UCSB Hosts UCI As Teams Jockey For Position Atop The Standings
Big West Baseball Release - Week 14
• Cal State Fullerton came out on top of the battle between two of the top teams in the conference, downing the Gauchos, 2-1, to sit first in the Big West with a 13-5 mark. UC Irvine also went 2-1 in its series with Cal Poly to join the Titans at the top with a 13-5 mark. The Gauchos are one game back in third place and host the Anteaters this weekend as the teams jockey for position in the league standings.
While central coast plays host to the Anteaters-Gauchos showdown, the Titans head to the islands to battle Hawai’i, who is coming off a sweep of UC Riverside that moved the Rainbow Warriors to fourth with a 12-9 mark.
Cal Poly sits fifth at 8-20 and is followed by UC Davis (7-11), CSUN (7-14) and UC Riverside (2-16).
• 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
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. That same weekend, ESPN3 is slated to air the UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside series.
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 Suffers Series Loss: After posting back-to-back conference series wins, Cal Poly stumbled last week against UC Irvine, dropping to 10-8 in Big West play. This week the Mustangs close out the home portion of their schedule hosting UC Riverside in a weekend series.
Mustang Leaders: Mark Mathias is the catalyst for the Cal Poly offense as it paces the team in several categories, including batting average (.362), runs (39) and hits (63). Casey Bloomquist has taken charge on the mound, producing a 2.88 ERA in 81.1 innings of work en route to a 6-2 mark.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
View From The Top: Cal State Fullerton took care of business against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara last week, downing the Gauchos 2-1, to sit in first place with UC Irvine at 13-5.
April Showers Brings May Victories: The Titans seem to have found their rhythm in recent weeks, winning seven of the last eight and outscoring their opponents 52-16 over that span. Cal State Fullerton has claimed six straight conference series and has continued to move up in the Top 25 polls (21st) and the RPI (30th). The Titans are also 13-7 against the Top 25 this season.
Matadors Conclude Road Contests Against Nonconference Foe: This week CSUN takes a break from conference play as it prepares for its final road trip of the season that takes them to Pepperdine Tuesday and Washington for a weekend series.
Dynamic Duo: Conner O’Neil (2.14) and Rayne Raven (2.29) continue to pace the CSUN pitching staff as they rank seventh and 10th in the league in ERA. Their impressive performances on the mound have resulted in the Matadors owning the league’s second-best team ERA of 2.72.
LONG BEACH STATE
Conference Struggles Continue: After a brief break from Big West play, Long Beach State is back in action this week as it entertains UC Davis at Blair Field for its final home series of the 2015 season. The Dirtbags are 18-9 when playing in front of their hometown fans.
Bats Come Alive: Up until last week LBSU had only notched seven home runs all season. Fast forward a week and the Dirtbags now rank fifth in the conference with 17 homers after tallying 10 long bombs last week against UNLV and Indiana. Brock Lundquist and Eric Hutting blasted three apiece.
98, 99, 100: The Aggies reached the century mark in stolen bases for the first time in DI school history and currently rank seventh in the country with 100 steals. This is an impressive feat considering one would have to combine the stolen base totals from the previous three seasons just to reach 100 (105). The last time a Big West team totaled over 100 stolen bases was back in 2010 when the Titans recorded 112.
Lynch Set Record: Nick Lynch, who recorded three doubles last week, upped his total to 29 to pace the country. His mark ties the Big West single-season record while his career total of 54 is a new school record.
Feeling The Pressure: The top of the standings is getting a little crowded as UC Irvine, who has maintained the top spot in the standings for most of the year is now joined by CSF with UCSB just one game back. And to make things more interesting, the ‘Eaters, who close out conference play on the road, face the Gauchos this week in a crucial series with the winner holding a huge advantage.
Diaper Dandy: Freshman Keston Hiura continues to be a catalyst for the UCI offense as he leads the team and ranks seventh in the league with a .344 batting average. His 50 RBI paces the Big West.
Up Next: Riding an eight-game skid, the Highlanders gear up for their final road trip of the season as they head to the central coast to battle Cal Poly. The Highlanders’ last victory was a 5-3 win at CSUN on April 25.
Highlander Leaders: Drake Zarate continues to lead the team with a .326 batting average, while Vince Fernandez has tallied team-bests in hits (55), doubles (14) and RBI (28). On the mound, Joie Dunyon is sporting a 4.67 ERA in 52.0 innings of work.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Do Or Die: In the midst of its toughest stretch of the 2015 schedule, UC Santa Barbara sits one game back in second place with a 12-6 mark. Following a 2-1 series loss at CSF, the Gauchos are in a must-win situation this week if they want to remain alive in the hunt for the title as they host nationally-ranked UC Irvine this weekend, who is tied for first with the Titans.
Triple Threat: UC Santa Barbara currently paces the Big West Conference in hitting (.291 BA), pitching, (2.23 ERA) and fielding (.976). The Gauchos’ impressive ERA places them third in the country.
Clean Sweep: For the second straight week Hawai’i swept its weekend series, this time downing UC Riverside by scores of 6-3, 6-2 and 9-2. The Rainbow Warriors, who moved up to the fourth spot in the standings, play its final home series of the year when they host Cal State Fullerton, who is currently tied for first in the Big West.
Hometown Love: Hawai’i, who is 13-14 at home this season, wraps up its home schedule this weekend. UH averages 3,219 fans per game to rank 17th in the country.