A Look Back at the 2012 Baseball Season
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12 BB Release-Final
Fullerton Extends Play Into Postseason
Cal State Fullerton was the lone Big West Conference representative in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
The Titans earned the conference's automatic berth into their 34th postseason tournament, 21st consecutive, after winning the Big West Conference championship with a 17-7 record. Cal State Fullerton owns the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Miami (39 years) and Florida State (34 years).
Cal State Fullerton (35-19) took to the road for the NCAA Regional for the first time since 2007 as the Titans traveled to the University of Oregon as the No. 2 seed in the Eugene Regional. The Titans opened the Regional on Friday against third-seed Indiana State (41-17), winning the matchup by a score of 9-5. Next up for the Titans was a battle against host Oregon, who is coached by former Titan Head Coach George Horton. The Ducks downed Cal State Fullerton 7-5, forcing the Titans to play for their lives versus Austin Peay the following day. The Titans struggled offensively against the Governors' pitching staff that combined for a 3-0 shutout to send the Titans packing.
The Titans are now 1-3 against their 2012 regional opponents. Fullerton had never faced Austin Peay or Indiana State prior to this year's tournament and lost its only contest against the Ducks back in 2010.
Cal State Fullerton Captures 2012 Big West Title
Determining this year's Big West champion came down to the final game of the regular season. Entering the week we knew the winner of the three-game series at Blair Field would claim the 2012 crown and receive the conference's automatic berth into the 64-team NCAA Tournament.
Twelfth-ranked Cal State Fullerton shut down Long Beach State, 4-0, in game one of the highly-contested series. The following day the 49ers rebounded and took game two by a score of 5-1. In the final game of the series, Cal State Fullerton defeated Long Beach State, 5-1, to clinch sole possession of the Big West Conference title.
Fullerton is playing in the postseason for the 34th time in 38 years at the Div. I level and will be making their 21st consecutive appearance in an NCAA Regional. Fullerton compiled a 35-19 regular season record and won the conference title by one game over Cal Poly with a 17-7 league mark. Titan Rick Vanderhook wins his first conference championship in his first season as Cal State Fullerton head coach.
Banner Year For Cal Poly
Cal Poly, winner of 14 of its last 17 games, finished second in the Big West standings for the second time in its 16 years as a member of the Big West with a 16-8 mark. The Mustangs also tallied the most overall wins in the conference with 36. Cal Poly finished the year with a seven-game win streak, a 9-1 mark in its last 10 games and placed first in the Big West in hitting (.297) and fielding (.978) along with the most wins of any team in the conference (36).
18 Players Selected In MLB Draft
On the final day of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Big West Conference witnessed 12 players selected, bringing the league's total of draftees to 18.
Overall, UC Santa Barbara, led by the 10th-round pick of Brett Vertigan, paced the conference with five selections. The Gauchos were followed by Cal Poly and Long Beach State, who each had three players showcased. UC Davis and UC Irvine tallied two picks apiece and Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside saw one athlete selected.
Cal Poly's Mitch Haniger was the Big West's lone selection on day one, going in the Compensation A Round as the as 38th overall pick by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gillespie Grabs Win No. 200
The UC Irvine Anteaters ended the regular season with a bang. Their 10-1 win in game three of the UC Davis series handed head coach Mike Gillespie his 200th win at UC Irvine. With the win, Gillespie improved to 200-97 in his fifth season at the helm. He has led the Anteaters to at least 30 wins in all five of his seasons. Gillespie's distinguished career as a Division I coach features a combined 963 victories in 24 seasons at both USC and UCI.
Matadors Record Most Conference Wins Since 2002
Cal State Northridge concluded the 2012 season with a 10-14 Big West mark. The 10 wins represent the most in conference play for a CSUN squad since 2002, when that team went 19-5 en route to a Big West championship. That also marked the last year the Matadors finished above .500 in conference play.
Vertigan Captures Batting Title
UC Santa Barbara outfielder Brett Vertigan concluded the 2012 season with a Big West leading .381 batting average. The Orange County, Calif., native becomes the first Big West Conference batting champion from UCSB since Bill Geivett in 1985. Vertigan dominated the league this season as second place Mike Miller (Cal Poly) was nearly 30 points back at .354.
By An Inch....Again
Long Beach State concluded the 2012 season with an overall mark of 28-27 but the 49ers were so close to posting their first 30-win season since 2008. Over fifty percent of Long Beach State's contests resulted in a one-run decision. Of the conference-high 28 close contests, the 49ers tallied a 14-14 mark. In 2011, LBSU also paced the league with 17 tightly-contested battles. The 49ers won 13 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.
Most Multi-Hit Games
Mike Miller, Cal Poly - 27
Jimmy Allen, Cal Poly - 27
Brett Vertigan, UC Santa Barbara - 27
Vince Gonzalez, UC Riverside - 26
Paul Politi, UC Davis - 25
Brandon Trinkwon, UC Santa Barbara - 24
D.J. Crumlich, UC Irvine - 23
Mitch Haniger, Cal Poly - 22
Carlos Lopez, Cal State Fullerton - 22
Most Multi-RBI Games
Mitch Haniger, Cal Poly - 18
Brennan Metzger, Long Beach State - 12
Jimmy Allen, Cal Poly - 10
David Armendariz, Cal Poly - 10
Mike Miller, Cal Poly - 10
Longest Hitting Streaks
Brett Vertigan, UC Santa Barbara - 23
Vince Gonzalez, UC Riverside - 19
Mike Miller, Cal Poly - 14
Brennan Metzger, Long Beach State - 14
Jordan Fox, UC Irvine - 13
Paul Politi, UC Davis - 13