UC Santa Barbara Begins Conference Play
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11 BB Release-Week 8
UC Santa Barbara Begins Conference Play
While eight teams kicked of league play last week, UC Santa Barbara had to wait one more week before opening the Big West Conference portion of its schedule. The wait is finally over as the Gauchos close out a six-game homestand hosting Cal Poly April 8-10. First pitch of the weekend series is slated for 3:00 pm on Friday, April 8. UC Santa Barbara owns a 9-3 mark when playing at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium and the Mustangs, who have played 15 of their last 16 contests at Baggett Stadium, are 1-5 away from home.
Defending Champs Have Stellar Start
Defending Big West Champion Cal State Fullerton (20-8, 3-0) was stellar in its first conference series of the 2011 season. The Titans shut down the Aggies in the first two contests by scores of 14-0 and 7-0 and a score of 4-2 in game three solidified the series sweep. This week the Titans have a tougher task at hand as they welcome nationally-ranked UC Irvine to Goodwin Field. The Anteaters, who swept UC Davis it is conference opener, tied with UC Riverside for second in the Big West preseason coaches poll.
On The Small Screen
The first of two Big West contests will be aired this weekend on ESPNU as part of its 2011 college baseball coverage. The showdown between defending championship No. 10 Cal State Fullerton and 2009 Big West Champion No. 16 UC Irvine is slated to air Sunday, April 10 at 2:00 p.m. The Titans, riding an eight-game win streak, welcome the Anteaters to Goodwin Field for a three-game series.
The Anteaters make their second appearance on ESPNU next month when they host Cal Poly on May 8th at 2:00 p.m. UC Irvine also put their antics on display February 26 when the MLB Network aired the showdown between the Anteaters and Bethune-Cookman.
LBSU Lights It Up
Playing its first weekend series against an unranked opponent, Long Beach State's offense was let lose as it racked up 20 unanswered runs against conference foe UC Davis in the first game of a three-game series, fifteen of which were scored in the first three innings. Even more impressive is the fact that prior to last week, the 49ers held a league-low batting average (.246) and were averaging 3.2 runs per contest. Long Beach State ties UC Irvine for most runs scored in a single contest for the Big West this season. The Anteaters tallied 20 runs against Grambling on February 27.
Long Beach State's 20 runs scored were the most since Long Beach State scored 21 on Feb. 3, 2001, in a 21-9 win at Arizona. The game was also tied for the fifth-largest win margin in school history, equaling a 21-1 win over Cal State Fullerton in 1966.
Pill Stellar On The Mound
For the second straight week Cal State Fullerton's Tyler Pill has notched a career-best 11 strikeout performance. He first reached the impressive mark two weeks ago at Hawaii when he retired the first 18 batters he faced, tied his career high with 11 strikeouts and drove in a run at the plate to lift CSF to a 4-2 over the Rainbows. Pill matched his career-high on Sunday when he fanned 11 Aggies to lead the Titans to a 4-2 victory. Edged by teammate Noe Ramirez's 55 strikeouts, Pill sits second in the league with 50 K's.
Titans Unanimous Preseason Pick For 2011 Title
Cal State Fullerton is the predominate favorite in the 2011 Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll, receiving all nine first-place votes. The Titans have at least a share of eight of the last 12 titles and a conference-best 15 overall. UC Irvine and UC Riverside found themselves knotted in second place with 65 votes apiece. Receiving 50 points to grab the fourth slot is Cal Poly while Long Beach State rounds out the top five with 47 points.
UC Santa Barbara secured the sixth spot with 36 total points and Pacific locked down seventh with 26 points. Garnering 22 points was UC Davis, who ranked eighth and was followed by Cal State Northridge (13 points).
By An Inch
There have been a multitude of tightly-contested battles on the diamond this season for the Big West Conference. In fact, 29% of nonconference games played have been decided by one run. The nine league schools hold a 31-26 mark in the one-run decisions. Pacing the conference in one-run decisions is Long Beach with nearly half of its contests coming down to the wire. Of the 12 tightly-contested battles, the 49ers have won eight, two in extra-innings.
On The Road Again
The Pacific Tigers are gearing up for an extended road trip as they play 12 of the next 15 contests away from Klein Family Field. The Tigers kickoff the trek against No. 13 California and close-out the road stretch with a three-game series against nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton. If that wasn't bad enough, in the final two months of competition Pacific plays two-thirds of its contests on the road (20-of-30). So far this season the Tigers have won three of their seven road games.
Cal State Northridge Hires New Head Coach
Matt Curtis, who for the last ten years has been a major contributor in one of the West Coast's most successful college programs, has been hired as head baseball coach at Cal State Northridge. Curtis comes to CSUN from Fresno State where he served as assistant coach for a program that has won five consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles, made four NCAA tournament appearances in the last five years, and won the 2008 College World Series.
Buckley Named Long Beach State Head Coach
Following the retirement of Head Coach Mike Weathers at the end of the 2010 season, Troy Buckley was promoted to head coach. Buckley made his return as the team's pitching coach for the 2010 season after spending two years as the Minor League Pitching Coordinator with the Pirates. Since Buckley came to Long Beach State in 2001, the Dirtbags have earned five Big West Pitcher of the Year awards, and in 2004 Jered Weaver was named the National Player of the Year after posting a 15-1 record with 213 strikeouts and a 1.62 ERA.
Gillespie Earns 900th Win
A 5-3 win over Sacramento State on Saturday, March 12 handed UC Irvine Head Coach Mike Gillespie his 900th NCAA D1 career victory. Coaching in his fourth season at UC Irvine, Gillespie owns a 907-531-2 record.
Best Of The Big West
Of the nine current members in the Big West Conference, six of them have won the Big West title - Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and the most recent addition, UC Irvine, who won its first-ever title two years ago with a near perfect conference mark of 22-2.
Most Multi-Hit Games
Matthew Carvutto, Pacific - 12
Jordan Fox, UC Irvine - 12
Richy Pedroza, Cal State Fullerton - 12
Sean Williams, UC Santa Barbara - 12
Brian Hernandez, UC Irvine - 11
Ridge Carpenter, Cal State Northridge - 9
Mike Marjama, Long Beach State - 9
Tony Nix, UC Riverside - 9
Trevor Whyte, UC Santa Barbara - 9
Longest Hitting Streaks
Drew Hillman, UC Irvine - 11
Eric Johnson, UC Davis - 11
Mike Marjama, Long Beach State - 11*
Brett Morgan, UC Davis - 11
Matthew Carvutto, Pacific - 11
Daniel Johnston, Pacific - 11
D.J. Crumlich, UC Irvine - 10
Jordan Leyland, UC Irvine - 10
Richy Pedroza, Cal State Fullerton - 10
Steven Keller, Cal State Northridge - 10
* - active streak
Big West Vs. Top 25
Cal Poly 2-1
Cal State Fullerton 4-6
Cal State Northridge 0-3
Long Beach State 7-10
UC Davis 0-6
UC Irvine 0-0
UC Riverside 0-1
UC Santa Barbara 1-3
Live On The Net
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. If you can't make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!