Titans Set to Take On Top-Ranked Beavers in Omaha's First Test

CAL STATE FULLERTON AT 2017 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
JUNE 17-28th • TD AMERITRADE PARK


Game Notes: Oregon State • LSU • Fullerton • Florida State

 

2017 College World Series Central

FULLERTON, Calif. --- The Titans are set to make their 18th trip to the College World Series. The quest for their fifth National Championship begins Saturday against top-seeded Oregon State at noon PT out at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. No. 4 LSU and Florida State also join the Titans in their section of the bracket.

 

THE SCHEDULE

Date                Opponent                                                       Pacific Time               TV

Sat., June 17    Cal State Fullerton vs. #1Oregon State           Noon PT                     ESPN

#4 LSU vs. Florida State                               5 PM PT                     ESPN

Mon., June 19 Losers of June 17 Games                                11 AM PT                   ESPN

                      Winner of June 17 Games                               4 PM PT                     ESPN

 

Times, dates and TV coverage are subject to change. Bracket and live stats available at NCAA.com

 

THE SERIES
CSF vs. OREGON STATE • ALL-TIME SERIES

 

First Year Played/Last Year Played 1977/2007

Overall Record 2-1

Current Streak Lost 1

NCAA College World Series Record 0-1

Overall NCAA Postseason Record 0-1

Home Record 1-0

Road Record 0-0

Neutral Record 1-1

Longest Winning Streak 2 games (3/22/77 to 3/28/84   

Most Runs Scored 14 runs (3/28/84)

Most Runs Scored by Opponent 5 runs (3/28/84)

Largest Margin of Victory 9 runs (3/28/84)         

 

CSF vs. LSU • ALL-TIME SERIES

First Year Played/Last Year Played 1987/2015

Overall Record 4-7

Current Streak Lost 4

NCAA Regional Record 1-3

NCAA College World Series Record 2-1

Overall NCAA Postseason Record 3-4

Home Record 0-0

Road Record 1-5

Neutral Record 3-2

Longest Winning Streak 3 games (3/25/88 to 6/5/94)

Longest Losing Streak 4 games (3/11/11 to present)  

Most Runs Scored                              20 runs (6/5/94)

Most Runs Scored by Opponent 14 runs (6/5/94)

Largest Margin of Victory 11 runs (5/24/98)       

 

CSF vs. FLORIDA STATE • ALL-TIME SERIES

First Year Played/Last Year Played 1984/1999

Overall Record 10-7

Current Streak Lost 3

NCAA College World Series Record 3-1

Overall NCAA Postseason Record 3-1

Home Record 3-1

Road Record 4-5

Neutral Record 3-1

Longest Winning Streak 5 games (3/27/93 to 2/25/97)

Longest Winning Streak 3 games (2/15/97 to 6/16/99)

Extra Innings 1-1      

Most Runs Scored 13 runs (2/28/93)

Most Runs Scored by Opponent 10 runs, 2x (3/26/89)

Largest Margin of Victory 7 runs, 2x (6/7/94)     

Largest Margin of Victory 10 runs (3/26/89)            

 

THE NOTES 

POSTSEASON/COLLEGE WORLD SERIES TIDBITS:
 

• Fullerton has made 39 NCAA appearances in its 43 years at the Div. I level with the exceptions coming in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1991. Fullerton's 26th CONSECUTIVE postseason appearance bumps them into 2nd place in the nation behind fellow CWS participant Florida State (40) for the longest active consecutive streak. Miami did not receive an at large bid to the tournament after finishing 31-27, snapping their 44-year streak of NCAA postseason play – the longest streak in all of Div. I athletics.

 

• The Titans' all-time NCAA Record is 157-84 (.651) including a 121-54 mark in Regional games, an 20-12 record in the Super Regionals and a 34-29 record at the College World Series. 

 

• The Titans have NEVER gone winless in Regional play. They have gone 0-2 twice in Super Regional action (2008 and 2013) and six times in Omaha (1975, 1982, 1990, 2007, 2009 and 2015).

 

• Overall Fullerton has won 22 Regional titles – including a national best 12 on the road (two each in Fresno and Baton Rouge and one each at USC, Austin, Starkville, Stillwater, South Bend, Tempe, San Diego and Stanford). 

 

• The Titans are making their 18th trip to the College World Series and second in the last three years. The 18 appearances in Omaha ranks the Titans tied for 7th with LSU all-time behind Texas (35), Miami (25), Arizona State and Florida State (22), USC (21) and Oklahoma State (20). 

