Titans Wrap Home Slate Versus UCR

May 18, 2012

PLAY BALL: The Titans will close out the home portion of the regular season this weekend with three crucial Big West Games with UC Riverside. The Titans have a two-game lead over second place Long Beach State with just six game left on the slate. The Titans will finish the regular season at Long Beach next weekend at Blair Field.

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The Titans are coming off a 4-hour contest against No. 11 UCLA on Tuesday night which saw them drop their fourth game to the Bruins in their last five meetings, 6-3. Jose Cardona was touched for three runs in the ninth inning to take the loss behind starter Koby Gauna and relievers Willie Kuhl and Dave Birosak. Matt Chapman led the way with three hits. Anthony Trajano and Matt Chapman each had two.

The Titans finished off their 11th consecutive series victory last weekend as they beat UC Santa Barbara, 9-7 and 9-3, around a 7-1 loss.

A rare display of power triggered the Friday win. JD Davis (No. 3), Michael Lorenzen (No. 1) and Matt Chapman (No. 2) gave Fullerton its first multi-HR game of the season and ran the team total to 8. Dylan Floro faced only 15 men over the first 5 innings but faltered in the sixth and seventh and needed relief help from Koby Gauna and Lorenzen.

The Titans left 13 men on base -- 10 in scoring position -- on Saturday and Kenny Matthews (5-1) suffered his first collegiate loss. The Gauchos scored 4 times on the Titan bullpen.

Sunday's see-saw affair was decided in the late innings. Fullerton overcame a 3-1 deficit. Lorenzen tied the game in the fifth with a 2-run double. An unearned run put Fullerton ahead, 4-3, in the eighth. Fullerton broke it open with a 5-run ninth keyed by Lorenzen's single and UCSB misplays. The final two runs scored on a UCSB wild pitch and error.

THIS WEEKEND IN TITAN BASEBALL:
May 18, UC Riverside (Goodwin Field), 7 p.m.
May 19, UC Riverside (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.
May 20, UC Riverside (Goodwin Field), 6 p.m.

*Note the time for the Sunday game. Sunday's game will begin at 6 p.m. to avoid conflicts with the the universities commencement ceremonies. Sunday Night Baseball - Fullerton-style.

LISTEN / WATCH / FOLLOW: Audio for all three games this weekend will be broadcast for free on fullertontitans.com. You can hear from your phone (Android or iPhone) or your computer by going to the "Live Audio Broadcast" under the "Fan Zone" tab on fullertontitans.com. All three games will be streamed live on BigWest.tv for a subscription at www.BigWest.tv. All three games will be linked to CBS College Sports' GameTracker. Find the link on the baseball schedule at fullertontitans.com.

PITCHING PROBABLES:
FRIDAY
CSF - RHP Dylan Floro (8-3, 2.79 ERA)
UCR - RHP Eddie Orozco (5-5, 2.48 ERA)
SATURDAY
CSF - LHP Kenny Mathews (5-1, 3.89 ERA)
UCR - RHP Trevor Frank (1-7, 4.02 ERA)
SUNDAY
CSF - RHP Grahamm Wiest (5-3, 2.55 ERA)
UCR - LHP Dylan Stuart (6-6, 4.18 ERA)

VS UC RIVERSIDE: Since their first meeting in 1978, the Titans have compiled an overall 31-17 record against the Highlanders with a 19-4 mark at their home field (14-3 at Goodwin Field). Fullerton has won the last eight contests dating back to the 2009 season. Prior to that streak, Riverside was on a roll, winning 13 of the 20 previous meetings with nine of those wins coming in Riverside. Since the Highlanders joined the Big West in 2002, the Titans have a 17-13 record against them.

PRE-GAME CEREMONIES: The Titans will honor their three seniors (Derek Legg, Nick O'Loughlin and Anthony Trajano) and their two graduating juniors (Carlos Lopez and Matt Orloff) prior to Sunday night's baseball game at Goodwin Field. That same night, the Titans will honor long-time Sport Information Director Mel Franks, who will retire after 30-plus years with the Titans. He will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

WEDDING CEREMONY: Congratulations to senior infielder Derek Legg, who will be marrying his long-time girlfriend, Karisa Calderon, on the Titans' off day on May 21 - the Monday preceding the Titans' three-game series with his former school Long Beach State.

TITAN TIDBITS: &\#149; Cal State Fullerton has won 11 consecutive series since an opening weekend series loss to then-top ranked Florida. Three of those series wins came by way of the three-game sweep (UC Davis, Utah Valley and Pacific).

&\#149;The Titans scored the first nine runs of the series with UC Santa Barbara and also scored the last eight... but were outscored 17-2 in the time in between.

