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Big West Baseball Release - Week 12

• UC Irvine suffered its first Big West series loss of the season last week, falling to Cal State Fullerton, 2-1, but still remains the league leader with an 11-4 record.  Cal State Fullerton and No. 7 UC Santa Barbara are tied for second with an 8-4 record with defending conference champion Cal Poly holding the fourth slot at 7-5.

Long Beach State owns an 8-7 record for the fifth spot and UC Davis is sixth at 5-7.  Hawai’i ranks seventh with a 6-9 record while CSUN collected its first league series victory last week to improve to 5-10.  UC Riverside rounds out the nine-team field with a 2-10 record.

• National Award Watch Lists

Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year

Peter Van Gansen, Cal Poly
Garrett Hampson, Long Beach State
Mikey Duarte, UC Irvine

Golden Spikes Award
Thomas Eshelman, Cal State Fullerton
Dillon Tate, UC Santa Barbara

Pitcher of the Year
Tyler Peitzmeier, Cal State Fullerton
Dillon Tate, UC Santa Barbara

Stopper of the Year
Tyler Peitzmeier, Cal State Fullerton

• Freshmen Chris Mathewson (7.0 IP, 8K, 1BB) and Darren McCaughan (2.0 IP, 3K) made Long Beach State history as they combined for the first no-hitter in program history on March 1 with a 4-0 win over Wichita State.  The Duos’ gem became the 17th no-hitter in Big West history and the first since May 24, 2015, when Cal State Fullerton’s Justin Garza threw a no-no against CSUN.

• A total of 17 Big West baseball contests will be aired across ESPN3 and ESPNU platforms this spring.  All games will originate from Southern California member institutions Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside, and every Big West school will make an appearance on the schedule.  

In addition, ESPNU will bolster the Big West’s overall baseball television coverage as two games will be highlighted on that network with back-to-back games between baseball rivals Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton will also air May 21-22.
Every game on ESPN’s platforms will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.  Live streams of all the Watch ESPN Networks are available at no additional cost to fans who receive ESPN as part of their TV subscription through participating TV providers.

Prime Ticket, the official regional telecast home of Big West athletics, is also slated to air a pair of Big West baseball games.  The Cal Poly at UC Irvine game at Anteater Ballpark on Saturday, May 9 and the Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, May 23 from Goodwin Field will air at 7:00 p.m. on their respective dates.

Cal Poly Back On Track:
Having won three of the last four contests, Cal Poly picked up its second Big West series win last week against LBSU (2-1).  Looking to keep the momentum going, the Mustangs hit the road for a midweek showdown against CSU Bakersfield before playing a weekend series at CSUN.

Zehner’s Extra-Inning Heroics:
Senior Zach Zehner belted his sixth home run of the season  in the 12th inning of Saturday’s contest against Long Beach State, handing the Mustangs the 4-3 victory.  Zehner is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Big West for home runs.


Upward Momentum:
Cal State Fullerton took down league-leading No. 19 UC Irvine, 2-1, last weekend to improve to 8-4 in the Big West  where it is currently tied for second.  Fullerton has not dropped a three-game set to UC Irvine since 2009 at Goodwin Field. The pair of wins improves the Titans’ record to 10-6 against Top 25 teams.

And...You’re Out:
The Titans’ pitching staff has tallied a conference-best 346 strikeouts.  Leading the squad is junior Thomas Eshelman, who sits second with 79 strikeouts.

Conference Struggles Continue:
Winning four of its last five contests, CSUN earned its first Big West series victory last week, downing UC Riverside, 2-1, to improve to 5-10 in league play.

On The Road Again:
This week marks the start of a 12-game road trip for the Matadors that spans from San Diego to Washington.  They kick things off Tuesday with a nonconference showdown against San Diego State and then head to the central coast to battle Cal Poly, who is also on an upswing.  CSUN is 8-8 away from Matador Field this season.


Power On Mound:
Chris Mathewson paces the Big West and ranks 12th in the country with an impressive 1.42 earned run average.  He spearheads a pitching staff that sits third in the Big West and 16th in the nation with a 2.85 mark. The Dirtbags are allowing just 7.03 hits per nine innings, the third-best mark in the country.

Conference Struggles: Long Beach State has dropped two of its last three conference series, falling to both UC Irvine and Cal Poly, 2-1.  The team looks to turn things around this week when it returns to Blair Field to host Hawai’i.  LBSU is 17-6 in front of its hometown fans.


Back In Action: 
Following a four-game, nonconference win streak last week, the UC Davis Aggies return to conference play this weekend when they visit No. 7 UC Santa Barbara.    UC Davis, who owns a 5-7 league record, is 1-2 against Top 25 opponents this season.

Rock Solid: 
Closer Zach Stone earned a win and two saves last week to bump his saves total to nine, matching his total from 2014.  He currently ranks second in the Big West Conference in saves.

‘Eaters Suffer Big West Loss:
After four consecutive Big West series wins, including two sweeps, UC Irvine suffered its first series loss to the hands of Cal State Fullerton, 2-1. The Anteaters still remain atop the league standings with an 11-4 mark.
Diaper Dandy Indeed:
Freshman Keston Hiura continues to spearhead the UC Irvine offense.  He is currently tied for seventh in the Big West with a .340 batting average, while leading the league  with 37 RBI.


Another ‘W’:
For the second straight week UC Riverside picked up a conference win and just barely missed out on its first Big West series win, dropping the other two contests by one run each.  The Highlanders entertain Cal State Fullerton this weekend with the first two contests airing on ESPN3.

Highlander Leaders: Drake Zarate currently paces the team with a .326 batting average, while Vince Fernandez has tallied team-bests in hits (49) and doubles (11) and RBI (26).

The Big 3-0:
The Gauchos went 3-1 last week to improve to 31-10, marking the third straight year the Gauchos have eclipsed the 30-win threshold.  They are also the first Big West team to reach 30 wins, with CSUN the next closest at 26 victories.

A View From The Top:  UC Santa Barbara enters the week with the nation’s best ERA  at 2.12 after surrendering just one unearned run in last weekend’s series at Hawai’i.  Much of UCSB’s success on the mound can be attributed to their four-man rotation, as the Gauchos are the only team nationwide that boasts four starters with winning records and ERAs below 2.50.

Hawai’i Picks Up Big Win:
Hawai’i shutout No. 7 UC Santa Barbara Saturday evening in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel, marking the highest-ranked opponent UH has defeated since 2013.  Brashears lowered his ERA to 1.97, which is the fourth-best in the Big West.

Up Next: The Rainbow Warriors head to the mainland for a pair of Big West Conference series that begins this weekend at Long Beach State.  Both schools enter the showdown having dropped their last series, 2-1.