 

• The Titans' five year drought from 2010-14 was the longest the program had gone without making it to Omaha since it moved to Div. I in 1975.

 

• The Titans made their first trip to Omaha in its first year at the Div. I level in 1975, a team coached by coaching legend Augie Garrido. Former Titan skipper George Horton was the first baseman on that 1975 squad as well.

 

• In 2015, Rick Vanderhook became the fifth Titan head coach to take Cal State Fullerton to Omaha, following Augie Garrido (7), Larry Cochell (2), George Horton (6), and Dave Serrano (1). Florida State has also been represented in Omaha by five coaches, and Michigan and Oklahoma State are the only other schools with as many as four.

 

• Fullerton has been crowned national champions four times in 1979, 1984, 1995 and 2004. The Titans' four national titles tie them with Arizona for the 5th most all-time behind USC (12), LSU and Texas (6) and Arizona State (5). 

 

• The Titans nearly had a 5th national title in 1992, but lost to Pepperdine. Playing about 12 hours after their last game for a CBS TV audience, the Titans lost to the Waves, 3-2. Shortstop Erik Ekdahl's first home run of the season produced the decisive run. Strategists dissected the Fullerton eighth when the Titans sacrificed two runners into scoring position with eventual CWS MVP Phil Nevin coming up. Pepperdine Coach Andy Lopez leaped at the chance to intentionally walk Nevin, putting the go- ahead run on. The strategy worked -- barely. Jason Moler's drive into right center was turned into a sacrifice fly by a stiff incoming wind. Then second baseman Steve Rodriguez robbed Tony Banks of a game-tying single to right field. 

 

• The Titans are 34-29 all-time at the College World Series. Their 34 victories are 9th most in College World Series history. Fullerton's 63 CWS games played are also the 9th most in the CWS history book.

 

• Fullerton last won a College World Series game in 2006 against Clemson (7-6). The Titans are currently winless in their last 7 CWS games and have gone 0-2 in their last three appearances (2007, 2009 and 2015).

 

• The Titans have finished the CWS: 1st - 4 times, 2nd - 1 time, 3rd - 5 times, t-5th - 1 time and t-7th - 6 times.

 

• The Titans boast 5 College World Series Most Outstanding Players: Tony Hudson (1979), John Fishel (1984), Phil Nevin (1992), Mark Kotsay (1995) and Jason Windsor (2004). Fullerton is tied for 3rd all-time with its 5 CWS Most Outstanding Players with Arizona State and LSU.

 

• Mark Kotsay, Jason Windsor and Augie Garrido are all on the CWS Legends Team (1947-2009) presented in 2010.

 

• There have been 28 Titans to be named to the All-CWS Team, but none since 2009 when Justin Turner, Danny Dorn and David Cooper (all future major leaguers) earned spots on the team. 

 

Consecutive trips to the NCAA Postseason

1.  Florida State                       40

2.  Cal State Fullerton              26

 

TITAN HEAD COACHES IN THE POSTSEASON

Regionals (App) Super Regional (App) CWS (App)

Augie Garrido 40-22 (16) - 20-10 (8)

Larry Cochell 8-0 (2) - 2-4 (2)

George Horton 30-11 (11) 13-4 (7) 12-11 (6)

Dave Serrano 12-4 (4) 3-4 (3) 0-2 (1)

Rick Vanderhook 10-6 (5) 4-4 (3) 0-2 (1)

 
 

A BIT ABOUT OREGON STATE

Record: 54-4

Conference: PAC-12, 27-3 (1st)

NCAA Postseasons: 17th NCAA postseason, 8th in the last 9 years.

CWS Appearance: 6th (first since 2013)

CWS Record: 13-8

National Championships: 2

 

Head Coach: Pat Casey (George Fox, 1990)

• Coach Casey is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Oregon State program. His record as head coach in Corvallis is 843-444-5. 

• He led the Beavers to back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007, beating North Carolina both times.

 

How they got to Omaha:

• The Beavers earned a spot into the NCAA tournament by way of a Pac-12 conference championship, besting second place Stanford by 6 games in the standings.

• Named the No. 1 National Seed by the NCAA Committee and hosted the Corvallis Regional. 

• Defeated Holy Cross (8-2), and Yale twice (11-0 and 8-1) to advance to the Super Regionals.

• Hosted Vanderbilt in the Super Regionals in Corvallis and dispatched them in back-to-back games, 8-4 and 9-2.

• The Beavers have won each of their last 21 games. 

