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Homeward Bound As Baseball Enters Its Second Month


Big West Baseball Release - Week 5

Big West Tid Bits

• Last week UC Irvine, playing its first ranked opponent of the season, claimed the series over top-ranked TCU, 2-1, in front of its hometown fans at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. The ‘Eaters opened the series with a huge 11-2 Friday-night victory over the Horned Frogs and followed that up with a 6-3 win on Saturday to upset TCU in the series.  UC Irvine dropped the final game of the series by a score of 16-7.  The Anteaters have now won six of the last seven contests.

• Against The Best:
Long Beach State, who won a series against No. 7 North Carolina, 2-1, two weeks ago, hosts No. 3 TCU Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Seventh-ranked Cal State Fullerton entertains No. 5 Arizona at Goodwin Field Wednesday at 6:00 pm.

• Cal State Fullerton continues to hold steady in the national polls with a ranking of 7th by Baseball America.  UC Irvine cracked the Top 25 for the first time this season (Collegiate Baseball) after its upset series win over No. 1 TCU.

Going Streaking: A few schools have strung together some impressive win streaks in the first month of play.  Hawai’i has won six straight contests and nine of the last 10.  The Anteaters of UC Irvine have also claimed six straight victories and the Cal State Fullerton Titans have won five consecutive contests.

• UC Irvine is pacing the conference with a .311 batting average thanks to a trio of Anteaters owning the top three spots individually. Keston Hiura holds the top spot with a .451 clip, and is followed by Evan Cassolato and Adrian Damla, who are hitting .444 and .419.

• Gavin Velasquez, from UC Irvine,  sports a league-best 1.11 ERA in 24.1 inning pitched.  He is followed closely by CSUN’s Tei Vanderford, who owns a 1.19 ERA in 30.1 innings tossed. In relief, UCI’s Calvin Faucher tops the Big West charts with six saves.

• USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2017 Collegiate National Team and Dave Snow, Troy Buckley (Long Beach State), Rick Vanderhook (Cal State Fullerton) and Larry Lee (Cal Poly) join manager John Savage (UCLA).

• In the fall a pair of Big West Conference baseball teams earned recognition for their incoming recruiting classes.  UC Santa Barbara, was ranked in several lists, but received its highest national ranking in program history at No. 9 in Collegiate Baseball’s ranking. Cal State Fullerton’s recruiting class was ranked No. 21 in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball’s annual evaluation in September.

• Cal State Fullerton is set to host rival Big West programs UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU games.  The Titans welcome ESPNU to Goodwin Field on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. (PT) against UCI and Friday, May 12 at 6:00 p.m. (PT) versus UCSB.
The Titans are also slated to host a pair of contests of FOX Prime Ticket with the first showdown taking place May 13 against UC Santa Barbara.  On Saturday, May 27, CSF will play longtime rival Long Beach State at Goodwin Field.  First pitches for both games will be 7:00 p.m.

A selection of Big West baseball games will also 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. Every Big West team will make an appearance on the televised baseball schedule.