May 27, 2008
Irvine, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton's Jeff Kaplan along with UC Irvine's Scott Gorgen and Long Beach State's Andrew Liebel were named Big West Conference Tri-Pitchers of the Year, while seven Titans were named to the Easton All-Big West Conference teams Tuesday afternoon.
Kaplan and outfielder Erik Komatsu earned first-team honors, outfielder Josh Fellhauer and right-hander Cory Arbiso were named to the Second Team. Freshmen shortstop Christian Colon and outfielder Gary Brown as well as senior relief pitcher Adam Jorgenson were all recognized as honorable mentions.
Kaplan becomes the 10th Titan to become a Big West Pitcher of the Year with Tuesday's selection, and just the second to ever share the honor. The right-hander finished the regular season with an 11-1 record and a 4.00 ERA and beat both his co-recipients in Liebel and Gorgen. In fact, the hurler from Dana Point, Calif., has won his last nine starts and has not lost in his last 14 outings. In addition to Liebel and Gorgen, Kaplan also defeated Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State in head-to-head competition, all three opponents are semi-finalists for national pitcher of the year awards. Kaplan led the Titans to wins over five Regional teams as well as three nationally ranked squads. He now has a career record of 22-4 in the pinstripes.
Komatsu was arguably the Titans' best all-around hitter during the regular season, posting a team-leading .354 batting average as well as blasting seven home runs while driving in 47. The junior from Camarillo, Calif. also provided some quickness on the base paths. He legged out 14 doubles, 6 triples and stole 18 bases during the regular season to help the Titans lead the league in swipes. He, along with Fellhauer and Brown, provided one of the best defensive outfields in the nation with their combined speed and glove-work.
Fellhauer led the Titans for most of the regular season in hitting, finishing the 56-game portion of the schedule at .350. He leads the team in hits with 83 and has 27 extra base hits, the second-most on the team. The Rancho Cucamonga native also leads the team in runs scored and has stolen 16 bases from the leadoff spot.
Arbiso won 11 straight games from Mar. 8 to May 17 and, with Kaplan, is among the nation's leaders in wins. Arbiso too earned wins over ranked opponents in then No. 1 Arizona and then No. 5 UC Irvine and has beat four Regional-bound teams in Arizona, UC Davis, Southern Miss and UC Irvine. He set a career-high in strikeouts in his first career Big West start, allowing a run on seven hits while striking out 10 in his first complete game of the year.
Hailing from Corona, Colon was the only Titan to start in all 56 regular season games, doing so at shortstop. The freshman hit .324 in his rookie season and has been a mainstay in the No. 2 spot of the line-up most of the year. Colon has shown spurts of power, hitting three home runs and has driven in 16 RBI, but his biggest contribution with the bat has been the ability to give himself up. Colon has ranked in the top five in sac-bunts and sac-bunts per game the better half of the year, also setting the freshman record in that category with 20.
Brown has shown versatility in the Titan lineup, playing both second base and most recently settling as the everyday left fielder. The Diamond Bar rookie has utilized his spped not only defensively, but on the bases, setting the freshman record for stolen bags with 20 so far. Brown too has shown signs of power, hitting five round-trippers while driving in 25.
Senior Adam Jorgenson surpassed his career totals in saves this year by collecting 10 in the regular season. He now has 21 career saves, the sixth-most in Cal State Fullerton Div. I history. The Costa Mesa native has worked in 24 games thus far and has posted a 2-1 mark with a 4.86 ERA. He has posted 55 strikeouts to just 13 walks on the year, and had not allowed a free pass in Big West action until his final regular-season outing on May 24. He had a dominant performance in relief against UC Riverside on Mar. 28, posting 14 strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work, earning the win in the Titans' extra-innings rally.
The All-Big West Titans and their teammates await their first game of the 2008 NCAA Regional to be held at Goodwin Field Friday night. The Titans will be hosting Rider in the nightcap, scheduled to begin at 8:06 p.m. All games of the Fullerton Regional will be televised by ESPNU.