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Fullerton Takes Control Of Top Spot; LBSU-UCR Showdown Set For WatchESPN


Big West Baseball Release - Week 12


• In the battle for first place, Cal State Fullerton swept UC Irvine to take control of the top spot with a 9-3 mark.  The Titans, who are now in the driver’s seat of the Big West, visit UC Davis this weekend.  The Aggies are coming off back-to-back series wins over UC Santa Barbara (2-1) and Long Beach State (2-1).

UC Irvine is knotted in second with a Big West mark of 8-7.  While the Anteaters battle Oregon in a nonconference weekend series, the Rainbow Warriors host Cal Poly (6-6).  UC Santa Barbara is tied with its fellow Central Coast neighbor at 6-6 and is slated to entertain the CSUN Matadors (7-8) at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, where they are 16-8-1 this season.

The final Big West showdown of the weekend is Long Beach State (4-8) visiting UC Riverside (5-7). The final Big West Conference showdown of the weekend is Long Beach State (4-8) visiting UC Riverside (5-7) with all three contests being aired live on ESPN3.

• In UC Davis’ 10-1 win over Long Beach State last weekend, the Aggies tied the school’s Division I record for home runs in a single game with three.  A first since April 26, 2015. Ryan Anderson’s two-homerun performance was enough to tie the DI school record for homers in a single game by a player. He became the seventh Aggie in Division I era history to do so since Austin March recorded two homers at Pacific on Apr. 26, 2015.

• Versus the Nation:
Cal Poly has turned 40 double plays to rank 23rd...CSUN is sitting 13th in home runs with 56 and 20th in slugging percentage (.459)...Long Beach State paces the country in sacrifice bunts with 52, while Hawai’i sits 5th (44) and Cal State Fullerton is 6th (43)...UC Irvine’s 25 sacrifice flies places the ‘Eaters in the 16th slot...UCI’s Andre Pallante holds the eighth spot in earned run average with an impressive 1.31 mark...CSUN’s Joey Cooper has been hit by a pitch 18 times this year to rank sixth...CSUN’s Albee Weiss is eighth with 15 home runs. His 48 RBI ranks 25th...UH’s Jonathan Weeks paces the nation with 19 sacrifice bunts...Dirtbag Chris Rivera and Rainbow Warrior Dylan Thomas have tallied 11 saves to sit eighth...LBSU’s Clayton Andrews is the second toughest player in the nation to strike out.

• Midseason Watch Lists

Pitcher of the Year Award
UC Irvine’s Andre Pallante
UC Riverside’s Cole Percival

John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year

UC Irvine’s Nick Anderson
Long Beach State’s Clayton Andrews

Stopper of the Year

Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera

• 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 NCBWA Coach of the Year. 

• The top three teams in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches poll will be featured on ESPNU this season.  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. Twelve conference baseball contests are also scheduled to appear on ESPN3.