Top Teams Face Off Easter Weekend
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11 BB Release-Week 10
A Look At The Big West
Defending champion Cal State Fullerton sits atop the Big West Conference standings with a near-perfect 8-1 record. UC Irvine and Cal Poly find themselves knotted in second place with a 6-3 mark with Long Beach State sitting a game back in fourth at 5-4. The second-place Mustangs welcome the league-leading Titans to Baggett Stadium for a three-game series beginning Thursday, April 21 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Davis took a break from conference play last week to battle the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners. This week the Aggies return to league play when they visit Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark to battle second place UC Irvine. The Anteaters, who have won three of their last four contests, own an unblemished 14-0 mark at home this year.
Long Beach State looks to win its second-straight conference series this week when it visits UC Santa Barbara, who's coming off a tightly-contested series against Cal State Fullerton. Unfortunately, the Gauchos dropped all three-contests by one-run each.
Pacific and Cal State Northridge also square off this week at Matador Field for a three-game stint scheduled from Thursday, April 21-Saturday, April 23. The Matadors are still in the hunt for their first Big West victory of the 2011 season.
Serrano Goes For 100th Win
Cal State Fullerton skipper Dave Serrano is just two wins shy of collecting his 100th Big West Conference victory. Currently in his seventh season in the Big West, fourth at Cal State Fullerton, Serrano has accumulated a 98-46 mark. The first opportunity to reach the century mark comes this week when the nationally-ranked Titans visit the central coast to battle Cal Poly. The Mustangs, 12-6 at home this season, own a 2-1 mark against Top 25 opponents.
Mustangs Closes Out Homestand Versus Top 25
Cal Poly seemed to find its rhythm last week after returning home to Baggett Stadium and sweeping Cal State Northridge in a three-game conference series. Following a 4-0 week, the Mustangs hope their home-field advantage rings true this week as they face two nationally-ranked opponents. Cal Poly entertains No. 12 Fresno State Tuesday evening and then battles No. 5 Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series.
The Cal State Fullerton Titans are coming on strong down the stretch, winning 19 of the last 21 contests. After dropping four straight road games at nationally-ranked LSU (3 games) and Texas A&M, Cal State Fullerton returned to its winning ways with a sweep over the Pac-10's Washington Huskies. Since then the Titans have won all but two contests - a 10-1 lost to No. 5 Arizona State and a 15-3 loss to conference foe No. 16 UC Irvine.
Pitcher's Duel At Its Finest
Blair Field is where you wanted to be on Friday, April 15 to witness one of the best pitching performances of the season. Long Beach State and UC Riverside were near perfect on the mound for 12-innings. LBSU's Matt Duffy brought home Ino Patron in the bottom half of the 12th for the 1-0 walkoff victory. Forty-niners starter Andrew Gagnon recorded 10 strikeouts and allowed just one hit over 8.0 innings. Gagnon, Eddie Magallon and Branden Pinder combined for Long Beach State's second shutout of the season.
Not to be outdone, Highlander starter Matt Andriese tossed 10.0 scoreless innings, with a no-hitter going into the seventh inning, and scattered three hits while striking out six. It was the longest appearance by a member of the Highlanders since the team made the transition to Division I and the second longest in the recorded history of the program.
The UC Davis pitching squad currently ranks seventh in the Big West Conference with a 4.50 earned run average. One bright spot on the mound for the Aggies this season is Anthony Kupbens, who owns a league-leading 1.86 ERA. In nine appearances (8 starts), he pitched 58.0 innings and allowed just 12 earned runs for a 3-4 record.
Ramirez Climbing Big West Annals
In Cal State Fullerton's 5-4 win over UC Santa Barbara on April 16, Nick Ramirez notched his ninth save of the year and 27th of his career. Ramirez's 27 career saves ties him for fifth in the Big West record book with Cal State Fullerton's Vinnie Pestano (2004-06) and Long Beach State's Neil Jamison (2003-05). The junior from Anaheim, Calif., tallied 11 saves during his sophomore season and seven during his freshman campaign.
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 33-26 mark in the one-run nonconference decisions. Pacing the conference in one-run decisions is Long Beach, playing 12 tightly-contested battles. The 49ers have won eight down-to-the-wire games, 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
*Adam Barry, Cal State Northridge - 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 - 7-11
UC Davis - 0-6
UC Irvine - 1-2
UC Riverside - 1-1
UC Santa Barbara - 1-6
Pacific - 2-3
Total - 20-40
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!