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Titans Retain Top Spot

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11 BB Release-Week 9


Titans Retain Top Spot
Cal State Fullerton suffered its worst loss of the season and snapped a nine-game win streak Friday evening as the nationally-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters toppled the Titans 15-3 in game one of the weekend series. The Titans snuck past UC Irvine Saturday, 2-1, and exploded to a 10-4 victory on Sunday to take the series and improve to 5-1 in Big West Conference. Cal State Fullerton holds a one-game advantage over second place UC Irvine (4-2). The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara own the third slot at 2-1, while Long Beach State, Cal Poly and UC Riverside finds themselves knotted in fourth with a 3-3 mark.

UCR's Offensive Outburst
Last week against Pacific, UC Riverside notched two 10-plus run victories to improve to 3-3 in conference play. The Highlanders opened the series with a 14-1 victory and followed that up with a 13-5 win in Saturday's matinee. This marked the first time UC Riverside notched back-to-back 10-plus run performances since it defeated Air Force, 19-7, and Northern Illinois, 14-6, March 4&5.

The Highlanders, who have scored five or fewer runs in 20 games and 11 or more runs in their other six games this season, currently rank fourth in the league with 137 runs scored. On the flip side, the Highlanders have only given up 94 runs, one more than first-place UC Irvine. UC Riverside has yet to give up 10 or more runs in a game this season.

Gauchos Off On Right Foot
The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara kicked off Big West play with a series win over Cal Poly. The last team to partake in league action, the Gauchos dropped its opening contest to the Mustangs, 6-4. UC Santa Barbara regrouped and took the final two games by scores of 7-4 and 5-4 (13 innings) to sit in third place in the Big West standings with a 2-1 mark. The Gauchos face a tougher challenge this weekend as it travels to league-leading No. 7 Cal State Fullerton for a three-game stint. Winning three of the last four contests, UC Santa Barbara is 1-3 against Top 25 opponents this year.

Pacific Tops Nationally-Ranked Cal, Up Next No. 16 Stanford
Led by Tyger Pederson's stellar five-for-five day, which included one run and two RBI, the Pacific Tigers knocked off No. 13 California, 7-4, in a midweek nonconference contest. This was the Tigers' first victory over a ranked opponent since downing then-ranked No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, 18-10, on May 2, 2010. Pacific looks to register its second win against a Top 25 opponent Tuesday when it visits No. 16 Stanford.

Diaper Dandies Make Waves In Big West Play
Just two weeks into conference play and a trio of freshmen are already proving they can compete with the best in the business. Long Beach State duo Jeff McNeill and Ino Patron, along with Cal State Fullerton's Jared Deacon, rank in the Big West's Top 10 in batting average in conference-only contests. McNeill's .500 clip places him second while his teammate sits seventh with a .450 batting average. Rounding out the freshmen threesome is Deacon with a ninth-place average of .429.

Slaught's Streak Comes To An End
UC Irvine fell to Cal State Fullerton, 10-4, on Sunday, April 10 and Anteater starting pitcher Crosby Slaught recorded the loss, his first since May 13, 2008. Slaught opened the 2011 season with a 4-0 record in five starts and was a perfect 8-0 in 15 starts during the 2009 season. Injuries kept the Santa Barbara, Calif., native out of the lineup in 2010.

Cal Poly's Welcome Home Party
Cal Poly concludes its lackluster five-game road trip Tuesday with a visit to Santa Clara. The Mustangs, who are 2-8 overall on the road this season, went 1-3 during the most recent road trip. This weekend Cal Poly returns to Baggett Stadium for a seven-game homestand that kicks of with Cal State Northridge. The three-game series gets underway Friday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m. Cal Poly is 9-6 when playing in front of its hometown fans.

Disappointing Dirtbags
On Friday, April 1 Long Beach State racked up 20 unanswered runs against conference foe Pacific to down the Tigers 20-0. A week after scoring the most runs since Feb. 3, 2001, when Long Beach State downed Arizona, 21-9, the 49ers suffered their worst loss of the season. UC Davis took two-of-three from Long Beach State last weekend, downing the 49ers 8-1 and 11-1. Saturday's game was the first time Long Beach State had given up double-digit runs all season.

By An Inch
There have been a multitude of tightly-contested battles on the diamond this season for the Big West Conference. The nine league schools hold a 31-26 mark in the one-run nonconference 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.

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 teams 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 909-533-2 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 - 13
Sean Williams, UC Santa Barbara - 13
Jordan Fox, UC Irvine - 12
Brian Hernandez, UC Irvine - 12
Richy Pedroza, Cal State Fullerton - 12
Brian Martin, Pacific - 11
Tony Nix, UC Riverside - 11

Longest Hitting Streaks
Mike Marjama, Long Beach State - 13
Matthew Carvutto, Pacific - 11
Drew Hillman, UC Irvine - 11
Eric Johnson, UC Davis - 11
Daniel Johnston, Pacific - 11
Brett Morgan, UC Davis - 11
Bobby Crocker, Cal Poly - 10
D.J. Crumlich, UC Irvine - 10
Steven Keller, Cal State Northridge - 10
Jordan Leyland, UC Irvine - 10
Richy Pedroza, Cal State Fullerton - 10
* - active streak

Big West Vs. Top 25
Cal Poly - 2-1
Cal State Fullerton - 6-7
Cal State Northridge - 0-3
Long Beach State - 7-10
UC Davis - 0-6
UC Irvine - 1-2

UC Riverside - 1-1 UC Santa Barbara - 1-3
Pacific - 1-0
Total - 19-33

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!