Titans to Dedeaux Field for Final Midweek Tilt
May 23, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - The Titans head to Dedeaux Field for their final midweek game of the 2006 season versus the USC Trojans. Dave Pherrin (0-0, 6.52 ERA) will get the start versus Shawn Olsen (4-6, 4.88 ERA). Fullerton held on to its No. 2 ranking by Baseball America after going 3-1 last week against San Diego State and Cal Poly. Fullerton holds a three-game lead voer conference rival Long Beach State with three to play at their place this weekend.
Tuesday, May 23 at USC, 6 p.m.
at Dedeaux Field (GT, WEB)
Friday, May 26 at Long Beach State*, 6:30 p.m.
at Blair Field (GT, WEB, TV)
Saturday, May 27 at Long Beach State*, 6:30 p.m.
at Blair Field (GT, WEB)
Sunday, May 28 at Long Beach State*, 1:00 p.m.
at Blair Field (GT, WEB, KSPA)
(KSPA - AM 1510, WEB - fullertontitans.com, GT - GameTracker TV - CSTV) Times are Pacific. * Indicates Big West Conference Game
TITANS ON TV: Cal State Fullerton will have its first game of the season televised by CSTV on Friday, May 26, when the Titans take on Long Beach State at Blair Field. Check your local listings for specific channel information in your area.
CSTV.com has also made the Cal Poly series from Goodwin Field available via the web in their XXL package. Visit CSTV.com for more information.
LAST WEEK: Outstanding performances by seniors in their final regular season games at Goodwin Field clinched a share of the Big West Conference championship for the Titans on Sunday. Dustin Miller pitched a 5-hit shutout and Justin Turner hit a home run for the only run of the game as the Titans completed a sweep of Cal Poly SLO. Fullerton needs to win only one of three games this weekend at Long Beach State for the title outright and the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Despite a mid-week loss at San Diego State, which snapped an 11-game winning streak over the Aztecs dating to 1984, the Titans remained No. 2 in the Baseball America national poll.
Fullerton overcame the indefinite loss of closer Vinnie Pestano, whose presence was missed Tuesday in San Diego. There, the Titans blew leads of 6-0 and 8-6 when SDSU scored three times in the eighth inning to overcome Danny Dorn's 5 RBI.
Against Cal Poly, Ryan Paul got the closer's role on Friday and Saturday and responded with two saves. He got the final two outs and stranded the tying runs in scoring position on Friday night for a 6-4 win and came on to get the final out with the tying run at the plate in Saturday's 3-1 victory. On Sunday, Coach George Horton let Miller close his own deal despite hitting a batter with two outs in the ninth.
On Friday night, Danny Dorn's two-out, two-run single broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Jared Clark doubled home Dorn to offset a Cal Poly run in the ninth inning. Wes Roemer got the win to improve to 10-1 despite giving up a long two-run home run to Jimmy Van Ostrand in the fourth and a game-tying RBI double to Grant Desme in the top of the eighth. John Curtis singled home the first two Titan runs and Turner tripled home a go-ahead run.
On Saturday night, Brett Pill's fifth home run broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning and he singled, stole second and scored on a Dorn single in the eighth for an insurance run. Brandon Tripp's triple led to the first CSF run. Lauren Gagnier (11-4) and three relievers stranded 12 Mustang runners, three times leaving the bases loaded.
On Sunday, Miller pitched to only six men over the minimum while striking out eight. Turner's home run came in the sixth off Casey Fien, who also lost Friday night's game in relief. Fien allowed only 3 hits on Sunday and faced just two men over the minimum. Fullerton becomes the first team in the nation with three pitchers in double digits in the victory column.
VERSUS TROJANS: The Titans are 37-33-1 all-time versus the Trojans (since 1978), and have taken the last two games against them. The two powerhouses have met seven times in the post season with the Trojans holding a 4-3 advantage. The Titans have met the Trojans one time in the College World Series, and beat them when it counted in the national championship game in 1995.
