June 3, 2009
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton (45-14) will resort to its usual pitching rotation for this weekend's Super Regional with visiting Louisville (47-16) at Goodwin Field.
Friday, All-American right-handed sophomore Daniel Renken (10-2, 2.56 ERA) will take the mound for the Titans, vying for his seventh straight victory on ESPN2 beginning at 7:35 p.m. The Cardinals will counter with a sophomore of their own in southpaw Dean Kiekhefer. Kiekhefer is 6-4 with a 4.65 ERA in 17 appearances (12 starts).
Saturday's match-up will feature Louisville ace Justin Marks (11-2, 3.40 ERA) pitted against Freshman All-American right-hander Noe Ramirez. Ramierez, a winner in three of his last four starts, is 8-1 with a 2.91 era in his rookie campaign. First pitch is slated for 2:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Tyler Pill (11-3, 3.95 ERA) will throw the "if necessary" game on Sunday (7:05 p.m. on ESPN2) for Cal State Fullerton. The Freshman All-American currently holds a 73-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has the most wins of any Titan on the staff. Louisville has not announced a starter for Game 3.
CAL STATE FULLERTON POSTSEASON TIDBITS:
&\#149; This is Fullerton's 31st NCAA Regional appearance in its 35th year of Div. I baseball. The exceptions were 1985, 1986, 1989 and 2001. The current string of 18 CONSECUTIVE appearances is third longest in the nation behind Miami (37) and Florida State (32).
&\#149; Fullerton has won seven Regionals in a row and 18 total - including a national best 11 on the road (two each in Fresno and Baton Rouge and one each at USC, Austin, Starkville, Stillwater, South Bend, Tempe and San Diego). The Titans NEVER hosted a regional before 2000 but have now hosted eight at home (7-1) -- they lost the first (USC) and have won the last seven.
&\#149; Fullerton's all-time Regional record is 85-34 (.714) including 26-6 (.813) at Goodwin Field.
&\#149; The Titans have NEVER gone winless in Regional play. They have gone 0-2 only once in a Super Regional (2008) and four times in Omaha (1975, 1982, 1990 and 2007).
&\#149; This is Fullerton's ninth Super Regional in the 11th year of the format (missed in 2000 and 2002). Florida State, Miami (FL) and Rice are the only other schools to have appeared in as many... The Titans are 6-2 overall and 5-2 at Goodwin Field... They won in 1999 (2 games to 1) at Ohio State and at home have swept Mississippi State (2001), beaten Arizona State, 2-1 (2003), swept Tulane (2004), lost to Arizona State, 2-1 (2005), swept Missouri (2006), swept UCLA (2007) and been swept by Stanford (2008).
&\#149; The Super Regional home team has advanced to Omaha 59 times vs. 21 times for the visiting team in the 10 years of the format. The road team has won at least one Super Regional each year but never more than 3.
&\#149; Fullerton is the No. 2 national seed this year which marks the seventh time in the Super Regional Era (1999) the Titans have made the Elite Eight -- No. 3 in 1999, No. 1 in 2001, No. 7 in 2003, No. 6 in 2005, No. 5 in 2006 and No. 5 in 2008. Ironically, they were not a national seed when they won their fourth national title in 2004. The 1995 national champion Titans became the first No. 1 seed to win the CWS.
&\#149; Fullerton is two wins shy of 100 in Regional and Super Regional combined play at 98-40 (.710), which includes an 85-34 mark in Regionals and 13-6 in Super Regionals. Fullerton is 34-25 at the College World Series for a total of 132-65 (.670) in NCAA Div. I post-season play.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE: No. 1-seeded and No. 12-ranked Louisville advanced to the Super Regional round with a 5-3 home win over No. 3-seeded Vanderbilt on Monday night. Freshman Jeff Wright hit a 3-run home run in the fourth inning for a 3-1 lead that the Cardinals never surrendered. Freshman Tony Zych pitched 6 innings for the victory. Louisville gained the finals with victories over Indiana (8-2) and Middle Tennessee State (3-2 on a run in the ninth) before losing to Vanderbilt, 8-4, to force a game No. 7.
Louisville (47-16) has tied its school record for victories after winning its first Big East Conference regular season title. The Cardinals also won the Big East Tournament with a 4-1 record. They feature two outstanding lefthanded starters in Justin Marks (11-2, 3.40 ERA) and Dean Kiekhefer (6-4, 4.56 ERA). Marks was the MVP of the Regional with a win over Indiana and a save vs. Vanderbilt. The offense revolves around power hitters Chris Dominguez (.348, 23 HRs, 80 RBI) and Phil Wunderlich (.372, 18 HRs, 78 RBI). The team batting average is .308 and the team ERA is 4.14.
The Cardinals and Titans have no common opponents this season, have never played one another and have little else in common other than both made the 2007 College World Series, where Louisville went 1-2 on their first trip and the Titans went 0-2 on their 15th. It's the Big East vs. the Big West.
Coach Dan McDonnell has led the Cardinals to three consecutive 40-win seasons and has a current record of 135-61. The The Citadel graduate had been an assistant at his alma mater and Mississippi before getting his first head job in 2007, leading Louisville to its first CWS appearance in his rookie season.
FAMOUS RACES: After much deliberation, we have found something in common between Louisville and Cal State Fullerton... famous races. They have the Kentucky Derby and Fullerton had the The First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History (1962), which was cancelled after the 1963 event because of the liability issues after an elephant veered off course.
A BUNCH OF BCS: Cal State Fullerton is the only Non-BCS school among the 16 Super Regional participants.
POSTSEASON VETERANS: There are six veterans of the 2007 CWS team on the current Titan roster: Jared Clark (redshirt), Matthey Fahey, Josh Fellhauer, Joe Scott, Dustin Garneau and Khris Davis but only Fellhauer (then in left field) and Joe Scott (then at shortstop) were starters - only at different positions.