• Their only losses came in a non conference game to Ohio State (6-1, Feb. 24), and conference games at Washington (3-2, Apr. 13), at UCLA (7-1, Apr. 22) and vs. USC (7-5, Apr. 29).

• The team comes into the College World Series 50 games over .500. 

 

TITANS VS. THE BEAVERS: Fullerton and Oregon State have met just 3 times in their histories with Fullerton holding a 2-1 advantage. The Titans won the first two meetings in 1977 and 1984, but dropped the only postseason meeting, 3-2, in the opening game of the 2007 College World Series.

 

THE BEAVER HITTERS: Oregon State is hitting .296 as a team and have hit 29 home runs. They have a .388 on-base percentage and have swiped 61 bases in 79 attempts. 

 

TOP PERFORMERS: Heading into the College World Series the Beavers' top performers are: Nick Madrigal (.383, 85 H, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 16 SB), KJ Harrison (.330, 66 H, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 7 SB), Trevor Larnach (.304 56 H, 16 2B, 3 HR, 42 RBI), Michael Gretler (.300, 61 H, 4 HR, 32 RBI)

 

THE BEAVER PITCHERS: Oregon State has been very stingy from the mound, having posted a 1.80 ERA. Hitters are just hitting .197 against them and have hit just 19 home runs.

 

TOP PITCHERS: Heading into the College World Series the Beavers' top arms are: Luke Heimlich (11-1, 0.76 ERA, 118.1 IP, 128 K, 22 BB, .172 B/AVG)*, Jake Thompson (14-0, 1.52 ERA, 118.1 IP, 113 K, 36 BB, .184 B/AVG), Bryce Fehmel (5-2, 3.80 ERA, 71.0 IP, 45 K, 17 BB, .240 B/AVG), Jake Mulholland (6-1, 6 SV, 1.31 ERA, 48.0 IP, 41 K, 11 BB, .195 B/AVG), Brandon Eisert (5-0, 2.18 ERA, 4 SV, 45.1 IP, 48 K, 18 BB, .188 B/AVG) and Max Engelbrekt (3-0, 0.48 ERA, 5 SV, 18.2 IP, 18 K, 3 BB, .129 B/AVG)

 
 
 

A BIT ABOUT FLORIDA STATE:

Record: 45-21

Conference (finish): ACC, 14-14 (5th in the Atlantic Division), ACC Tournament Champions

NCAA Postseasons: 55th NCAA postseason (2nd to only Texas' 57), 40th consecutive year (new active consecutive year record since Miami failed to get in the tournament this year. Cal State Fullerton is 2nd at 26 straight postseasons.

CWS Appearance: 22nd (first since 2012)

CWS Record: 28-42

National Championships: 0

 

Head Coach: Mike Martin (Florida State, 1966)

• Martin is in his 38th season with the Seminoles in 2017. 

• Has a career record of 1943-692-4, trails only Augie Garrido (1,975) in all-time victories.

• Owns the highest winning percentage of all active DI coaches. 

• This is his 16th trip to Omaha as the Seminoles' head coach.

• Was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2007.

 

How they got to Omaha:

• Defeated Notre Dame (12-3) and No. 1 Louisville (6-2) in pool play, Duke (5-1) in the semifinal and North Carolina (7-3) in the championship game of the ACC Tournament to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA postseason.

• Was the host of the Tallahassee Regional and had to battle through the loser's bracket to advance. 

• Lost 3-1 to Tennessee Tech in their first game and battled all the way back, beating UCF (6-1), Tennessee Tech (5-3) and Auburn twice (8-7 and 6-0).

• In the Tallahassee Super Regional, the Seminoles narrowly edged Sam Houston State, 7-6 in the first game and then advanced to Omaha with a 19-0 pounding in the second game.

 

THE TITANS VS. THE SEMINOLES: The two college baseball powerhouses have mer 17 times since 1984 with Fullerton leading the all-time series 10-7. The two teams have met up four times in the postseason, all coming in Omaha at Rosenblatt Stadium. Fullerton is 3-1 against Florida State at the CWS with wins coming in 1992 (2) and 1994 and the loss coming in 1999, the first year of the Super Regional format. Fullerton has traveled to Tallahassee three times in 1989, 1993 and 1997 for weekend series. Florida State has come to Fullerton twice (one weekend series in 1984, the other for the Anaheim Hilton and Towers Classic in 1996).

 

THE SEMINOLE HITTERS: Florida State is hitting .272 as a team with 72 home runs and a .393 on base percentage. They are also 58 of 73 in the stolen base department.