A WINNING TRADITION: Fullerton is just one win away from winning its 40th game of the season for the 22nd time in its 32nd season at the Division I level. The Titans have never won less than 30 games or finished the season with a losing record, as Larry Cochell's 1989 Titans captured the lowest win total in the school's history with a 30-27 record.
SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton posted its 13th weekend series win in 15 opportunities with a 1-0 Sunday win at UC Santa Barbara on May 7. Seven of their 12 series wins have come via the sweep, taking all three games from their opoonent. The Titans have dropped just two series, one to Stanford (0-3) and the other to Rice (1-2), with both losses in Houston coming with tie games going into the ninth inning.
TOURNEY TALK: The Titans have made 27 NCAA Regional appearances in their 31-year Division I history and have not missed the playoffs since 1991. The 14-year run is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. Only Miami (33), Florida State (28), Clemson (19), and LSU (17) have longer streaks. Fullerton has advanced to Omaha 13 times, winning the College World Series in 1979, 1984, 1995 and 2004.
MILLER POW HONORS: Diamond Bar-native Dustin Miller became the second Titan pitcher to win the Big West Pitcher of the Week this year by tossing a complete game, 1-0 shutout against Cal Poly, as named by the Irvine-based conference office Monday afternoon. Miller earned his tenth win of the year, allowing only five hits while striking out eight as Cal State Fullerton captured at least a co-championship in the conference on Sunday. He faced five hitters over the minimum to become the Titans' third 10-game winner, joining Wes Roemer and Lauren Gagnier. Miller last won the weekly honor on Mar. 31, 2003 for in the Titans' 7-5 wn over Long Beach State. Wes Roemer has earned the honor three times this season.
WHO'S HOT (over the last five games):
Justin Turner: 10-for-20 (.500), 5 runs, 2 doubles, a triple, a game winning homer, 4 RBI
Blake Davis: 7-for-17 (.412), 1 double, 3 RBI
John Curtis: 4-for-10 (.400), 2 RBI
Danny Dorn: 7-for-18 (.389), 8 RBI
TRIPLE-DOUBLE: The Cal State Fullerton hurlers Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.), Lauren Gagnier (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Dustin Miller (Diamond Bar, Calif.) became the first trio of Titan arms to win 10-or-more games since the 1995 squad (Ted Silva - 18, Tim Dixon - 13, and Jon Ward - 10) did it en route to winning the national championship. In all, Cal State Fullerton has had three squads (2006, 1995, and 1994) with three pitchers with double-digits in wins and one with four pitchers earning 10-or-more wins (1984).
PUTTIN' ON THE HITS: Justin Turner picked up eight more hits last week to tie Cal Poly's Josh Lansford with the Conference lead with 80 hits. Blake Davis ranks third in the conference (behind Turner and Lansford) with 74 total hits. Brett Pill also ranks in the top ten with 64 knocks, good for seventh place in league.
QUALITY TIME: The Titan weekend rotation has put together 30 Quality Starts (six-or-more innings with three or less earned runs) in 41 starts as a unit. Wes Roemer (12 QS), Lauren Gagnier (11 QS) and Dustin Miller (7 QS) are a combined 31-6 on the season with all three starter's ERAs under 3.01. Roemer ranks second in conference with a 2.16 ERA, with Gagnier (2.63) and Miller (3.01) also ranking in the conference's top ten at 4th and 8th, respectively. The trio is leading the Big West Conference in wins with Gagnier topping the league with 11 while Miller and Roemer are tied with 10 apiece. The Titan pitching staff is the only one in the country with three ten-game winners.
BEST IN THE BIG WEST: The Titans, who have secured at least a tie for the Big West Conference championship, top the eight team field of competitors in team batting (.311), team pitching (2.78 ERA) and team fielding (.978). The Titans also lead the league in slugging (.447), on base percentage (.384), runs scored (332), hits (557), RBI (305), triples (19) and total bases (801). The Fullerton hurlers are also leading the conference in opponent's batting average (.222), wins (39), fewest runs allowed (172), fewest earned runs allowed (144), and fewest walks allowed (105).
EARLY AND OFTEN: The Titans are nearly perfect when they score in the first inning, going 15-1 and are a dominating 29-5 when they score first. When the opponent scores first and when they score in the first inning, the Titans are just a game over .500 at 9-8 and 5-4, respectively.
