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Baseball Enters Final Stretch Of 2017


Big West Baseball Release - Week 14


•  This week league-leading No. 7 Long Beach State (15-3)  welcomes Hawai’i (8-10) to Blair Field for a three-game series.  Second place No. 13 Cal State Fullerton (12-6) visits CSUN (11-10) and UC Irvine (6-12) and UC Riverside (5-13) square off at Riverside Sports Complex with Saturday’s contests airing on ESPN3 at 6:00 p.m.  The final Big West matchup of the weekend takes place in the Central Coast as the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (7-11)  entertain the Cal Poly Mustangs (11-7).   UC Davis takes a break from conference play to host Grand Canyon.

• UC Santa Barbara’s Austin Bush blasted four home runs last week to extended his Big West lead to 14 and sits 35th in the country.  He now ranks sixth in UCSB single-season history for homers, and eighth on the career list (28).  He is UCSB’s single-season and career leader in home runs in the BBCOR era.

• Cal State Fullerton belted five home runs in its 12-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara Sunday, the most CSF had hit in a game, since also crushing five long bombs on April 17th, 2010 also against the Gauchos.
• No. 7 Long Beach State currently ranks third in the nation in shutouts with nine. Oregon State and Illinois-Chicago are tied for first with 10 shutouts.  In 2016, the Dirtbags pitching staff only recorded five shutouts.

Along with their impressive shutout count, the Dirtbags are sporting a 3.21 earned run average to rank 13th in the country.  They are led by senior Dave Smith, who has allowed just 12 earned runs in 61.0 innings for a league-leading 1.77 ERA.

• The Big West Conference has three of the nation’s top 5 teams for walks allowed per nine innings.  Hawai’i is first at 2.24 with Cal State Fullerton sitting fourth with a 2.29 mark. Long Beach State slid to the fifth slot as its pitching staff has allowed just 2.39 walks per nine innings.

• Other marks around the nation:
The Matadors of CSUN are fourth in the nation in double plays with 56...Hawai’i’s Brendan Hornung and Long Beach State’s Darren McCaughan are tied for seventh in the country having pitched four complete games this season...UC Irvine’s Keston Hiura owns a league-leading .400 batting average to sit sixth in the nation, while his on-base percentage of .545 leads the nation....UC Riverside’s Mark Contreras’ eight triples continues to place him in a tie for first.

• A pair of teams are showcasing Top 25 defenses as Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State both own a .980 fielding percentage to rank 12th in the country at .980. 

• It was announced in early May that Cal State Fullerton pitching coach Blake Hawksworth has been selected as one of the pitching coaches for USA Baseball’s 2017 17U National Team. Hawksworth will serve as the pitching coach for the stripes side, while Arkansas’ Wes Johnson has been named as the pitching coach for the stars team.

• 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).