 

TOP PERFORMERS: Heading into the College World Series the Seminoles' top performers are: Jackson Lueck (.327, 65 H, 9 HR, 54 RBI, 6 SB), Dylan Busby (.315, 74 H, 20 2B, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 9 SB), Quincy Nieporte (.305, 75 H, 20 2B, 10 HR, 78 RBI) and Tylor Walls (.276, 69 H, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 10 SB)

 

THE SEMINOLE PITCHERS: Florida State has a 3.72 ERA heading into this year's CWS and a .241 batting average against. They have given up 42 home runs as a staff.

 

TOP PITCHERS: Heading into the College World Series the Seminoles' top arms are: Tyler Holton (10-2, 2.25 ERA, 112.0 IP, 139 K, 29 BB, .171 B/AVG), Drew Parish (6-3, 4.40 ERA, 86.0 IP, 89 K, 26 BB, .234 B/AVG), Cole Sands (6-3, 5.05 ERA, 82.0 IP, 72 K, 29 BB, .265 B/AVG) and Drew Carlton (5-4, 1.98 ERA, 6 SV, 59 IP, 55 K, 13 BB, .266 B/AVG)

 

A BIT ABOUT LSU

Record: 48-17

Conference (finish): SEC, 21-9 (1st in SEC West), SEC Tournament Champions

NCAA postseason: 30th NCAA postseason, 6th consecutive

CWS Appearance: 18th (first since 2015)

CWS Record: 36-24

National Championships: 6

 

Head Coach: Paul Mainieri (Florida International, 1980)

• Mainieri is in his 10th season as the head coach of LSU (508-199-3) and 34th overall (1372-691-8) as a head coach.

• Led the Lions to a national championship in 2009 and is making his 5th trip to Omaha at the helm LSU.

 

How they got to Omaha:

• Earned its bid to the NCAA tournament by winning the SEC Tournament with a 4-2 win over Arkansas. Also finished 1st in the SEC West during the conference schedule.

• LSU was named the No. 4 National Seed by the NCAA Committee and hosted the Baton Rouge Regional. 

• The Lions swept through the Baton Rouge Regional with wins over Texas Southern (15-7), Southeastern Louisiana (11-6) and Rice (5-0). 

• Mississippi State was eliminated in the Baton Rouge Super Regional in two straight games, 4-3 and 14-4.

• The Lions head into the CWS winners of their last 16 games.

 

THE TITANS VS. THE TIGERS: LSU holds a 7-4 advantage over Fullerton all-time with 7 of the 11 meetings coming in the postseason. LSU is 3-1 in Regional play and 2-1 against the Titans at the College World Series. The last meeting between CSF and LSU, the Titans were eliminated from CWS action in 2015 by a score of 5-3. Fullerton has dropped the last 4 meetings with LSU dating back to a 3-game series at Alex Box Stadium in 2011. 

 

THE TIGER HITTERS: LSU is hitting .294 as a team and have belted 61 home runs. The Tigers get on base at a .391 clip and have stolen 72 bases in 98 attempts.

 

TOP PERFORMERS: Heading into the College World Series the Lions' top performers are: Cole Freeman (.327, 80 H, 2 HR, 41 RBI, 18 SB), Antoine Duplantis (.322, 83 H, 1 HR, 57 RBI, 18 SB), Greg Deichmann (.320, 77 H, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 48 BB) and Kramer Robertson (.319, 83 H, 18 2B, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 8 SB)

 

THE TIGER PITCHERS: LSU arms have posted a 3.54 ERA and have 14 saves as a team. Opposing hitters are hitting .230 off the Tiger arms and have hit 54 home runs. 

 

TOP PITCHERS: Heading into the College World Series the Lions' top arms are: Alex Lange (9-5, 2.92 ERA, 111.0 IP, 134 K, 40 BB, .233 B/AVG), Jared Poche' (10-3, 3.42 ERA, 97.1 IP, 67 K, 36 BB, .231 B/AVG), Eric Walker (8-1, 3.46 ERA, 93.2 IP, 78 K, 23 BB), Hunter Newman (1-1, 10 SV, 1.07 ERA, 25.1 IP, 25 K, 14 BB, .195 B/AVG), Caleb Gilbert (6-1, 2.42 ERA, 3 SV, 48.1 IP, 56 K, 9 BB, .195 B/AVG), and Zack Hess (7-1, 2.85 ERA, 53.2 IP, 72 K, 24 BB, .182 B/AVG)

 

AN EPIC WEEKEND AT BLAIR
Fullerton's journey to its 18th College World Series certainly hasn't been an easy one, but it has dramatic to say the least. After dropping six of their first seven games to rival Long Beach State, the Titans responded by winning two straight elimination games, 12-0 and 2-1 to claim the Long Beach Super Regional title. At point Fullerton pitching had held Long Beach State scoreless through 21 straight innings, while Sunday starter Colton Eastman had a no-hit bid going through five innings. Hank LoForte proved to be the hero in game three for the Titans, delivering a one-out two-RBI single in the fourth inning. Those would hold to be the winning and Omaha-clinching runs.

