No. 3 Cal Poly Welcomes No. 19 Cal State Fullerton To Central Coast
Big West Baseball Release - Week 10
• The central coast continues to be the place to be when it comes to Big West baseball as it hosts the matchup of the week for the third straight weekend. This week No. 3 Cal Poly entertains No. 19 Cal State Fullerton at Baggett Stadium. The Mustangs, who are 20-2 at home this season, enter the showdown tied for first in the league with an 8-1 mark while the Titans are knotted in third with a 3-3 record. Cal State Fullerton is coming off a disappointing series loss to nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara, where the Titans' two losses were by one run each.
Also on tap this week is a three game series between UC Davis and UC Riverside with two of the contests airing live on ESPN3 from the Riverside Sports Complex. Hawai’i visits Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State entertains UC Santa Barbara.
No. 21 UC Irvine is slated to host San Diego State in a nonconference three-game series. All series run Thursday-Saturday this week due to the Easter holiday.
• The Big West Conference continues to dominate the other west coast conferences (Mountain West, Pac 12, WAC and West Coast), posting an overall record of 83-58 (.589) among its western opponents. The league owns a winning percentage against each individual conference.
• USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list last week and five Big West Conference student-athletes made the elite list. Cal State Fullerton landed two representatives on the list with sophomore pitcher Thomas Eshelman and junior outfielder J.D. Davis. Representing Cal Poly was junior southpaw Matt Imhof and senior pitcher Andrew Morales showcased UC Irvine’s talent. Senior outfielder Joey Epperson from UC Santa Barbara rounded out the quintet.
• UC Irvine’s Andrew Morales and UC Davis’ Steven Patterson are two of 30 baseball student-athletes to be named as a candidate for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award®.
Current ‘Eaters pitching coach, Daniel Bibona, was the first Anteater to win the award in 2010. Morales became the only pitcher in UCI history to go undefeated on the mound, posting a 10-0 record last year.
An All-Big West Conference Second Team selection in his first season at the Division I level in 2013, Patterson hit .324 with 31 runs scored, 12 doubles, and 33 RBIs, ranking among the top 10 in the league in average, assists, and turned double plays, while standing as the seventh-toughest batter to strikeout in the nation.
• 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.
• A total of 19 Big West baseball games will be carried on ESPN3. All games will originate from Southern California member institutions Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside. Every Big West team will make an appearance on the baseball schedule
• 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. and Sunday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
• 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.
Streaking ‘Stangs: Cal Poly (30-5) has won 12 of the last 13 contests, with its only loss during that span coming against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. The Mustangs’ success this season has allowed them to reach 30 wins in the fewest number of games played all-time.
In Full Bloom: Sophomore pitcher Casey Bloomquist has built quite an impressive resume this year. He currently ranks second in the league with a 1 .58 ERA and captured a conference-best eighth victory last week.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
CSF Struggles At Santa Barbara: Cal State Fullerton won the first game against UCSB in extra innings but dropped the next two tightly-contested games by one run each, suffering their first road series loss at Santa Barbara since 1985. The Titans return to the central coast this weekend as they visit No. 3 Cal Poly in hopes of snapping their skid.
Close But No Cigar: Following the two one-run decision losses to UCSB, the Titans are now 7-7 in one-run games this season.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Heading Home In Hopes Of A Win: Cal State Northridge looks to snap a four-game skid this week when it returns to Matador Field to host Pepperdine Tuesday. The Matadors follow that up hosting Hawai’i in a three-game series starting Thursday. Cal State Northridge is 9-9 at home this season.
Blaser Paces The Matadors: Nick Blaser paces the Matadors and is currently tied for sixth in the Big West with a .356 batting average. The junior from Roseville, Calif., is also tied for first on the team with 19 RBI.
LONG BEACH STATE
LBSU Battles No. 17 UCSB: Long Beach State faces its second ranked opponent in three weeks as the Dirtbags entertain 17th-ranked UC Santa Barbara at Blair Field Thursday-Sunday. The Dirtbags are 5-6 against ranked opponents this season.
Patron Reaches Milestone, Climbs LBSU Record: In Long Beach State’s 2-0 victory over UC Davis Saturday afternoon, Ino Patron recorded his 200th career hit to become the 11th Dirtbag to hit that career mark while tying Brad Davis for 10th all-time.
UC Davis Finds Success: Last week UC Davis collected its first series win in almost a month, downing LBSU, 2-1. Ahead for the Aggies is a trip to UC Riverside for a series starting Thursday night. Contests on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Young’s Power: Adam Young continues to pace the team with the conference’s third-best batting average of .376. He also owns the team’s third-best total in both hits (35) and RBI (12).
Untouchable: Friday-night starter Andrew Morales tossed 31.2 scoreless innings before yielding his first run late in the contest against Cal State Northridge last week. Morales still managed to secure his seventh win of the season and owns an impressive .67 ERA, ranking him third in the nation.
Moore Eyeing Big West Record: If Morales stumbles on the mound, he has an excellent backup in closer Sam Moore, who’s tallied a nation-best 15 saves so far this season, which also ties him for eighth in the Big West annals. Long Beach State’s Gabe Gonzalez (1995) owns the top spot with 20.
UCR Looks To Halt Skid: After picking up the series win over CSUN (4/5), UCR has dropped five straight contests. The Highlanders look to turn things around this week when they host San Diego State Tuesday and UC Davis in a three-game series with Friday and Saturday’s contests airing on ESPN3. UC Riverside is 10-7 at the Riverside Sports Complex this season.
Conference Struggles: UCR ranks third in the league with a .282 batting average, but in conference-only contests the Highlanders are ninth with a .213 clip.
UC SANTA BARBARA
UCSB Ends Losing Streak Against CSF: The Gauchos claimed their first conference series victory of the season last week against Cal State Fullerton, 2-1. It marked their first series win against the Titans since 2007 and their first home series win against CSF since 1985.
The Nation’s Leader: Joey Epperson continues to dominate at the plate, producing a nation-best .441 batting average. His conference-leading .521 on-base percentage ranks him fifth in country. The senior outfielder also paces the Big West in runs scored (31) and hits (52).
Hawai’i Heads To The Mainland: The Rainbow Warriors head to the mainland this week as they kick off a seven-game road series beginning with Cal State Northridge. Hawai’i is currently 3-4 on the road this season after playing all seven contests against ranked opponents (No. 10 Texas and No. 10 UC Santa Barbara).
Captain Cooper: Matt Cooper continues to lead the charge from the mound with a stellar 1.71 ERA in 63.1 innings of work. While ranking fourth in the league in ERA, he also finds himself sitting third in both innings pitched and strikeouts (56).