Light Week As Conference Play Approaches
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13 BB Release-Week 6
Big West At A Glance
• As the teams close out the nonconference portion of their schedules, a few schools are checking out the competition with a few nonconference scoring contests again other Big West schools. Cal State Fullerton visits Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly gear up for a central coast showdown. Friday and Sunday the contests take place at Baggett Stadium while Saturday’s matinee is played at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Hawai’i welcomes Wichita State to Les Murakami Stadium (3/20-3/24) and Cal State Northridge entertains Utah Valley for a four-game weekend series. UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Pacific are idle this week due to finals.
• The Big West Conference has been known for its impressive pitching for many years and this year is no different. Three schools are posting an earned run average of 2.70 or lower, ranking them among the best in the nation. The Titans hold a slim advantage over UC Irvine to lead the league with a 2.65 ERA. The Anteaters are second at 2.66 and are followed by Cal Poly with a 2.70 mark. Individually, CSF’s Justin Garza owns a conference-best 0.99 ERA and teammate Thomas Eshelman sits third at 1.29. Cal Poly duo, Matt Imhof and Reed Reilly, sit second and fourth with ERAs of 1.29 and 1.35.
• The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara (11-8) snapped a three-game skid last week with a 3-1 record, which included a 7-2 victory over No. 17 Notre Dame to start the week. They also claimed the series over Sacramento State, winning the first two contests before falling in the Sunday matinee. In game one versus the Hornets, Gaucho hurler Austin Pettibone threw just 79 pitches and scattered just four hits in his first career shutout. It was the first shutout by a Gauchos pitcher since May 20, 2011, when Greg Davis gave up just four hits in an 11-0 win over UC Davis.
• For the second time this season, No. 8 Cal State Fullerton is hosting Nebraska for a two-game stint. The Cornhuskers visit Goodwin Field on March 19 & 20 with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m. both nights. Opening weekend, the Titans registered a 2-0 mark against the Cornhuskers, with scores of 10-5 and 9-0, in a Saturday doubleheader. Fullerton is riding a five-game win streak.
• Led by Taylor Dominique and Ronnie Shaeffer, UC Irvine paces the Big West Conference with a .304 batting average. Individually, Dominique and Shaeffer are tied for first in RBI with 19 and sit one-two in multi-hit games with 11 and 10, respectively.
• Sophomore outfielder Nick Torres enters the week riding a conference-best 13-game hitting streak. He currently ranks third in the league with a .556 slugging percentage and sixth in hits (26).
• Big West.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West’s 10 member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including 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 Championships. Head to ‘thisweek’ for weekly event schedules.