May 31, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - For the fourth consecutive year Goodwin Field will be the setting for round one of the 64-team NCAA tournament that leads to Omaha, Neb., where just eight teams will vie for the coveted national championship trophy of college baseball.
Nationally seeded at No. 5, Cal State Fullerton looks to be the front-runner in the double elimination tournament of four that features California residents San Diego and Fresno State with visiting Saint Louis shipped in from Missouri.
Coming into this weekend's Regional play the Titans are winners of seven in a row and 16 of their last 20, earning an automatic berth to the post season by way of their third-consecutive Big West Conference Championship over second-place finisher Long Beach State.
ON AIR WITH TITANS: All of the Cal State Fullerton post-season baseball games will be broadcast live via the internet on fullertontitans.com by the voice of the Titans, Justin Alderson. Within the confines of Goodwin Field, Alderson can be heard on 104.7 FM with a standard transistor radio.
You can also follow all of the Regional games via GameTracker on fullertontitans.com with a simple click of your mouse. All of the opposing games will also be able to be tracked via game tracker through the participating school's websites.
For the second year in a row, Cal State Fullerton will also be hosting ESPN as they broadcast the entire Fullerton Regional live on ESPNU. Follow all the action from home as Mark Neeley and former major leaguer Darnell Coles bring you all the action from Goodwin Field.
CS FULLERTON REGIONAL NOTES:
&\#149; By winning the Big West Conference championship, Cal State Fullerton has now earned 15 consecutive post-season berths. Only Miami (34 years), Florida State (29), and Clemson (20) have longer streaks. LSU was also ahead of the Titans coming into this year, but did not earn a spot in the field of 64 for the first time since 1988 (18 years).
&\#149; 2006 marks the 28th time the Titans have advanced to the postseason in their 32 years at the Division I level. The last time the Titans were absent form the post season, current Titan head coach George Horton was in his first year as an assistant coach to former Titan skipper Augie Garrido in 1991.
&\#149; The Titans will be hosting the Regionals for the sixth time since their bid was accepted for the first time in 2000. Fullerton has posted a 16-5 record and has claimed four Regional Championships when starting the postseason at Goodwin Field.
&\#149; The last time Fullerton failed to advance past the NCAA Regionals was back in 2002 when conference rival Long Beach State shut out the Titans, 4-0, eliminating them from the Stanford Regional in Palo Alto, Calif.
&\#149; Cal State Fullerton has an overall 72-33 (.686) record in regional play.
&\#149; Fullerton is 9-8 against the remaining 63 teams in the NCAA Tournament... 3-0 vs. UCLA, 4-2 vs. UC Irvine, 1-1 vs. Pepperdine, 1-2 vs. Rice and 0-3 vs. Stanford.
AGAINST THE COMPETITION: This will be the first meeting vs. Saint Louis. Fullerton has been in the same conference with Fresno State (PCAA, SCBA and Big West) and University of San Diego (SCBA). Fullerton has a 47-30 record against Fresno State and is 46-5-2 vs. San Diego.
SAINT LOUIS CONNECTION: Cal State Fullerton has played Saint Louis in men's basketball (80-46 CSF loss in St. Louis on Dec. 12, 1998) and in men's soccer (0-0 tie in a tournament at UCLA on Oct. 25, 1996).
ABOUT FRESNO STATE (43-16): the Bulldogs carry a 15-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament after winning the Western Athletic Conference's regular season and tournament championship. The Bulldogs earlier had a 17-game winning streak and are unbeaten in the months of March and May. The team batting average is .315 led by designated hitter Beau Mills (.355, 14 HRs & 58 RBI), outfielder Steve Susdorf (.327, 14 HRs & 48 RBI) and shortstop Christian Vitters (.340, 11 HRs & 58 RBI), but two of the three are out due to academics (Mills) and a broken thumb (Vitters). The team ERA is 3.71 with four pitchers combining for 39 wins in Andy Underwood (11-3, 3.11), Eddie Romero (12-2, 3.56), Doug Fister (8-5, 3.66) and Brandon Burke (8-5, 3.99 plus 4 saves). This is the Bulldogs' first NCAA appearance since 2001. The Titans and Bulldogs have been in the same regional six times with Fresno twice hosting (1979 and 1984, but they didn't play head-to-head in 1984). They also hooked up in 1980 in Tucson, in 1981 and 1983 in Tempe and in 1997 at Stanford. Fullerton has a 5-2 record in NCAA play against FSU.
SAN DIEGO (32-23): The Toreros gained an at-large berth as the third-place team in the West Coast Conference, which often gets only one representative. The Toreros, whose last game was a come-from-ahead, extra-inning loss at UC Riverside on May 16, played one of the nation's toughest schedules. They opened with a 3-game home sweep of defending national champion Texas and also played series with Georgia and Houston and games against the likes of Kansas and Rice. Pitcher Josh Romanski (4-4, 4.00 with 5 saves) was the freshman of the year in the WCC and second baseman Keoni Ruth (.358, 2 HRs & 34 RBI) and shortstop Steve Singleton (.362), 5 HRs & 38 RBI) were first-team selections. USD appeared in the 2003 NCAA Regional at Fullerton, placing third.
SAINT LOUIS (32-27): The Billikens won the Atlantic 10 post-season tournament to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament and their first appearance since 1966. In the tourney, they beat Rhode Island (3-2). and St. Bonaventure (10-5) but then lost to the Bonnies (3-2). They came back to beat St. Bonaventure (7-0) in the championship game with a 7-run ninth inning featuring a pair of 3-run home runs. The team has a .278 team batting average led by catcher Bill Musselman (.348, 2 HRs & 27 RBI) and designated hitter Greg Rodgers (.344, 5 HRs & 54 RBI). The pitching staff has an ERA of 4.00 with top winners Ryan Bird (8-5, 2.59) and Dave Sever (7-3, 4.12).