Down the Stretch They Come

May 10, 2007

PLAY BALL: The final stretch is upon the 2007 Titans, and for the first time in a while not only are their hopes of just hosting a Regional on the line, but their string of 15 consecutive post-season berths could be in jeopardy. The Titans have lost six of their last eight ballgames and are headed to the hostile home of the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers (41-14). With nine games remaining in the regular season, the 2007 squad has its destiny in its own hands.

For the first time since Apr. 26, 2004, Cal State Fullerton has found itself absent from the three major college baseball polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Coaches) all together. The NCBWA has the Titans ranked No. 25 in their Top 30 poll after a 1-3 week last week versus nationally-ranked Pepperdine and conference opponent UC Santa Barbara.

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WICHITA STATE, May 11-13, 2007
at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field

Friday, 5 p.m. PST (GT, WEB)
CSF: Wes Roemer, RHP (7-5, 2.99 ERA)
WSU: Travis Banwart, RHP (8-3, 1.63 ERA)

Saturday, Noon PST (GT, WEB)
CSF: Jeff Kaplan, RHP (8-3, 3.78)
WSU: Rob Musgrave, LHP (7-1, 2.89 ERA)

Sunday, 11 a.m. PST(GT, WEB)
CSF: Michael Morrison, RHP (5-2, 5.81 ERA)
WSU: Anthony Capra, LHP (4-0, 2.03 ERA)

ON THE AIR: All three Titan baseball games this weekend will be broadcast live from Eck Stadium by baseball SID Mike Greenlee and guest broadcaster Brian Delehoy making the trip from Bowling Green, Ohio. You can access the broadcast from any computer by going to fullertontitans.com and following the links set up on the right side of the home page.

GAME TRACKER: 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.

VERSUS THE SHOCKERS: Cal State Fullerton is 5-9 all-time against Wichita State dating back to their first meeting in 1982. The last time the Titans and Shockers met, WSU took two out of three games at Eck Stadium. The two programs squared off twice in post-season play with Wichita coming out on top both times, once in the 1996 Wichita Regional and once in Omaha in 1982. The Titans hold a 2-3 record during the George Horton era.

AT A GLANCE:
Overall Record: 29-18
Big West Conference: 8-7
Last Five: 2-3
Last 10: 4-6
This Week: 1-0
Streak: Won 1

ON TUESDAY: Behind the big stick of outfielder Nick Mahin, the Titans won just their second game in the last eight tries with a 13-5 victory over Loyola Marymount Tuesday evening at Goodwin Field. Mahin finished with a pair of home runs and three driven in as fourth hit of the night brought home the winning run in the sixth inning. Jeff Kaplan, getting some midweek work in, pitched two innings of one-hit ball and notched his eight win of the season. Dustin Birosak tacked on another pair of scoreless frames to earn himself his second save of the year. Josh Fellhauer and Corey Jones both hit home runs, with Jones' being his first-career blast driving home three. It was a close game until the Titans scored seven times in the bottom of the eighth to earn the victory over the Lions in their only scheduled meeting this year.

LAST WEEK: The Titans had to deal with devastating 7-6 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Sunday that came about 18 hours after another come-from-ahead defeat, 11-9. The hitting that failed to deliver in a 4-game losing streak prior to Friday's win, came to life but the recently impressive pitching staff failed to protect a 4-run lead on Saturday and a 5-run advantage on Sunday.

The Titans had not lost a game all season in which they led after eight innings. But on Sunday, UCSB rallied for four runs in the ninth against a quartet of Titan hurlers. The winning run came home on a wild pitch on a strikeout and followed a passed ball, which made the run unearned. On Saturday, the Titans scored four times in the first inning but UCSB came back with eight unanswered runs for an 8-4 lead in the sixth. Josh Fellhauer's two-out single capped a 3-run sixth and Fellhauer delivered another two-out single to tie the game at 8-8 in the eighth. Bryan Harris, who got the Titans out of a jam in the eighth, made a critical throwing error in the ninth that set up a 3-run UCSB rally and made him the loser.

The Titans made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring once and loading the bases with two out but leading hitter Clark Hardman fouled out.

The Titans' only win in the last seven games came on Friday night in the form of a 12-1 laugher. Wes Roemer (7-5) was on his game, pitching a complete-game 6-hitter with no walks and a career-high 13 strikeouts to earn BWC Pitcher of the Week honors. The Nos. 3 and 4 hitters -- Nick Mahin (3-for-5 with a double, triple and 5 RBI) and John Curtis -- (2-for-2 with a double, home run and 3 RBI) keyed the offensive outburst. The rest of the weekend they were a combined 2-for-19.

ROEMER NAMED BIG WEST PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Glendora, Calif. native Wes Roemer was the winner of the only Titan victory last week against conference opponent UC Santa Barbara on Friday night earning him the Easton Big West Pitcher of the Week award for the week ending May 6. The junior right-hander was impressive, tossing his fourth complete game of the season and setting his career-high in strikeouts, fanning 13 Gauchos for his seventh win of the year. Roemer got stronger as the game progressed and picked up eight of his K's between the sixth and eighth innings, including five in a row and the entire side in the eighth, all of which went down looking. Roemer carried a shutout going into the ninth inning, facing just two over the minimum. Roemer finished surrendering just one run on six hits, facing just four over the minimum. He did not allow a walk.