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Big West Baseball Release - Week 4


• The Big West Conference is represented in the top five of the national statistics in a multitude of categories.

Batting Average: 3rd UC Santa Barbara, 0.341
Slugging Percentage: 4th UC Santa Barbara, 0.487
Stolen Bases Per Game: 5th UC Santa Barbara, 2.63
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio: 2nd Cal State Fullerton, 6.40
On Base Percentage: 5th UC Santa Barbara, 0.442
Earned Run Average: 3rd UC Irvine, 1.36
Fielding Percentage: 3rd - Cal State Northridge, 0.990

Batting Average: T6th Joey Epperson, UCSB - .500
Doubles Per Game: T5th Robby Nesovic, UCSB - 0.75
Home Runs Per Game: 2nd Nick Vilter, UCR - 0.55
Home Runs: T2nd Nick Vilter, UCR - 6
Slugging Percentage: 1st Nick Vilter, UCR - 1.054
Runs Per Game: 3rd Joey Epperson, UCSB - 1.63
Sacrific Bunts: T3rd Brett Balkan, CSUN - 5
Sac Bunts Per Game: T2nd A.J. Kennedy, 0.50
Saves: T1st Sam Moore, UCI - 5
ERA: T1st Andrew Morales, UCI - 0.00; Matt Cooper, UCI - 0.00
Strikeout-To-Walk Ratio: T3rd Thomas Eshelman, CSF 20.00
Toughest To Strikeout: T1st Tyler Kuresa, UCSB - 0.00
Victories: T4th Evan Brock, UCI - 1.00
Walks Allowed Per Nine Innings: Evan Manarino, UCI - 0.00

• The Big West Conference is currently 11-8 against the Top 25 this season.  Leading the way are the Cal Poly Mustangs, who have registered five victories against the nation’s best - three against No. 18 Kansas State and two against No. 10 UCLA.

• The Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine baseball rivalry will be featured this spring on Prime Ticket.  The Titans and Anteaters play the final two games of their Big West baseball series from Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark on Saturday, May 17 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m.

• Cal State Fullerton and Hawai‘i will play two games on ESPNU in late April, as ESPN announced its college baseball broadcast schedule last week. ESPNU will broadcast back-to-back contests from Goodwin Field on Saturday, April 26 at 5:00 p.m. (PDT) and Sunday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. (PDT).

• The Cal State Northridge Matadors announced the hiring of Head Coach Greg Moore over the summer.  Moore, recently named by Baseball America as one of the Top 10 Assistant Coaches in college baseball, spent the past three seasons as the associate head coach at the University of San Francisco, where he oversaw pitching, admissions, community service and summer placement.  Moore becomes the ninth head coach in Matador history as the program enters its 55th year of competition in 2013-14.  While at USF, Moore coached three first-round draft picks and eight players taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. Of the eight players, only one had been previously drafted out of high school and three were walk-ons.

Swing And A Miss: In 19.0 innings of work, junior Matt Imhof has struck out a league-high 26 batters and sports a 1.89 ERA.

Brief Trip Home, Weekend Road Series: Cal Poly interrupts a 10-game road trip with a mid-week home contest versus Santa Clara.  The two teams met earlier this season with the Mustangs shutting down the Broncos, 8-0.  Following Tuesday’s contest against the Broncos, the Mustangs visit Seattle for a weekend series.  Cal Poly is 5-2 on the road this season.

Fullerton Shines In Eugene:
After a shaky 2-3 start to the season, Cal State Fullerton seems to have things figured out after stringing together five straight victories, which includes a series sweep at No. 3 Oregon over the weekend. 

A View From The Mound: The Titans own the league’s second-best earned run average of 2.05.  They are lead by Grahamm Wiest’s 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched.  Fellow Titan Justin Garza sits second with 21, while Wiest and teammate Thomas Eshelman are tied for third in the Conference with 20 strikeouts.


Matadors Collect Series Win: Cal State Northridge captured its second series win last week with a 2-1 showing against Washington State.  Up next is a five-game road swing that features CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and a weekend series at Sam Houston State.

Leading The Way: Pitcher Brycen Rutherford paces the Matadors and sits sixth in the Big West with a 1.31 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched.  Offensively, Chester Park is hitting .297 and is tied for first on the team with 11 hits.

Rohrbach Pitches Complete Game: 
Long Beach State’s series against Wichita State was cut short due to snow but the Dirtbags did manage to split the two games they squeezed in.  After dropping the first contest by the slimmest of margins, 5-4, Andrew Rohrbach threw a complete game, nine-strikeout shutout to guide LBSU to a 7-0 victory, splitting the doubleheader.

LBSU Knocks Off USC:
The Dirtbags, winning four of its last six contests, opened the week handing USC its first loss of the season with an impressive 2-1 pitcher’s duel.

Aggies Wrap Up Road Trip In Bay Area: 
UC Davis wraps up an 11-game homestand with a short trip to the Jack Gifford Tournament on Friday where the Aggies will face host Santa Clara and Pacific.  The Aggies,who enter the week on a three-game losing streak, follow that up with single contests at San Jose State on Saturday and Sunday.

Top Aggie: Junior Kevin Barker, starting all 11 games, owns a team-best .357 batting average.

‘Eaters Riding A Hot Streak: After a 2-0 start, UC Irvine has won eight of its last nine contests for an 8-3 mark.  This week the Anteaters return home to host USC in a mid-week contest and Gonzaga for a weekend series.

Stunning Performances From The Mound: Over the first three weeks of the season the Anteaters pitching staff has produced a microscopic ERA of 1.36 to pace the Big West.  Leading the charge is Andrew Morales, who owns a perfect 0.00 ERA in 22.0 innings pitched. Closer Sam Moore has posted a conference-high five saves.


Back In The Win Column: UC Riverside snapped a four-game skid with a series sweep at CSU Bakersfield last weekend to improve to 6-4.

Highlanders Showcase Power At The Plate:
UCR is one of two Big West schools hitting over .300.  The Highlanders, led by Nick Vilter’s .459 clip, own the second-best average of .318. Vilter currently paces the league with an explosive 1.054 slugging percentage while notching six home runs.  Impressive, seeing how in each of the past three seasons, the Highlanders’ home run leader has finished his campaign with just four homers.

UCSB On A Roll:
The Gauchos extended their season-long win streak to five after upsetting defending national champion and 13th-ranked  UCLA and sweeping Princeton last week thanks to the hot bats, which drove in 44 total runs.

Gauchos Best Start In Almost 20 Years:
  With a 7-1 record, UC Santa Barbara is off to its best start since the 1996 team posted a 7-1 mark in its first eight contests.  This week the Gauchos battle No. 10 Mississippi State and Arizona.

UH Maintains Even Record:
Hawai’i, the only Big West team that didn’t seem to be affected by bad weather, went 2-2 against Pepperdine last week to stand at 6-6.

Hawai’i Prepares For First Road Contest:
Following a 12-game, season-opening homestand, Hawai’i  packs its bags for a trip to the Lone Star State to battle 10th-ranked Texas.  The Rainbow Warriors and Longhorns will play single games on Friday and Sunday with a Saturday doubleheader sandwiched in the middle.