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Big West Play Continues


Big West Baseball Release - Week 8


• Hawai’i earned a 2-1 series win over UC Irvine to open Big West play.  What was significant about this accomplishment was the fact that the Rainbow Warriors earned the program’s first-ever victories, in 13 tries, at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. CSUN, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara also posted 2-1 records to kick off conference play to tie for first in the standings.

• This week two of the four teams knotted in first square off as UC Riverside hosts CSUN in a weekend series.  Hawai’i (2-1) visits UC Davis (1-2) and Cal Poly (1-2) heads to Goodwin Field to tackle Cal State Fullerton (1-2).  Long Beach State opens conference play this week hosting UC Irvine.  The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara, who went 2-1 against Cal State Fullerton last week, take a break from conference action to entertain UTRGV.

• Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman tossed the fifth no-hitter in program history en route to a 3-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Conference opener. He struck out seven and walked just one. The no-hitter marked CSF’s first since Justin Garza also recorded one on May 24, 2014. The no-no was just the Titans’ first no-hitter on the road, as the previous four came at home. Fullerton’s no-no is the 17th in DI baseball so far this year, which already breaks the all-time record for no-hitters in a single season set in 2013.

The last no-hitter in the Big West Conference was back in March 1, 2015, when LBSU’s Chris Mathewson and Darren McCaughan combined for the impressive feat.

• In Long Beach State’s 24-10 win over Fresno State last Thursday, Jacob Hughey tied Long Beach State’s single-game hits record, joining Jaron Madison (Apr. 17, 1998) as the only Dirtbags to have six hits in a single game.  As a team, the Dirtbags reached the 25-hit mark as a team for the first time since 2001.

Versus the Nation: CSUN is sitting fifth in home runs with 44 and seventh in slugging percentage (.502)....LBSU ranks second in the nation with 29 sacrifice bunts, while Hawai’i owns the eight spot with 27...UC Davis’ Ryan Anderson holds the 24th slot in batting average (.407)...UC Irvine’s Andre Pallante holds the 22nd spot with an impressive 1.36 ERA...CSUN’s Albee Weiss is third with 13 home runs...LBSU’s Clayton Andrews and UH’s Jonathan Weeks are knotted in fifth with nine sacrifice bunts...Andrews continues to be the toughest in the nation to strikeout.

• UC Irvine head baseball coach Mike Gillespie announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 season and will be replaced by associate head coach Ben Orloff, UCI athletic director Mike Izzi announced.  Gillespie has amassed 361 wins since joining UCI in 2008.  Under Gillespie’s guidance, UC Irvine made five trips to the NCAA postseason, including a College World Series (2014), the year he was named NCBWA Coach of the Year. 

• The top three teams in the Big West Baseball Preseason Coaches poll will be featured on ESPNU this season.  Cal Poly, hosting an ESPNU regular season game for the first time since May 9, 2010, welcomes Long Beach State to Baggett Stadium on Friday, April 20.  The Dirtbags will also host rival Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, May 24.  It’s a rematch of the 2017 best-of-three NCAA Super Regional at Blair Field, which the Titans won to advance to their 18th College World Series. Twelve conference baseball contests are also scheduled to appear on ESPN3.