&\#149; The three best Titan hitters (average-wise) are also the three best Titan hitters with 2 out... Michael Lorenzen is has 23 two-out knocks to lead the team. Fifteen of his 36 RBI have come with two down as well... Lopez is a .364 hitter with one out to go in an inning and Pedroza is hitting a whopping .360 in that same situation.

&\#149;As a leadoff hitter, Richy Pedroza has reached base 34 times in 76 opportunities.

&\#149; Fullerton's three home run game on May 11 at UC Santa Barbara (Michael Lorenzen, J.D.Davis and Matt Chapman) was the first time all season that the Titans had hit multiple home runs in one game. They hit nearly 38 percent of their entire season total in one afternoon. They hit 50 percent of them in a span of three days if you add in Carlos Lopez's grand slam in the finale at Pacific. Fullerton has its worst home run totals in 38 years at the Div. I level. As a team they have hit just 8 long balls. UC Irvine (7) and Long Beach State (6) have fewer home runs than the Titans in the conference.

&\#149;Richy Pedroza has the team's longest hitting streak at nine games. Over that span, the junior is hitting .425 with a team-leading 17 hits in 40 at bats. In those nine games he has also walked five times and scored six runs and has a .500 on-base percentage... Behind Pedroza, Matt Chapman has the next-longest active streak at seven games. Chapman is 14-for-32 (.438) with a double, a home run and four RBI.

&\#149;As a team, the Titans are hitting nine points higher against lefties (.290) than they are against righties (.281). They will see two righties and a lefty against Riverside this weekend.

&\#149;The Titans are averaging 9.60 hits and 5.52 runs per game in 2012. The opponents are averaging 8.54 hits and 3.77 runs against them.

THE LAST FIVE GAMES: Matt Chapman has been the Titans hottest hitter over the last five games with a team-leading nine hits including a home runs... Anthony Hutting walked six times and was hit twice in the last five games on top of going 4-for-11 (.364) to post a whopping .32 on-base percentage... Anthony Hutting, Carlos Lopez and J.D. Davis each have four RBI in the last five games... From the pitching side, the Titan hurlers are looking a bit uncharacteristic in terms of runs allowed. The Team ERA in the five games is 4.30 in 44.0 innings... Right-hander Grahamm Wiest, however, has performed quite the opposite, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.10 ERA (12 Ks, 1 BB).

THE LAST 10 GAMES: Richy Pedroza (17-for-45, .378) and Anthony Hutting (9-for-24, .375, 10 BB, 5 HBP, 4 SH, 1 SF, .600 OBP) are atop of the Titan hitting stats for the past 10 games... The team is hitting .303 over that span and has four of its regulars hitting over .350... Matt Chapman trails Pedroza by one hit (16) and Carlos Lopez, thanks to a six-RBI day in Stockton two weekends ago, has himself 12 RBI in his last 10 games... From the bump, the Titans have a team ERA of 3.83 with Grahamm Wiest again holding things down (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 17 K, 3BB). Dylan Floro also has a 2-0 record but has given up 10 runs in his last 16. 1 IP... Michael Lorenzen has a 1-0 record and three saves in those 10 games.

MICHAEL SAVES: Sophomore Michael Lorenzen's 15 saves ranks him all alone in third place on the Titans' all-time single-season record list trailing Nick Ramirez (2011) by one save for second all-time. The all-time single-season saves leader for the Titans is Scott Wright, who nailed down 22 saves in 1984. Lorenzen came into the week tied for 5th in the nation with Portland's Owen Jones and Oregon' s Jimmy Sherfy. Everyone is chasing the nation's leaders, Michael Wagner (San Diego) and Southeastern Louisiana's Stefan Lopez, who have 19 saves going into the weekend. Lorenzen is 2-0, with an ERA of 1.35 in 20.0 innings (18 appearances). The right-hander, in his first season on the mound, converted his first 12 saves of the year before blowing one, and subsequently earning the win, on Apr. 22 against Cal Poly.

LEADING THE NATION: Coming into the week, the Titan pitching staff continues to lead the nation in fewest walks per nine innings, surrendering just 1.70 free passes a game. The Titans are led by Dylan Floro (11th in the country, 1.0 bb/9inn.) and Koby Gauna (12th, 1.0 bb/9inn.). The pitching staff also ranks second in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.58-to-1. Four Titan hurlers, Dylan Floro (28th, 5.80:1), Kenny Mathews (86th, 4.23:1), Grahamm Wiest (98th, 4.0:1) and Kobby Gauna (98th, 4.0:1) rank among the top 100 pitchers in the country.