 

HE'S BREAKING OUT!

Cal State Fullerton sophomore closer Brett Conine has been named as one of five semifinalists for the 2017 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports. The award honors college baseball's breakout player of the year. The annual award is given to a top amateur baseball player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season. The final list was announced on Tuesday.

 

 

TITANS IN THE 2017 MLB DRAFT
Through two days of the 2017, three Titans have been selected. Connor Seabold was taken in the third round as the 83rd overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies, while Scott Hurst was also selected in the third round, as the 94th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. Finally John Gavin was selected in the eighth round as the 246th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants. For Seabold and Gavin, it marks the second time they've been drafted. Seabold was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 19th round in 2014, while Gavin was drafted in the 39th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014.

 

2,700 = 22…and 13

Cal State Fullerton's regional clinching game vs. Stanford on June 3 marked the program's 2,700th game. It also clinched the Titans' 22nd regional title and 13th trip to the Super Regional round.

 
 

BIG WEST ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS

Freshman Sahid Valenzuela has been named the Big West Freshman of the Year. He also joins Scott Hurst, Dillon Persinger, Connor Seabold and Brett Conine on the All-Big West Conference First Team. Blake Workman received second team honors while Timmy Richards was an honorable mention. 

 

TITANS PLACE THREE PLAYERS ON COLLEGIATE BASEBALL ALL-AMERICAN TEAMS

Connor Seabold has been named to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's All-American Second Team, while Brett Conine has been placed on the third team. Sahid Valenzuela earned a spot on the publication's All-Freshman Team.

 
 

ALL-AMERICAN STREAK STAYS ALIVE

With Seabold, Conine and Valenzuela's selections to All-American Teams. The Titans have now gone 20 straight years with at least one All-American.

 

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE

Fullerton has now won 30-plus games in each of its 43 seasons at the Div. I level. The 30+ win streak ended for Arizona State this year. It finished 23-32 on the season.

 

Consecutive 30+ win seasons (active)

1.  Miami, Fla. 47

2.  Clemson 43

2.  Cal State Fullerton 43

 

HISTORIC HOMERS FOR HURST

Scott Hurst put together one of the best offensive performances in college baseball history on May 20th at CSUN.  He was perfect at the plate, going 5-for-5 with a school-record equaling four home runs, seven RBI and six runs scored, as the Titans cruised by CSUN 16-7. Hurst's four-homer performance tied Fullerton's school record for the most home runs recorded in a game, as Sam Favata also blasted four jacks in a 34-5 victory over La Verne on April 23, 1980. However, Hurst is the only Titan to hit four homers against a current Division I opponent. Hurst and Louisville's Brendan McKay are the only two players to have hit four home runs in a game this season. Hurst's seven RBI fell just one shy of the school-record of eight runs driven in set by David Olmedo-Barrera on April 4, 2015. The six runs scored were the most since Austin Diemer scored four runs on March 7, 2014. The five hits went down as the most since Matt Chapman also collected five on April 26, 2015 vs. Hawaii. Hurst set new career highs in runs scored, hits, RBI and home runs. The performance earned him Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season, and earned him Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Week honors

 

SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE

The Titans finished the regular season 11-3-1 in weekend series. The 11 series wins are the most since claiming 14 in 2013. They now have 13 total series wins total if you want to count the dominating sweep at the Stanford Regional and Fullerton's 2-1 Super Regional series win over Long Beach State.

 

JUST IN TIME

A Freshman All-American last year, Colton Eastman had been out most of the season with an elbow injury, but returned on May 21st at CSUN. He picked a great time to pick up his first two win of the season, clinching the Stanford Regional Championship, tossing 6.2 innings, while allowing just two hits and allowing zero earned runs in Fullerton's 4-2 win over Stanford on June 3rd. He then tossed a season-high 7.0 innings, while allowing zero earned runs and just one hit, while striking out eight in Fullerton's 2-1 Long Beach Super Regional clinching victory over the 49ers last Sunday.

