Conference Play Continues For Big West Baseball
Big West Baseball Release - Week 8
Big West Tid Bits
• Defending conference championship Cal State Fullerton won it’s league-opening series, 2-1, along with Long Beach State, UC Davis and Cal Poly. All four teams are back in action this weekend.
Following a four-game series with Nevada last week, Hawai’i opens Big West play on the road at Cal Poly, who defeated UC Irvine, 2-1, last weekend. The 10th-ranked Titans entertain UC Davis and Long Beach State hosts UC Riverside. The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara visit CSUN with both teams looking for their first conference series win of the season. UC Irvine is idle from conference action as the ‘Eaters make a trip north to battle Oregon.
• In Cal State Fullerton’s series clinching victory over UC Riverside on Sunday, the Titans registered 15 runs, which is a conference high for the 2017 season. It is also the most runs for the Titans since defeating UC Santa Barbara 18-2 on May 14, 2016.
• In the latest RPI report, Long Beach State ranks 12th to pace the conference. Cal State Fullerton, who maintained it’s No. 10 ranking in the national polls, holds the 20th spot in the RPI to sit second in the league.
• UC Irvine continues to sport a nation-leading .985 fielding percentage, while Cal State Fullerton ranks eighth with a .982 clip. The Titans also own the country’s ninth-best earned run average at 2.67. The Titans pitching staff issues just 2.14 walks per nine innings to rank second in the country. Hawai’i is the team that trumps the Titans as it allows just 2.10 walks per nine innings to pace the nation. Rainbow Warrior Brendan Hornung currently sits fourth in the country with a 14.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio and seventh with walks allowed per nine innings (.67).
• The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the watch list for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award and three Big West catchers made the elite list - UCSB’s Dempsey Grover, CSF’s Chris Hudgins and Cal Poly’s Nick Meyer.
• Thirty NCAA® baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball and UC Irvine’s Adam Alcantara and CSUN’s Conner O’Neil made the elite list. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
• 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’s earned its highest national ranking in program history at No. 9 in Collegiate Baseball’s ranking. CSF’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 UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU games on Saturday, April 29 and Friday, May 12. The Titans are also slated to host a pair of contests on FOX Prime Ticket against UC Santa Barbara (May 13) and Long Beach State (May 27).
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.