ESPNU To Televise UC Irvine-UC Santa Barbara Game Sunday
Files associated with this release:
12 BB Release-Week 12
The Big West will be featured on national television this week as ESPNU will telecast Sunday's showdown between UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine from Anteater Ballpark.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Rested Titans Resume League Play
Cal State Fullerton (26-14, 9-3), which was idle in Big West play last week, returns to the diamond for a three-game series against last place Pacific (11-31, 1-11) starting Friday at Klein Family Field.
The Titans embark on a stretch where they play nine of their last 14 regular season games on the road. They are 12-5 since winning at then-No. 14 Arizona State on Mar. 28. CSF has won four straight Big West series and nine consecutive overall. In fact, the only series they lost was two out of three at then-No. 1 Florida in the season’s opening week.
Cal State Fullerton begins the week with a non-conference home game against USC on Tuesday. The Titans are 5-5 in midweek games this season, including a 3-1 mark at Goodwin Field. Overall the Titans are a conference-best 19-6 at home this season.
Pacific has been swept in three of its four Big West series and comes off three straight losses to Cal Poly last week. Since sweeping a four-game set against Brown from Mar. 24-26, the Tigers have dropped 15 of their last 18 games. They have lost seven straight overall.
ESPNU Invades Anteater Ballpark
UC Irvine hosts UC Santa Barbara in a three-game Big West series with Sunday’s game appearing live nationally on ESPNU. First pitch is at 2:00 p.m. (PDT).
This is the second ESPNU televised game from Anteater Ballpark this season. The network aired the April 15 game against Cal State Fullerton, which the Titans won 5-3.
It is an important series for both teams in the chase for the Big West regular season title. UCSB is tied with Central Coast rival Cal Poly at 9-6 for third place in the league standings, while UCI is fifth at 8-7. The Gauchos trail conference leader Cal State Fullerton by one and a half games and second place Long Beach State by two.
Fans will be treated to a matchup between two of the Big West’s top pitchers in Friday’s opener. UCSB freshman left-hander Andrew Vasquez leads the Big West in earned run average (1.74), strikeouts (81) and opponent batting average (.188). He is also tied for second in wins with six. His counterpart, UC Irvine sophomore Andrew Thurman, is third in the conference in opponent batting average (.200) and tied for eighth in strikeouts (49). The righty has won his last three starts – Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC Riverside – and owns a sparkling 0.69 ERA with three walks and 17 strikeouts in 26.0 innings pitched in that span.
In Other Big West Action
Cal Poly visits UC Davis with hopes of staying in the upper echelon of the Big West standings. The Mustangs (25-17, 9-6) had lost seven of their previous nine games before sweeping Pacific last week. They outscored the Tigers 28-9 in the series. The Mustangs lead the Big West with 22 home runs and have rapped out double-digit hits in 10 of their last 13 games.
UC Riverside hosts Cal State Northridge to round out Big West play. Long Beach State takes a break from conference action and plays a three-game set against non-conference foe Loyola Marymount. The 49ers host two of the games and play at LMU once.
Four Big West Players On Pitcher of the Year Watch List
Four Big West players are among 51 players featured on the initial Pitcher of the Yera Watch List, presented by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cal Poly senior Kyle Anderson, Cal State Fullerton sophomore Michael Lorenzen, UC Davis senior Dayne Quist and UC Santa Barbara freshman Andrew Vasquez were named to the watch list. The winner of the Pitcher of the Year award will be announced on June 30 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the annual College Baseball Night of Champions.
The four representatives ties the Big West for fourth with the Pac-12 and West Coast for the most of any conference in the nation.
Anderson is 7-1 on the season and tops the Big West in wins. He also ranks eighth in ERA (2.64) and fourth in innings pitched (71.2).
Lorenzen ranks among the nation’s save leaders with 12, which also places him in a tie for seventh on the Cal State Fullerton single-season saves list. The sophomore, who is among 45 players being considered for the eighth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year award, is 2-0 with a a 1.65 ERA.
Quist is 6-1 with a 2.52 ERA with just 10 walks and 79 strikeouts for the season. He ranks among the Big West top 10 in wins (t-2nd), ERA (6th), strikeouts (t-2nd) and innings pitched (2nd). He has been on the mound for nearly half of the Aggies’ 14 wins.
Vasquez is approaching several Big West top 10 freshman records with the Gauchos. The 6-6 left-hander has struck out 81 hitters and is just 16 shy of putting him in a tie for fifth on that list. His 1.74 ERA would rank him second all-time if the season ended today. He also sits just two wins away from tying for ninth. Vasquez is 6-3 on the season.
Lee Nearing 300th Career Win
Cal Poly 10th-year Larry Lee attempts to become the 10th head coach in Big West history to amass 300 wins at one school. He is 298-250-2 with the Mustangs and could reach the milestone as soon as Friday. Cal Poly hosts Pepperdine Tuesday before traveling to UC Davis for a three-game conference series on Friday. In addition to ranking 10th in overall wins in the conference record book, Lee’s 112 Big West victories place him ninth. Lee leads all current Big West head coaches in overall and conference victories.
Dirtbags Impressing In All Facets
Long Beach State pitching, the cornerstone of much of the team’s success this season, has been simply dominant during Big West play. The Dirtbag hurlers have compiled a conference-best 2.41 ERA through 15 league games. They have allowed three or less runs in 14 of those contests. And now it looks like the offense is beginning to put things together. After struggling through the first half of the season, LBSU has turned it around at the plate. The team ranks third in the Big West with a .282 average in conference play with the second-most RBI (71) and third-most runs scored (76). Long Beach State has won 11 of its last 14 games and has captured five straight Big West series.