 
 

CONINE CLOSES

Once the ball is in Conine's hand the Titans don't lose. He's notched 15 saves on the year without blowing one. Before May 9th's game vs. UCLA he'd gone 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run over 17 appearances. He's collected 40 strikeouts while only walking six on the year to go along with his 1.49 ERA. His 15 saves lead the conference and are ranked sixth in the nation. Conine is currently sixth on Fullerton's all-time single-season saves list. He's one save away from equaling Michael Lorenzen and Tyler Peitzmeier for third on the list (16). 

 

HURST MAKING IT HURT

Scott Hurst has given opponents fits all season long. He led the Big West in runs scored (54), runs per game (0.92), total bases (141), ranks second in home runs (12), ranks third in slugging percentage (.585), and ranks third in the conference in triples with five, while he's just one triples away from placing eighth on the Fullerton all-time single season triples list. Hurst leads the Titans in batting average (.332), slugging percentage (.585), on-base percentage (.424), runs scored (54), hits (80), runs batted in (39), triples (5), home runs (12), total bases (141), games played (61), games started (61) and total plate appearances (285).

 

IRON MEN

Scott Hurst and Taylor Bryant are the only two Titans to have started and played in every game this season. 

 

PESKY PERSINGER

Dillon Persinger has been of those guys you hate to play against, but would love to have on your team. Persinger has reached base via HBP a team-leading 13 times this season, which is third in the Big West. He also ranks second in the Big West in stolen bases (18) and is second in the conference in steals per game (0.31). Titans are 7-5 when Persinger starts at second base this season, as opposed to 26-15 when he starts at first base.

 

MR. POSTSEASON

Timmy Richards has had a heck of a postseason in what will be his final year with the Fullerton program. After batting a solid .284 in the regular season, he's brought his average all the way up to .305 after batting .500 so far in postseason play. He's gone 10-of-20 from the dish, scoring four runs, recording two doubles and four RBI, while scoring four runs. He's walked three times and boasts a .583 on-base percentage. The Long Beach native played a huge part in taking down rival Long Beach State last weekend to get his Titans to Omaha.

 

THE KID CAN PLAY

Freshman Sahid Valenzuela has made his impact felt from the very beginning. He ranks fifth in the Big West with a .324 batting average. His 22 multi-hit games lead the team, while he's collected knocks in 36 of his last 45 games with 19 of those being multi-hit performances. Valenzuela has been named to the All-Big West First Team, the conference's Field Freshman of the Year, and to the CBF's Brooks Wallace Award Watch List.

 

KEEP EM COMING

The Titans have collected double digit hits in 20 of the last 37 games.

 

GOOD THINGS HAPPENING AT GOODWIN

Until April 30th, the Titans had won 15 consecutive home games. It matched Titans' longest home win streak since winning the final 15 home games of the 2009 season. Fullerton finished 21-8 at home this season. 

 

A TRUE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

The Titans are 21-8 at home this season as opposed to 16-13 on the road. The pitching is a big reason why, as the staff holds a 2.98 ERA at home, as opposed to a 4.11 ERA on the road. The staff has struck out 233 batters at home and just 199 on the road, while it's walked 62 batters at home and 77 on the road.

 

PLAYING WITH THE BEST

Fullerton has gone 5-3 against ranked opponents over the last three weeks. Winning one vs. No. 7 Long Beach State on May 25th and defeating No. 8 Stanford twice last weekend in regional action and then taking two out of three vs. LBSU in the Supers.. 

NONE FOR YOU

The Titans have five shutout victories on the year thus far. They had four all of last year.

 

DOIN' WORK

Blake Workman went career-high 6.0 innings of scoreless relief while striking out a career-high equaling five batters in Fullerton's wild 3-2 14-inning win over UC Irvine on April 29th to earn him Big West Pitcher of the Week Honors. He's 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA overall. However, Workman also has 13 wild pitches on the season. That's already tied for second most in Titan history for a single season. He pitched in all three games last weekend in the Stanford Regional, allowing just one hit and no runs. He didn't pitch at all in the Super Regionals vs. Long Beach State.

 

BATTLE TESTED

Fullerton has already taken on some of the best teams college baseball has to offer. Fullerton has gone 8-9 vs. teams that made the NCAA Tournament this season.

 

MAKING EM EARN IT

The Titans currently rank fourth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings (2.41), sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.14) and eighth in fielding percentage (.981). Fullerton leads the Big West in fielding percentage and walks (242), runs (334) and scoring (5.5), strikeout-to-walk ratio and triples (22)

 

INJURY REPORT

Ruben Cardenas is out for the season with lower back pain. JT McLellan is out for the season with a leg injury.