SWIPED: Justin Turner (Bellflower, Calif.) is fifth in the conference, stealing 18 bases in 24 chances. He is seven off the Big West lead held by UC Riverside's Brett Bigler who has swiped 25 bases.
SEEING TRIPLE: Shortstop Blake Davis (Fountain Valley Calif.) has moved into the No. 2 all-time position behind Dante Powell for most career triples by a Titan with his conference leading four triples this season. Davis now has 13 career three-baggers and now trails Powell by five for the top spot.
WALLACE WATCHES ROEMER: Right-handed Cal State Fullerton pitcher has been named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, an award Former Titan Kurt Suzuki took home in 2004 as the nation's best collegiate baseball player. Roemer joins 29 other candidates vying for the annual honor bestowed by the College baseball Foundation in Lubbock, Texas. The awards banquet will be held Monday, July 3, 2006 on the campus of Texas Tech University and will be nationally televised by the Fox Sports Network. The list of 30 will be slashed down to three at the completion of the Super Regional and announced on June 15, 2006 at the College World Series.
DICK HOWSER AWARD SEMIFINALIST: Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) was named to a list of 16 semifinalist for the Dick Howser Award announced by The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday (May 18). The 2006 Dick Howser Trophy will be given to the top player in collegiate baseball. The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting. The 2006 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 16, at 10 a.m. (CDT).
ROCKET-WORTHY: Wes Roemer (Glendora, Calif.) joins nine other college hurlers who remain in contention to be honored as the top pitcher in college baseball with The Roger Clemens Award. The 3rd Roger Clemens Award will be presented at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston on July 12. Roemer, now a semifinalist in two national awards has posted a 9-1 record and a 1.99 ERA so far this season, and has struck out a conference-leading 98 hitters to just four walks. The Titan righty, started the season going 65 2/3 innings without issuing a single walk.
SPECIAL INVITE: USA Baseball announced May 16 that Titan pitcher Wes Roemer and 19 other collegiate players that have accepted invitations to participate in the 2006 USA Baseball National Team Trials. The Trials will be held June 22-July 1 in exhibition games played against teams in the New England Collegiate League. The USA Baseball National Team will be selected from a pool of 36 players, of which an additional 16 have yet to be determined. The official 22-man team roster will be announced on July 2. If selected to the squad, Roemer will become the Titans' 16th player to play for National Team and it will mark the third consecutive year the Titans will have represented the country (2005: Blake Davis, 2004: Mike Lamb, Mike Rouse, and Ricky Romero).
IN A PINCH: George Horton's bench has been very productive, pinch-hitting at a .377 clip as a team (23-for-61). Part-time designated hitter, David Cooper (Stockton, Calif.), has contributed eight of those 23 hits himself, going 8-for-12 (.667) from the bench, followed by Jared Clark, Matt Fahey and Bryan Harris, who each have tallied three knocks apiece.
PUT YOUR HANDS UP: Blake Davis (Fountain Valley, Calif.) broke his previous season-high 17-game hitting streak May 16 game at San Diego State and increased it to 21 games this past weekend, collecting a single in each of the three contests. The junior has hit .430 since Apr. 7, going 37-for-86 over the past 21 games and now leads the Big West Conference in hitting with a .368 average. Davis has tallied seven doubles, two triples, two home runs and 14 RBI since Apr. 7, including a team-leading nine stolen bases.
ANOTHER HORTON MILESTONE: With three conference games remaining, head Coach George Horton has a chance to tie and pass Fresno State's Bob Bennett (187 wins in 15 years) as the second-winningest Big West coach in the conference history. Horton, has compiled 185 conference wins over his nine-plus seasons, tying and passing his predecessor and mentor Augie Garrido in the Pacific series Apr. 21-23. Former Long Beach State manager Dave Snow holds the conference record in victories with 218 over 13 seasons. Horton is a collective 441-184-1 (.704) in his 10th season as the Titan skipper and is just over half way to his predecessor's 875 career wins in a Titan uniform.