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LBSU Battles Third Striaght Top 10 Opponent; CSF Entertains No. 2 Oregon State


Big West Baseball Release - Week 4


•  A 4-1 week lifted CSUN to an 8-4 record to sit atop the Big West Conference. Hawai’i and UC Irvine are knotted in second with a 7-4 record while Cal Poly sits fourth at 5-7.

•  No rest for the weary is the theme for the Dirtbags this season as they gear up to battle a top 25 opponent for the third consecutive week.  After back-to-back weekend series against No. 7 TCU and No. 9 Ole Miss, the Dirtbags return to the Lone Star State to battle No. 8 Texas A&M this week.  They look to improve on their 1-2 records they tallied the previous two series. Prior to the showdown with the Aggies, LBSU hosts No. 10 Vanderbilt Wednesday evening.

Also facing ranked teams this week in three-game series are Cal State Fullerton entertaining second-ranked Oregon State and Hawai’i visiting No. 13 LSU.  CSUN welcomes No. 23 UNLV to Matador Field Wednesday night.

• Versus the Nation: CSUN is hitting .356 to rank third in the nation while slugging a .631 to place second...The Matadors’ 26 home runs is good enough for third in the nation...UH’s 1.74 earned run average earns them the fifth slot...UH’s Jonathan Weeks paces the nation with six sacrifice bunts...UC Davis’ Brad Pluschkell’s 23 hits places him seventh...LBSU’s Clayton Andrews is one of six players in the nation yet to be struck out this season. 

• Behind a six-inning gem from junior right-hander Noah Davis and a three-inning save from Chris Clements, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team threw a combined one-hitter Saturday to clinch a series win over Penn State with a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.  The dual masterpieces from Davis and Clements gave UCSB (4-6) its first one-hitter since Mar. 19, 2011, against Nevada and the team’s first shutout since Mar. 25 of last year against New Mexico State.

• 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.