 

WE SEE YOU SEABOLD

Connor Seabold has been mighty impressive thus far as Fullerton's Friday night guy this season. His 122.2 innings pitched and his 120 strikeouts lead the team. In addition, he's tossed three complete games this season, which ranks 22nd nationally and is third best in the conference. He claimed Big West Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season, on Feb. 20 and March 10, while he's recorded quality starts in 11 of his last 13 outings. His complete-game shutout on April 7 vs. UC Davis, marked Fullerton's first complete-game shutout Thomas Eshelman threw one on May 15, 2015.

 

JOHNNY BE GOOD

John Gavin has been more than just good in 2017. He owns an 8-2 record with a 2.67 ERA in 101 innings pitched this season. Gavin was named Big West Pitcher of the Week and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's National Pitcher of the Week after pitching what was then a career-high 8.0 innings against New Mexico on March 19th. In his eight innings, the San Jose, Calif. native allowed just two hits, zero earned runs, zero walks and struck out a career-high 14 batters. The 14 strikeouts were the most any Titan had accumulated since Thomas Eshelman also collected 14 on May 30, 2015 vs. Arizona State. Gavin may have topped that performance last Saturday at Long Beach State, tossing his first complete-game shutout.

 

POWER SURGE 

Fullerton has blasted 41 home runs in its last 41 ballgames. Before this stretch, the Titans had hit just three home runs through the first 19 games of the season. The 44 total home runs are the most Fullerton has hit since hitting 65 as a team in 2010.

 

GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD

The Titans are 30-9 when scoring first this season, 20-4 when scoring in the first inning, while they're 29-1 when leading after the sixth frame, 33-2 when leading after seven and 36-1 when leading after eight. They're also 25-4 when holding their opponent to two runs or less. They're a perfect 5-0 when scoring first this postseason.

 

PRODUCING LATE

While it's definitely good news when the Titans take an early lead, Fullerton has shown the ability to get the job done in the late stage of games this year. The Titans have outscored their opponents 42-20 in the seventh, 37-22 in the eighth and 24-10 in the ninth frame this season. They've outscored their opponent 103-52 in those three innings combined. 

 

AMONG THE BEST

John Gavin has been named to the College Baseball Foundation's initial watch list for the National Pitcher of the Year Award. Sahid Valenzuela has been named to the organization's initial watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, which honors the nation's best shortstop.

 

HUDGINS NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST

Chris Hudgins is one of 85 catchers to be named to the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The award handed out to the best college catcher in the nation for the 2017 season. The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced on May 17. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced on June 5, while a final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced the 20th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29th.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…

What happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in Vegas. Fullerton's 5-0 win on Feb. 26 over UNLV marked the Titans' first road shutout over an opponent since blanking Hawai'i 4-0 back on May 15, 2015. That's a stat the Titans got to take all the way back to Fullerton.

 

IT'S COOL TO STAY IN SCHOOL

Ten Titans on the current roster have been selected previously in the MLB First-Year Players draft. Newcomer Dillon Persinger has actually been selected twice, in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians (31st round) and in 2016 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He decided to attend Cal State Fullerton instead. John Gavin and Connor Seabold have now botth been selected twice with this year's selections.

 

Titans in the Draft (by round):

Tristan Hildebrandt                 2014         16th round            St. Louis Cardinals

Connor Seabold                      2014         19th round            Baltimore Orioles

Dillon Persinger                      2014         17th round            Los Angeles Dodgers

Colton Eastman                       2015         20th round            Minnesota Twins

Chris Hudgins             2014         35th round            New York Yankees

Ruben Cardenas                      2015         37th round            Miami Marlins

John Gavin                              2014         39th round            Milwaukee Brewers

Timmy Richards                      2013         40th round            Miami Marlins

 

TO ANOTHER 200

Fullerton's victory of UNLV on Feb. 26 marked Rick Vanderhook 200th win as Cal State Fullerton's head coach. Vanderhook is 235-125 in his sixth seasons as the skipper for the Titans. Here's to another 200 more coach. 

 

TITANS WITH TEAM USA

Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook has been named as an assistant coach on Team USA's Collegiate National Team coaching staff this summer. He's one of four assistants on the staff. Pitching coach Blake Hawksworth has been selected as Team USA's 17U pitching coach this summer.

 

FULLERTON IN THE POLLS

The Titans have been ranked in all six major polls in every week this season.

