June 8, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - UC Irvine Head Coach Dave Serrano stated "the Road to Omaha goes through Fullerton," and he was right as for the fourth consecutive season, Goodwin Field will be the setting for the best-of-three weekend series that sends either the Titans or their opponents to Omaha to play for the coveted national championship trophy of college baseball.
Fullerton, winners of 10 in a row and 19 of their last 23 games, are firing on all cylinders and are winning behind an offense that continually wears out the opponent by getting guys on, getting guys over, and getting them in. Defensively, the Titans are not just strong up the middle, but all nine are doing their part to give the pitching and offense a chance to work.
The Titan pitching staff can boast they have the best ERA in the country and that they have a guy who can grind it out every night of the weekend on the hill. Each of the weekend starters has at least 12 wins and an ERA under 3.00. The Titan pitching staff allowed just 6 runs all last weekend, with a win over Saint Louis and a pair over Fresno State to advance one step closer to Omaha.
Super Regional Weekend:
Friday Night, June 9
Cal State Fullerton vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field (ESPN2)
The Titans will be the designated home team and sit in the 3rd base dugout.
Pitching: Wes Roemer (12-1, 2.00 ERA) vs. Max Schurzer (7-2, 1.95 ERA)
Saturday Night, June 10
Cal State Fullerton vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field (ESPN2/ESPNU)
The Tigers will be the designated home team and sit in the third base dugout.
Pitching: Lauren Gagnier (13-4, 2.51 ERA) vs. Nathan Culp (11-5, 3.29 ERA)
Sunday Night, June 11 (if necessary)
Cal State Fullerton vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field (ESPN2/ESPNU)
A coin toss will determine home team if the game is necessary.
Pitching: Dustin Miller (12-1, 2.95 ERA) vs. Rick Zagone (6-3, 3.28 ERA)
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 Super Regional live on ESPN2 and/or ESPNU. Follow all the action from home as Dan Pasch and former Los Angeles Dodger/UCLA Bruin, Eric Karros bring you all the action from Goodwin Field. Another former Dodger and former Oklahoma State standout Robin Ventura may join the booth on Saturday night bringing additional color to the broadcast.
ABOUT MISSOURI: Missouri finished seventh in the Big 12 regular season standings but finished strong, winning 19 of its final 27 games including a sweep of a 3-game home series with Texas. The Tigers beat Oklahoma State and Oklahomato gain the championship game of the Big 12 Tourney, where they lost to Kansas, 4-3.
The headliner is righthander Max Scherzer, who became the first Tiger ever drafted in the first round when Arizona made him the 11th selection in Tuesday's amateur draft. The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2005 missed five starts this year to injury but boasts a 1.95 earned run average to go with a 7-2 record and 72 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. He has a career ERA of 2.30. Backing him up are lefthanders Nathan Culp (11-5, 3.29) and freshman Rick Zagone (6-3, 3.28), who pitched a complete-game victory over UCLA in the Regional at Malibu.
Offensively, the Tigers hit .287 as a team led by second baseman Brock Bond (.345, 2 HR, 29 RBI), centerfielder Evan Frey (.335, 0 HR, 22 RBI) and left fielder Zane Taylor (.335, 2 HR, 41 RBI). Priday is the top power guy with 11 HRs and 49 RBI to go with a .289 average. The Tigers have stolen 72 bases in 95 tries led by rightfielder Hunter Mense (16 of 21).
The Tigers and Titans had no common opponents in the regular season. But Missouri beat Fullerton Regional victim (6-1) Saint Louis, 4-0, on Apr. 19, to snap a 9-game losing streak. And Fullerton played 11 games in the regular season against the rest of the Malibu Regional Field -- winning 4 of 6 from UC Irvine, 3 of 3 from UCLA and splitting two games with Pepperdine.
Missouri is 0-2 vs. the Titans, having also lost the first meeting, 6-3, on May 27, 1988, in the opening round of the NCAA Regional at Mississippi State.
CS FULLERTON POSTSEASON 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 have moved on to Omaha via a Super Regional championship four times in five tries, four of which were held at Goodwin Field. Fullerton has an overall Super Region Record of 9-4 (.692) and a 7-3 record at Goodwin Field. Since the reformatting that took place in the playoff system in 1999, Fullerton has made just one road trip to Ohio State, in that opening year.
&\#149; Fullerton has advanced to the College World Series four times since the new Super Regional format started in 1999.
&\#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; This will be Cal State Fullerton's sixth Super Regional and fifth at Goodwin Field
SUPER REGIONAL NOTES:
1999 After sweeping regional at Notre Dame, Titans expect to host Super Regional but instead get sent to lower-seeded Ohio State (higher seeding rule implemented as a result). Team does not fly home but works out in Cleveland area before heading to Columbus. Four players including starting pitcher Adam Johnson and second baseman David Bacani are sent home for disciplinary purposes and Titans lose opener to Ohio State, 10-7. But they come back for 11-5 and 13-2 victories to advance to Omaha, where they score only 8 runs in three games to finish in a tie for fifth place with 1-2 record.
2001 After winning regional at home with Game Seven victory over Texas Tech, Titans host Mississippi State. Mike Rouse hits three home runs - two in the same inning -- to pace a 13-2 win and Aaron Rifkin hits three more the next night in a 9-3 victory. Titans split four games in Rosenblatt Stadium to tie for third place.
2003 After winning regional at home with Game Six win over Notre Dame, Titans host Arizona State. Titans win opener, 5-1, but Sun Devils force a third game with 7-6 victory. Freshman Dustin Miller pitches Titans to 5-1 win for trip to Omaha, where they win two games before losing twice to Stanford to finish in a tie for third place.
2004 After rallying from losers' bracket to win home regional with doubleheader win over Pepperdine, Titans get host's role for Super Regional when Tulane upsets No. 1-seeded Mississippi. Titans sweep Tulane by scores of 9-0 and 10-7 to earn a trip to Omaha, where they win their fourth national championship.
2005 After again rallying from losers' bracket to win home regional with wins over Missouri and Arizona (twice), the Titans host Arizona State. Titans win the opener, 3-2, on a controversial walk-off balk in the bottom of the ninth inning. Irritated Sun Devils come back for a 6-2 win and then overcome a 7-2 deficit for a 9-8 victory that sends them to Omaha, where they tie for third.
2006: With a Super Regional Championship this weekend, Head Coach George Horton will have earned his 450th career victory in this, his tenth season at the helm of the Titans. He has posted a 448-185-1 career mark, good for a .707 winning percentage and will be making his fifth trip to Omaha as skipper and his eighth overall since joining the Titan coaching staff
TITANS ON TV: The Titans have posted a 4-0 record in games televised in 2006. The Titans won their first televised game on CSTV, 2-0 over Long Beach State on May 26 at Blair Field, then swept through the Regional last weekend at Goodwin Field as they were broadcast on ESPNU. The Titans captured a win against Saint Louis and two against Fresno State.