Tight Race As Baseball Heads To Final Month Of Play
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11 bb release-Week 11
Trio Listed On Stopper Of The Year Watch List
On April 21, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced the midseason watch list for the seventh annual NCBWA Stopper of the Year award, which is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Included in the elite field were three representatives from the Big West Conference - Brian Hernandez (UC Irvine), Eddie Magallon (Long Beach State) and Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton). Ramirez (12.1 IP, 0.73 ERA, 18 K)currently paces the league and ranks among the Top 20 in the nation with nine saves. He is followed by Hernandez (20.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 16 K) and Magallon (24.1 IP, 1.84 ERA, 14K), who are tied for second in the league with eight saves.
Serrano, Lee Eye 100th Win
Cal State Fullerton skipper Dave Serrano and Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee both have their sights set on their 100th Big West Conference victory. Serrano is just one win 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 99-48 mark. In his ninth season at the helm of the Mustangs squad, Lee holds a 98-94 mark. UC Santa Barbara head coach Bob Brontsema is currently the only active coach with a 100-plus league victories at 190-220. This week, Cal State Fullerton hosts Pacific and Cal Poly visits Long Beach State.
Banner Week For 'Stangs
Cal Poly took complete advantage of playing on its home turf last week, notching a 3-1 mark against Top 25 opponents. The Mustangs opened the week with a 5-4 victory in a midweek contest against No. 12 Fresno State. In the weekend series versus league-leading No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly posted just its second series win over the Titans in 38 years. The Mustangs won the first two contests, 7-2 and 4-2, extending its season-long win streak to seven before falling to the Titans, 9-3, in Saturday's outing. Cal Poly is currently tied for second in the Big West standings with UC Irvine at 8-4.
CSUN Notches First Big West Win
After losing their first six Big West Conference games, all on the road, the Cal State Northridge Matadors returned to Matador Field and defeated the visiting Pacific Tigers by a score of 13-6 on Thursday, April 21. The Matadors could not continue the success through the weekend, dropping the final two contests to sit ninth in the league with a 1-8 record. Up next for Cal State Northridge is a battle at UC Davis for its third road conference series of the season.
Patron Powers Through
Long Beach State's Ino Patron may want to petition to have the remainder of the 49ers' contests played at UC Santa Barbara's home field - Caesar Uyesaka Stadium - seeing how he was a force to be reckoned with at the Gauchos' ballpark. During last weekend's series, Patron blasted three home runs. He knocked his first homer of the season in Thursday's outing and followed that up with a pair of long bombs in Saturday's 6-2 victory over the Gauchos. His three home runs paces the squad and ties him for fifth in the Big West Conference.
Anteaters Suffer First Home Loss
After winning 16 straight games at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark, UC Irvine suffered its first home loss of the 2011 season on Friday, April 22. The Anteaters carried a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning but the Aggies would even the score off an 'Eater error that would eventually send the game into extra innings. UC Davis picked up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, while reliever Tom Briner shutdown UC Irvine in the bottom half of the inning to secure the 3-2 victory. The Anteaters are now 17-1 when playing in front of their hometown fans.
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.
Tigers' Hit Party
On April 23, the Pacific Tigers blasted 24 hits against conference foe Cal State Northridge, the highest single-game school total this season, topping the 21-hit barage at UC Riverside. Pacific racked up 54 hits in the three-game series against the Matadors, the most in a series this season. With the 54-hit performance last week, the Tigers improved their team batting average from fifth in the Big West (.267) to second at .283. Leading the charge are Matthew Carvutto and Brian Martin, who sit two-three in the Big West with 51 and 50 hits. Martin, who owns a league-leading .360 batting average, also tops the charts in conference-only contests with 26 hits.
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 36-26 mark in the one-run nonconference decisions. Pacing the conference in one-run decisions is Long Beach, playing 13 tightly-contested battles. The 49ers, who are tied for fourth in the nation in most one-run decision games played, have won nine down-to-the-wire contests, three in extra-innings.
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.
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.
Most Multi-Hit Games
Brian Hernandez, UC Irvine - 18
Matthew Carvutto, Pacific - 16
Brian Martin, Pacific - 15
Sean Williams, UC Santa Barbara - 15
Ino Patron, Long Beach State - 14
J.J. Thompson, Cal Poly - 14
Dustin Torchio, Pacific - 14
Trevor Hairgrove, UC Riverside - 13
Tony Nix, UC Riverside - 13
Longest Hitting Streaks
*Adam Barry, Cal State Northridge - 13
Mike Marjama, Long Beach State - 13
Matthew Carvutto, Pacific - 11
*Trevor Hairgrove, UC Riverside - 11
Drew Hillman, UC Irvine - 11
Eric Johnson, UC Davis - 11
Daniel Johnston, Pacific - 11
Brett Morgan, UC Davis - 11
J.J. Thompson, Cal Poly - 11
* - active streak
Big West Vs. Top 25
Cal Poly 5-2
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
Live On The Net
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