Big West Baseball Release - Week 13
• Cal State Fullerton recorded another sweep, this time against UC Riverside, to maintain control of the top spot in the Big West Conference with a 12-3 mark. Long Beach State is second with an 11-7 record and is followed by UC Santa Barbara, who dropped a series (2-1) to UC Davis last week, with a 9-6 mark. UC Irvine, Cal Poly and UC Riverside are knotted in fourth with a 7-8 mark. Hawai’i is sixth at 8-10 and CSUN is one game back in eighth. UC Davis rounds out the nine-team field with a 4-11 record.
• UC Irvine continues to control the top offense in the Big West for another week as it sports a .278 batting average. Cal State Fullerton continues to dominate on the mound with a league-best 2.33 ERA, which places the Titans first in the nation. The Titans are also the league’s best on defense with the country’s seventh-best mark of .981.
• The national baseball publications have started releasing their midseason watch lists and so far five Big West student-athletes have earned various distinctions. The watch list for the 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Award, presented by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, includes Long Beach State’s Darren McCaughan and UC Santa Barbara’s Kyle Nelson. McCaughan can also be found on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes midseason watch list along with UC Irvine’s Keston Hiura. Sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 39th Golden Spikes Award is given to the top amateur baseball player. Nelson, along with CSUN’s Conner O’Neil and Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera, earned spots on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason watch list.
• Cal State Fullerton has been tabbed the team to beat in 2016, according to the nine conference coaches that voted on the Big West baseball preseason poll. The Titans earned four first-place votes en route to a total of 71 points while UC Irvine, who received one first-place vote, holds the second spot with 65 points. LBSU secured the third slot after earning three first-place votes for a total of 62 points and UCSB picked up the final first-place vote and tallied 60 points to finish fourth. With 44 total points, CSUN clinched the fifth spot and Cal Poly, who captured its first-ever title in 2014, landed sixth with 43 points. Hawai’i ranked seventh with 27 points and was followed by UC Riverside (17) and UC Davis (16).
• Last fall Collegiate Baseball announced its annual evaluation of the NCAA Division I recruiting classes and Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara landed on the elite
list. The Titans secured the 24th spot while the Gauchos grabbed the 36th slot.
• A selection of Big West baseball games will be carried on
ESPN3 this season with all games originating from Southern California member institutions Cal State Fullerton,
Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside. Through the Big West’s new mobile production facility, each game will be produced by the Conference utilizing full ESPN production standards, including graphics, replay and on-air crew. It is the first fully operational mobile production unit of its kind that expands upon what ESPN Emerging Technology has already done at the institutional level. Every game on ESPN’s platforms is available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smart phones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, on Apple TV and Roku to fans who receive video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Mustangs Return Home In Hopes Of Success:
Having dropped seven of the last eight contests, Cal Poly looks to turn things around when it entertains UC Irvine, who’s also been struggling to find success recently. Luckily for the Mustangs, they return home, here they own a 19-6 mark, after a Tuesday showdown at Fresno State.
Leading The Charge:
Through 46 games, Brett Barbier is Cal Poly’s top hitter with a .362 average, 11 doubles and 23 RBI
CAL STATE FULLERTON
We’re Number One:
It’s no surprise that Cal State Fullerton paces the conference and country in ERA (2.33), seeing how the Titans own four spots in the Big West's Top 10 with Connor Seabold (2.08) and Colton Eastman (2.09) owning the top two spots.
Home Sweet Home:
The Titans are now 9-0 at home in Big West Conference play.
Going, Going, Gone:
CSF has 21 home runs this season in 46 games. Last season they hit 20 home runs in 64 games.
Get Out The Brooms:
For the first time since 2013, the Matadors recorded a Big West Conference three-game sweep, going 3-0 against Cal Poly last week at Matador Field. Since beginning the conference season 1-8, the Matadors have won six of the last nine games.
Kenny Rosenberg (4-1) has struck out 94 batters in 77.0 innings of work to pace the Big West Conference and tie for 14th in the nation.
LONG BEACH STATE
Finding Success In Extra Innings:
Long Beach State exploded in the extra innings contest against Hawai’i last week, scoring seven in the 12th inning to earn an 11-4 victory over the Rainbow Warriors. The Dirtbags are now 4-1 in extra-inning contests.
Hot At The Plate:
Last week Luke Rasmussen extended his hitting streak to 12 games, just one shy of LBSU’s season best of 13 games from Brock Lundquist. Rasmussen currently ranks second in the Big West with 36 RPI and sixth in home runs with five.
Aggies On Hot Streak:
UC Davis has won six of its last seven contests, which includes a series victory over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. It marked the first series win against the Gauchos since the Aggies swept the them on the road in 2010. With the pair of victories, UC Davis improved to 3-1 against the Top 25. Up next for the Aggies, is a five-game road trip which includes a weekend series at CSUN, who is coming off a sweep over Cal Poly. Unfortunately for UC Davis, it holds is 3-10 record on the road this season.
‘Eaters Struggle To Find Success:
Dropping its second straight weekend series by a score of 2-to-1, UC Irvine enters the week losing five of the last six contests. This week the ‘Eaters travel to Cal Poly.
Keston Hiura continues to dominate at the plate with league-best numbers in batting average (.398), slugging percentage (.609) and hits (64). He’s also sporting a second-best on-base percentage of .490, while tying for fourth with 34 runs scored.
After posting back-to-back conference series wins, UC Riverside stumbled against No. 17 Cal State Fullerton and now sits 7-8 in the league. They close out a seven-game road trip with a single contest at Loyola (5/10) and a Hawaiian weekend series.
Against The Big West:
In conference-only contests, Colby Schultz is hitting .345 while Austin Colvin owns a .333 clip to rank sixth and tied for ninth in the league. Vince Fernandez holds a conference-best 17 RBI in Big West contests.
UC SANTA BARBARA
No. 16 UC Santa Barbara suffered its second Big West series loss last week, falling to UC Davis, 2-1, and now sits third in the league with a 9-6 mark. The Gauchos look to redeem themselves this week when they battle No. 15 Cal State Fullerton at home.
Home Is Where The Win Is:
The Gauchos are 21-1 this season at Caesar Uyeaka Stadium, including a 17-game win streak at home that is the longest active in the NCAA.
Coming To A Close:
Hawai’i, who has dropped 10 of its last 12 contests, is scheduled to play its final Big West home series this weekend when it entertains UC Riverside. The Rainbow Warriors are 12-17 at Les Murakami Stadium this season.
Jockeying For Position:
Jacob Sheldon-Collins has been battling UC Irvine’s Keston Hiura all season for the top spot in batting average. Last week he dropped from the top spot and currently ranks second with a .390 mark.