel Renken broke into rotation. Arbiso ranks 14th in nation just 1.1 walks per nine innings. He is currently tied for 1st in the Big West Conference (With UCI's Scott Gorgen) and 7th in the nation with eight wins.

GIVING HIMSELF UP: Freshman Christian Colon is doing his job in the No. 2 spot in the Titan lineup, droping down 14 sacrifice bunts to rank 5th in the nation. The shortstop from Corona is also listed as 6th in the country in sacs per game (0.34). Fullerton, as a team, is fourth in the country with 56 sacrifice bunts on the year. Creighton leads the NCAA with 67.

LAST WEEK TOP PERFORMER - Josh Fellhauer:
LAST WEEK'S LINE: .364 (8-for-22), 10 R, 2 2B 2 HR, 4 RBI,
16 TB, .727 SLG, 3 BB, 1 SAC, 1 SB

Sophomore Josh Fellhauer hit in the last four of the five games last week, posting multiple hits in three of them against then-No. 6 Arizona State and second-place UC Davis. The Rancho Cucamonga native also scored 10 of the Titans 34 runs on the week.

Fellhauer finished by leading the team in hits (8), runs (10), doubles (2), home runs (2), total bases (16), slugging (.727) and was perfect in nine chance in centerfield defensively.

On Wednesday vs. ASU, Fellhauer's home run gave the Titans an early 6-3 lead in the team's eventual extra-inning loss. Fellhauer also tacked on another single and posted a pair of RBI in the game.

After a 1-for-3 performance on Friday, the outfielder posted two or more hits in the final two games versus Davis on Saturday and Sunday. In Saturday's loss, Fellhauer accounted for two of the Titans' seven hits, while scoring the only two runs of the game.

On Sunday, in a key Big West match-up, Fellhauer went 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored to carry the Titans to the series victory. Fellhauer led off in the first inning with a double and scored the game's first run, then later tied the game at 2-2- with a solo home run on the first pitch of the third inning.

Fellhauer also doubled in the fifth to drive in the go-ahead run, then had an unconventional steal of home to give Fullerton the 5-3 lead.

LAST WEEK TOP PERFORMER - Jeff Kaplan:
LAST WEEK'S LINE: 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 8 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, .265 B/Avg.

Jeff Kaplan hurled his way to his seventh win of the season with an eight-inning victory over second-place UC Davis Friday night. It was Kaplan's fourth straight outing in which the right-hander has picked up a win. He has not lost since his second start of the year.

The senior allowed just two runs to the conference's best hitting team in the Aggies, surrendering just nine hits while striking out eight along the way, including the side in the fourth inning. Kaplan surrendered just one walk on the night.

In the win, Kaplan lowered his ERA to 4.50 and now has the third-most innings pitched in the conference.

BADGE OF HONOR: Eight more Titans were hit by a pitch last week versus Arizona State and UC Davis, bringing the Titans Big West Conference leading total to 86. The Titans entered the week ranked 2nd in the nation in hit by pitches (86) trailing South Florida by eight doses for the nation's top spot. Dustin Garneau is leading the bruised (most in the Big West) with 10 HBPs, while Erik Komatsu, Christian Colon and Khris Davis all have nine.

BROWN MAKING STRIDES: Freshman Gary Brown struggled offensively for the first 23 games of the year, hitting just .197 (.12-for-61) in 21 games (16 starts) in the outfield and at second base. Early on, Brown's speed (seven stolen bases) and extra ability defensively seemed to keep him in the lineup. Over the past 18 games, however, Brown has stepped his offense up, hitting .339 (20-for-59) in 15 starts, tallying three doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI over that span. He has posted eight multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games and has stolen three during that window as well. Brown Is now hitting .267 with 10 stolen bases (tied for second-most on the team).

OVERTIME: The Titans had played three extra-inning games over a span of eight games just twice in the recorded history of the baseball program. On Tuesday, Apr. 8, the Titans and Trojans locked horns, marking the fourth time in eight games the Titans had gone into extra frames. The Titans are 1-4 in extras this year with the only win coming on Mar. 28 when they tied the longest game in Titan history with a 16-inning victory over UC Riverside. Dating back to 2006, Fullerton has posted just that one win it its last nine extra inning affairs.

IN THE SHOW: Forty-five Titans have made their way to the big leagues by way of Cal State Fullerton in the 33-year history at the Division I level. Currently, seven Titans find themselves on major league rosters with Kirk Saarloos and Wes Littleton being sent to the minors this week. Six of the nine players that have reached the majors this year have donned new uniforms this year with mid-season acquisitions and trades. Mark Kotsay (now with Atlanta, from Oakland) is in his 12th year in the majors with his fourth team; Mike Lamb (now with Minnesota from Houston) is in his ninth year with his third team; Reed Johnson (now with Chicago Cubs from Toronto) is with his second team in this his sixth year in the majors; Aaron Rowand (now with San Francisco from Philadelphia) is starting his eighth season in the majors with his third team; Kurt Suzuki (Oakland) is starting his first full season on the A's roster after making his debut last year on June 12; Closer Chad Cordero (Washington) got to see the long awaited opening of the new National's baseball-only stadium in his sixth year with the Nationals/Expos; Wes Littleton (Texas) was called up by the Rangers, and has an appearance in the show for the third straight year; Kirk Saarloos (now with Oakland, from Cincinnati), is making his second tour of duty with the A's after also spending time with Houston and Cincinnati. This is Captain Kirk's seventh year he has played in a major league game; Matt Wise (now with New York Mets, from Milwaukee) is starting his eighth season in the majors, and his first in the National League after spending his career on the other side with then-Anaheim and Milwaukee.