 

RPI WATCH

Cal State Fullerton ranks 43rd in the latest RPI, while Oregon State is first, LSU is fourth and Florida State is 10th.

 
 

PRESEASON PROJECTIONS 

After claiming their 21st Big West Conference title a year ago and their sixth in the last seven years, the Titans were the favorites to do it again in 2017, as Cal State Fullerton was picked as the team to beat in the Big West Conference, according to the nine league coaches that voted on the Big West baseball preseason poll. Fullerton received a total of 76 points and eight of nine first place votes in the poll, while Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara tied for second, as each tallied 65 points. 

 

BEST IN THE WEST

Overall, Cal State Fullerton has posted a dominant 757-267-1 (.741) conference record over now 43 seasons. Rick Vanderhook, the school's fifth Div. I head coach, has compiled a 115-43 Big West Conference record in his five seasons and has led Fullerton to the conference crown in now four of his six seasons at the helm. The four conference titles for Vanderhook is the second most in school history, only behind Augie Garrido (14). Overall, the Titans have won 29 conference titles.

 

A further breakdown has the Titans winning three PCAA conference championships (1975-76, 1987), eight straight SCBA titles (1977-84), and 18 while playing under the Big West name (1990-91, 94-95, 1997, 1999-2001, 2004-06, 2008, 2010-13, 2015-16). The Big West absorbed the PCAA records in 1990 upon its formation, giving the Titans 20 total Big West championships and a 569-215-1 (.725; 34 years) PCAA/Big West Conference record 

 

TITAN PRIDE NEVER GRADUATES

Cal State Fullerton held its annual Alumni Game back on Jan. 28th and it was the Alumni squad coming up with a 5-3 victory over the Titans. The win marked its first over the Titans since 2007, snapping what was an eight-game losing streak. However, the news isn't all bad for the Titans. The last time Fullerton dropped a contest to the Alumni, the team put together a magical season that ended up seeing the Titans in Omaha.

 

DINOSAURS ARE EXTINCT

Cal State Fullerton earned a 4-3 victory over the NC Dinos on Tuesday night. The contest marked the third straight year the two sides had gotten together for an exhibition game. The Titans now own a 2-1 lead in the all-time series, as they defeated the Dinos 8-7 in 2015 and lost a 10-1 decision in 2016.

 

TITANS IN THE BIG LEAGUES

The Titans have had 62 former players ascend to the major leagues since their first products, Dan Whitmer and Tim Wallach, got there in 1980. The last being Tyler Pill with the New York Mets on May 26th. 

 
 

THEY'RE BAAAAACCKK

All three weekend starters of an overall pitching staff that set records last season are back in 2017. All-Conference performers Colton Eastman, Connor Seabold and John Gavin are expected to hold down the weekend rotation once again this season. The three combined to win 17 games for the Titans in 2016.

 

GOLDEN BOY

Sophomore right-handed hurler Colton Eastman earned a spot on USA Baseball's 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. The Golden Spikes Award is given out to the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2017 season. Last year as a freshman, Eastman proved why deserves to be on this list, as he compiled an 8-3 record to go along with a 2.24 ERA with a freshman school-record equaling 100 strikeouts in 100.2 innings pitched. He racked up numerous honors last season, as he was named a Baseball America Freshman All-American, D1Baseball.com Freshman All-American, NCBWA Freshman All-American, the Louisville Slugger Freshman Pitcher of the Year, Louisville Slugger All-American Third Team member, the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a member of the Big West All-Conference team.

 

In addition, he finished his freshman campaign ranked 23rd nationally in WHIP (0.97), 38th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.00), 41st in ERA, 49th in wins and 91st in walks allowed per nine innings (1.79). He also led the team in wins, strikeouts and games started.

 
 

#TEAMCOBEN

Cal State Fullerton will dedicate the 2017 season to Coben Swanson. Eight year old Coben Swanson of Yorba Linda, Calif., is on the road to recovery from a Nov. 2015 diagnosis of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), brain hemorrhage, craniectomy and cranioplasty. He is currently battling the side effects of chemotherapy and has been tested at Children's  Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) since his diagnosis. He is the son of Jon and Brittany Swanson, and big brother to sister, Saffryn (5). Through the help of Team IMPACT, the Titans have joined Coben in his fight against ALL and made him a permanent member of the Titan family. Throughout the 2017 season you'll see #TEAMCOBEN imprinted on the right side of the Titan batting helmets. Coben has part of his right skull removed last year to repair some damage as a part of his recovery.

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