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Big West Confernece Baseball Release - Week 14


• Following a 2-1 series win over UC Riverside last week, preseason favorite Cal State Fullerton sits atop the standings with a 14-4 conference mark.  The Titans have a tough docket ahead for this week as they are slated to host second place CSUN (12-9) in their final home series of the year.  The first two games of the series, which is an unusual Thursday, Saturday, Sunday series, are set to broadcast live on ESPN3. The Titans control their own destiny and can clinch their 22nd Big West Conference title with a sweep over CSUN or a series win combined with a little help from a few other teams.

UC Irvine, currently in third place with a 10-8 record, hosts UC Riverside (6-12) in a weekend series.  There is a three-way tie for fourth, at 9-9, between Hawai’i, Long Beach State and Cal Poly.  The Rainbow Wahine host the Dirtbags, while the Mustangs battle UC Santa Barbara in the Blue-Green Rivalry. UC Davis takes a break from conference play with  a visit to New Mexico.

Versus the Nation: Cal Poly has turned 46 double plays to rank 25th...CSUN is sitting 17th in home runs with 61...Long Beach State paces the country in sacrifice bunts with 58, while Cal State Fullerton (47) is 9th and Hawai’i (45) is 12th...UC Irvine’s 31 sacrifice flies places the ‘Eaters in the 9th slot...The Titans’ five shutouts ranks 23rd in the nation, while their strikeout-to-walk-ratio of 3.02 is good enough for 7th...UCI’s Andre Pallante holds the 7th spot in earned run average with an impressive 1.32 mark...CSUN’s Joey Cooper has been hit by a pitch 19 times this year to rank 15th...CSUN’s Albee Weiss is 12th with 16 home runs...UH’s Jonathan Weeks paces the nation with 20 sacrifice bunts and CSF’s Mitchell Berryhill is 12th with 12...UCI’s Nick Anderson has belted 8 sacrifice flies to grab the 6th slot...Rainbow Warrior Dylan Thomas ranks 4th with 13 saves and Dirtbag Chris Rivera sits 21st with 11 saves...LBSU’s Clayton Andrews continues to be the toughest player in the nation to strike out....Six triples by CSUN’s Justin Toemer, places him 12th...Aggie Jared Sasaki allows just 1.24 walks per nine innings to own the 16th spot.

• Midseason Watch Lists
Pitcher of the Year Award
UC Irvine’s Andre Pallante
UC Riverside’s Cole Percival

John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year

UC Irvine’s Nick Anderson
Long Beach State’s Clayton Andrews

Stopper of the Year
Long Beach State’s Chris Rivera

• One of the nation’s biggest baseball rivalries takes center stage on live TV as Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State battle on ESPNU Thursday, May 24 and FOX Sports West Saturday, May 26 at Blair Field. Thursday’s first pitch is slated for 5:00 p.m. and Saturday’s is set for 2:00 p.m.  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.

• 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 390 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.