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Top 25-Filled Weekend Series Ahead For Big West


Big West Baseball Release - Week 3

Big West Player/Pitcher of the Week honorees


•  Big week for Big West baseball as a trio of schools will be tested as they battle Top 25 programs in three-game series.  UC Irvine travels to No. 6 TCU, who defeated LBSU 2-1 in a weekend series last weekend.  For the second consecutive week the Dirtbags are battling a Top 10 program, this time being No. 9 Ole Miss.  And the Aggies of UC Davis gear up to host No. 21 St. John’s in a weekend series.  Cal State Fullerton also entertains No. 9 UCLA in a midweek contest.

•   Cal Poly opened the Tony Gwynn Legacy last Friday with a 4-3 victory over No. 3 Arkansas.  The win was Cal Poly’s first over a top-five team since the opening series of the 2009 season when the Mustangs swept a doubleheader against No. 3 Rice, 10-3 and 7-6, in Baggett Stadium. Cal Poly also defeated No. 1 Cal State Fullerton 7-1 in 2005, also at home.

Long Beach State also recorded a victory over a Top 10 program last week after knocking off No. 7 TCU, 3-2, in game one of a doubleheader.

• In CSUN’s three-game series versus Manhattan last week, the Matadors outscored the Jaspers 57-3. In game two the offense exploded and tallied 31 runs, tying a school record for runs in a game.  They pounded out 25 hits, 13 extra base hits and six home runs and a total of 15 different Matadors recorded at least one hit and six had multi-hit efforts.

• Versus the Nation: CSUN is hitting .376 to rank second in the nation while slugging a nation’s best .701...The Matadors’ 20 home runs paces the country...UH’s eight sacrifice bunts places them fourth in the nation...CSF’s Tommy Wilson, UCI’s Andre Pallante and UCR’s Jared Morton own a perfect 0.00 ERA....UC Davis’ Brad Pluschkell’s 18 hits places him second.

• UC Irvine head baseball coach Mike Gillespie announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 season and will be replaced by associate head coach Ben Orloff, UCI athletic director Mike Izzi announced.  Gillespie has amassed 361 wins since joining UCI in 2008.  Under Gillespie’s guidance, UC Irvine made five trips to the NCAA postseason, including a College World Series (2014), the year he was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year. 

•  Cal State Fullerton was selected to claim the 2018 Big West Conference Baseball Championship, according to the nine conference coaches that voted.  The Titans earned six first-place votes en route to a total of 73 points.  Defending Big West Champion Long Beach State sits second with two-first place votes and 65 total points and Cal Poly is one point back after collecting 64 points to hold the third slot. UC Santa Barbara, who showcases the 21st-best recruiting class in the country, according to DI Baseball,  sits fourth with 49 points and is closely followed by CSUN and its 48 points.  The Anteaters of UC Irvine, who earned one first-place vote and a total of 43 owns the sixth slot, while Hawai’i (27) clinched the seventh slot.  UC Riverside ranked eighth (26) and UC Davis (10) rounded out the nine-team field.

• The top three teams in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches poll will be featured on ESPNU this season.  Cal Poly, hosting an ESPNU regular season game for the first time since May 9, 2010, welcomes Long Beach State to Baggett Stadium on Friday, April 20.  The Dirtbags will also host rival Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, May 24.  It’s a rematch of the 2017 best-of-three NCAA Super Regional at Blair Field, which the Titans won to advance to their 18th College World Series.