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Top Two Teams Battle At Blair Field This Weekend

5/2/2017

Big West Baseball Release - Week 12

• Long Beach State swept UC Davis to maintain the top spot in the Big West Conference standings with a 13-2 record.  Defending champion Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly are knotted in second with an 8-4 mark.  CSUN is fourth at 8-7 and is followed by Hawai’i (6-6), UC Santa Barbara (5-7) and UC Davis (5-10).  UC Riverside is eighth with a 4-11 record and UC Irvine rounds out the nine-team field with a 3-9 mark.

• All eyes are on Blair Field this weekend as league-leading No. 8 Long Beach State (13-2) hosts Cal Poly, who is currently tied for second with defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton with an 8-4 mark.  The Mustangs are coming off a 1-4 week against non-conference opponents San Diego State and UCLA.  The Dirtbags have won six of their last seven contests and haven’t lost a weekend series since March 10-12 when they were swept by Arizona State.

• Mark Contreras blasted three triples in UC Riverside’s 7-4 win over San Diego State on April 25.  His three triples not only tied the program record originally set by Brian McConkey on April 3, 2010 vs. Cal Poly, but also tied the NCAA record for triples in a game.  Contreras currently ranks fourth in the country with six triples this season.

• No. 11 Long Beach State continues to be tied for first in the nation with eight shutouts on the season.  In 2016, the Dirtbags pitching staff only recorded five shutouts.

Along with their impressive shutout count, the Dirtbags are sporting a 3.10 earned run average to rank 11th in the country.  They are led by senior Dave Smith, who has allowed just nine earned runs in 49.0 innings for a league-leading 1.65 ERA.

• The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced the 2017 Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List last week and Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera was named to the 40-person list.  

• The Big West Conference has three of the nation’s top 5 teams for walks allowed per nine innings.  Cal State Fullerton is first at 2.26 with Hawai’i sitting in third place with a 2.30 mark. By the slimmest of margins, Long Beach State is in fourth as it allows just 2.31 walks per nine innings.

Individually, a Long Beach State duo of Dave Smith (.92) and Darren McCaughan (1.03) sit seventh and 14th.  Hawai’i’s Brendan Hornung ranks 19th with a 1.10 mark.

• A trio of teams are showcasing Top 25 defenses as Long Beach State ranks 22nd in the country at .979.  The Dirtbags are followed by Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State tied for 23rd with a .978 mark.

• USA Baseball announced the coaching staff for the 2017 Collegiate National Team and Dave Snow, Troy Buckley (Long Beach State), Rick Vanderhook (Cal State Fullerton) and Larry Lee (Cal Poly) join manager John Savage (UCLA).

• Cal State Fullerton is set to host UC Santa Barbara in nationally televised ESPNU game on Friday, May 12. The Titans are also slated to host a pair of contests on FOX Prime Ticket against UC Santa Barbara (May 13) and Long Beach State (May 27).

A selection of Big West baseball games will also be carried on ESPN3 this season with all games originating from Southern California member institutions Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside.