UC Davis at Titans (Goodwin Field)
Thursday 6 p.m., Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m.
Fullerton started their quest towards winning their third consecutive Big West conference championship by opening the conference schedule with a series at Goodwin Field against Cal State Northridge. The Titans won the first two games with the Matadors by scores of 7-2 and 8-6 to clinch their sixth straight series since losing the season opening series at #1 Florida before dropping the third game of the series 5-1 to lose the final game of a series for the third straight weekend.
Fullerton got the week started by renewing their annual midweek series with Arizona State and made a trip to Tempe for the first time since 2009. The Titans and Sun Devils have played a midweek series for five consecutive seasons and for the fourth time the teams split the two games with ASU shutting out Fullerton 1-0 last Tuesday, the second straight game that Fullerton was shut out and the first time that has happened since George Horton’s inaugural season as head coach in 1997, and the Titans coming back last Wednesday to get the better of the Sun Devils by a score of 9-5.
Fullerton had hits in each of the first four innings on Tuesday but hit into double plays in the first two innings and had a runner caught stealing in the fourth to thwart any potential rallies. J.D. Davis doubled in the fifth and Anthony Trajano singled but Davis was held at third and another double play ended the innnig. Koby Gauna held ASU off of the scoreboard for the first five innings, including getting out of a bases loaded and no out jam in the fifth, before surrendering a leadoff double in the sixth. Dimitri DeLaFuente came on in relief and All-American Joey DeMichele drove in the game’s only run with a single. Zak Miller scattered seven hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Sun Devils and three relievers held the Titans hitless for the rest of the game as Gauna took the hard luck loss. Carlos Lopez and Trajano were the only players with two hits for Fullerton as Lopez extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Fullerton came out determined to put their offensive miseries behind them on Wednesday and scored in the first inning on a single by Richy Pedroza, a groundout and a single by Michael Lorenzen. After ASU tied the game in the second, the Titans took the lead for good in the fourth by scoring three runs. Matt Chapman and Davis hit singles with one out, which led to a pitching change for the Sun Devils. A single by Austin Kingsolver scored a run, a groundout by Chad Wallach scored another run and Pedroza’s single up the middle drove in the third run of the inning. ASU scored in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 4-2 before Fullerton responded with two more runs in the seventh when Lopez walked, Clay Williamson pinch-hit for Velazquez and singled for his first hit as a Titan, Chapman singled in a run and Davis’ ground out scored another run. ASU scored two runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-4 before Lorenzen was called in from CF to end the rally. Fullerton piled on three more runs in the ninth to put the game away when Lopez led off the inning with a single, Austin Diemer singled, an errant throw on Chapman’s SAC bunt scored a run, a wild pitch scored the second run and a single by Ivory Thomas scored the third run. Lorenzen allowed his first run of the season in the ninth on a single by All-American Deven Marrero and a double by slugger Abe Ruiz but that would end the scoring for the night as Lorenzen notched his ninth save. The Titans had a season high with eighteen hits, all of them singles, with each spot in the lineup either scoring and/or driving in a run. Pedroza and Kingsolver each had three hits and Lorenzen, Lopez, Chapman and Davis each had two hits with Lopez’s hitting streak going to nine games. Tyler Peitzmeier got the start and the win for Fullerton on a designated staff day after throwing 3 1/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits. Willie Kuhl followed him on the mound and also allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.
Fullerton got off to a good start against Northridge on Friday when they got four hits in the first inning, although it only led to one run. Pedroza and Trajano led off with singles, a double play scored the run and cleared the bases and Lopez and Chapman singled but Lopez was thrown trying to advance to third to end the inning. The Titans added to the lead in the third when Trajano walked, Lorenzen singled, Lopez singled and Thomas walked to force in the run but the bases were left loaded. Fullerton broke open the game in the fourth with three runs when Wallach and Pedroza singled, Lorenzen walked to load the bases and Lopez hit a single down the line that scored two runs and could have scored three if it wasn’t deflected by the 1B and Lorenzen scored the third run of the inning on a wild pitch. Fullerton padded the lead with runs in the fifth and sixth innings against the Northridge bullpen and all of those runs were more than enough for Dylan Floro, who threw his first complete game of the season. Floro gave up two hits in the first inning but got out of trouble and cruised from the second through eighth innings and allowed only three hits. The Matadors finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth with a couple of hits and some sloppy defense by the Titans contributing to two runs before Floro finished things off with a strikeout, his ninth of the game, to win his third straight game and improve his record to 4-2. Fullerton had twelve singles to stretch their streak of singles to thirty-one over three games with Lopez, Lorenzen and Wallach each getting three hits with Pedroza and Wallach scoring twice.
Fullerton got off to a lead for the second straight game with two runs in the first, one in the second and two more in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Trajano singled and advanced to third on Lorenzen’s single, with Lorenzen moving up to second on the throw, and Lopez singled them both in to score two runs in the first. Thomas led off the second by getting on base on an error and stole second and third before scoring on a groundout by Wallach. Trajano led off the third with a single and advanced to second on a wild pickoff throw. Lorenzen singled in Trajano and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Lopez surprised the defense with a bunt single and Lorenzen scored on the play on an errant throw. It looked like Kenny Mathews had plenty of runs to work with after cruising through the first three innings but he completely lost his command for the strike zone in the fourth and walked the leadoff hitter and hit the next two hitters before a double scored two runs and a passed ball and squeeze bunt scored two more runs. A single, a wild pitch and a walk were enough to end Mathews’ night and DeLaFuente finished the inning with no further damage. Fullerton scored two more runs in the fifth when Trajano and Lorenzen led off the inning with singles, Lopez’s groundout scored one run and Chapman’s singled scored another run. The Titans increased the lead to 8-4 in the seventh when Chapman singled and stole second and scored on a single by Thomas. Northridge scored single runs in the eighth and ninth to cut the lead to 8-6 but Lorenzen came in from CF and, after allowing a triple that cut the lead to two runs, finished off the game with a strikeout for his Big West leading tenth save. DeLaFuente went 3 1/3 innings and allowed one run to pick up the first win of his career. The hitting stars of the fourteen hit attack were Trajano with three runs and four hits, one of which was a double that ended the singles streak at 42, Lorenzen with three hits and three runs and Lopez with three RBI.
Fullerton took the lead in the first inning for the third straight game of the series when Pedroza walked, Trajano bunted him over and Lorenzen singled him in. Little did anybody know that after three batters the Titans would be done scoring for the day. Northridge took the lead for good after scoring four runs in the third inning off of starter Grahamm Wiest when they put together two singles and a double and the rally was finished off on the fourth home run of the season by Miles Williams. The Matadors tacked on a run to their lead in the sixth inning and Jerry Keel did a good job of scattering nine hits and two walks to hold Fullerton off of the scoreboard after the first inning to improve his ERA to a Big West leading 1.49. Pedroza and Thomas were the only Titans with two hits in the game and Lopez saw the team’s season best eleven game hitting streak snapped. Wiest threw the first complete game of his career but saw his record fall to 1-3 as Fullerton’s three game winning streak came to an end.
Fullerton drove down to San Diego State on Tuesday looking to get back in a groove and they were successful with a 7-1 win over the Aztecs. The Titans got on the board in the first inning for the fifth straight game when Pedroza and Trajano led off the game with singles and Lopez drove in the run on a ground out. Fullerton increased the lead with two runs in the second on an infield single by Thomas, two errors by San Diego State, a SAC bunt by Chapman and an infield single by Kingsolver. The Aztecs took advantage of an error by the Titans that was later followed by a double to cut the lead to 3-1 in the third before Fullerton came back to score a run in the fifth on two errors and a bunt single by Pedroza. The Titans put the game away with a run in the eighth and two runs in the ninth. Pedroza walked to lead off the eighth, was bunted over by Trajano and Lorenzen singled him in. Kingsolver got on base on an infield single with two outs in the ninth, Jared Deacon (in his first start of the season) was hit by a pitch, Pedroza singled in Kingsolver and Deacon scored on a passed ball. Gauna threw five effective innings, as he has done in all five starts, and held San Diego State to an unearned run on two hits with four strikeouts to improve his record to 3-2 and DeLaFuente, Kuhl and Dave Birosak combined to throw four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The leaders of the attack for the Titans were Pedroza with three hits, two runs and two RBI and Kingsolver with two hits, two runs and an RBI. Lorenzen and Trajano each picked up hits in the game to increase their hitting streaks to eight and seven games, respectively.
Fullerton will look to keep their momentum going and keep pace with the leaders in the Big West conference race when they welcome the UC Davis Aggies to Goodwin Field this weekend in a Thursday-Saturday series with no game on Sunday in observance of Easter. The Aggies got off to a solid start by winning half of their first twenty games, including winning four out of their first five weekend series, before losing three out of four games in their series at Hawaii last weekend. Fullerton has gone 19-2 against UC Davis since the Aggies moved up to Division I in 2005 with both of their wins coming at Goodwin Field in 2006 and 2008.
UC Davis Aggies
- Overall Record – 11-13
- Overall Record in 2011 – 18-36
- Conference Record – 0-0 in 2012; 10-14 in 2011 (tie for 6th).
- Post-Season in 2011 – None
- RPI/ISR – 151/136. 2011 RPI/ISR – 201/164.
- Current ranking – None
- Predicted conf finish – 8th by the Big West coaches, 6th by Baseball America, 7th by Perfect Game, 8th by Easton College Baseball
2011 Summary and 2012 Preview
UC Davis qualified for a regional in 2008 with a veteran team in their first year of D1 eligibility and their first year as a full member of the Big West. The Aggies have been in a rebuilding stage since then, going 13-42 in 2009, getting off to a 12-9 start in 2010 before the pitching staff imploded due to injuries and they finished 26-29 and last season the Aggies got off to a very slow 5-18 start, including being swept by Fullerton in Davis, before they won three of their next four series against Long Beach, Northridge and Pacific before struggling down the stretch and losing 11 of their last 14 games to finish 18-36 and tied for sixth in the Big West with a 10-14 conference record.
After having a decent offense in 2010, UC Davis expected to have a better offense with seven starters back but they struggled with the BBCOR bats and never got untracked. The Aggies ranked in the bottom two spots in the conference in just about every major hitting category except for HR’s and scored four runs or less forty times. UC Davis was not patient team at the plate and averaged less than three walks per game. For a team that had trouble scoring the Aggies didn’t bunt much or run much to try to manufacture runs.
UC Davis had a 4.41 ERA in 2011 and that was over two runs better than their ERA in 2010 and they were even better in Big West games when their staff ERA was 3.73, which allowed them to pick up three series wins after not winning a series during the non-conference schedule. UC Davis had a good Friday SP and their other two starters pitched better during the conference season and they has a good closer to come in and finish games.
UC Davis changed coaches in the off-season when former head coach Rex Peters replaced Rick Vanderhook as an assistant coach at UCLA and long time pitching coach Matt Vaughn was promoted to the head coaching position. After getting off to such a bad start in 2011, Vaughn made it a point of emphasis to get off to a better start and not get buried early. The Aggies have already won four series to exceed their weekend series win total of last season with series wins against Utah (3-1), Bakersfield (2-1), Seattle (2-1) and San Jose State (2-0) with their only weekend series losses coming against 2011 Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton (1-2) and at Hawaii last weekend (1-3).
UC Davis started the season hitting better and they have scored at least five runs in half of their games but their offense was held down in Hawaii when they only hit .200 in the four game series and scored ten runs, part of a hitting slump that has seen them average under three runs per game over their last ten games. The Aggies still don’t have much power and aren’t patient at the plate but they will stand in and take a HBP and are averaging two HBP’s per game to lead the Big West. UC Davis will make contact and they have struck out less than any other conference team, averaging less than five K’s per game. The Aggies still don’t run much but they are bunting more often to move runners over.
UC Davis has continued to show improvement on the mound and their team ERA has come down almost another run from 2011 and they are fourth in the Big West in ERA. The Aggies have been getting very good starting pitching with their weekend starters allowing three runs or less in twelve of their eighteen starts. UC Davis had some issues with their bullpen early and their midweek pitching has not been good but their relievers have been more effective recently.
- Park Factor according to Boyd’s World – 79 (decreases offense by 21%). 410 to CF, 385 to the power alleys, plenty of foul territory.
- Batting Average – .261 (6th in the Big West). .252 (9th) in 2011.
- Scoring – 92 (8th), 3.8 runs per game. 194 (9th), 3.6 runs per game in 2011.
- Home Runs – 3 (6th). 19 (4th) in 2011.
- Slugging Percentage – .325 (8th). .327 (8th) in 2011.
- Walks – 66 (9th), 2.8 per game. 146 (7th), 2.7 per game in 2011.
- HBP’s – 49 (1st). 62 (3rd) in 2011.
- Stolen Bases – 15 (6th). 37 (7th) in 2011.
- Sac Bunts – 32 (3rd). 43 (7th) in 2011.
UC Davis lost both of their starters in the middle infield but return their catcher and both starters on the corners at 1B and 3B.
C – SR #42 Scott Kalush (RH – .283/.341/.329, 1-10-0. ’11 – .198/.289/.313, 3-20-1. ’10 – .270/.327/.297, 0-23-0) is in his fourth year starting behind the plate. He struggled in 2011 with the BBCOR bats and only hit .141 in Big West games. Kalush has very little power and only has fourteen extra base hits over the last three seasons, including one this year. He got off to a good start but has cooled off and gone 6-26 over the last eight games. Kalush will usually hit in the bottom part of the order. He went 0-6 last season against Fullerton and is 1-13 in his career against the Titans.
1B – SR #19 Eric Johnson (RH – .167 in 30 AB’s. ’11 – .258/.340/.349, 3-22-9. ’10 – .343/.412/.418, 1-39-4) was a part-time starter as a FR and has been the starter the last three years but missed a month this season before playing twice in Hawaii and going 1-4. He will stand in and take a HBP and was hit 27 times by pitches in 2010-2011. Johnson was second on the team in HR and RBI in 2011 and tied for the team lead with nine SB’s (9th in the Big West) but struggled in conference games when he hit only .227. He will usually hit 6th or 7th. He went 2-10 against Fullerton last season and is 2-16 in his career against the Titans.
Soph #13 Nick Lynch (RH – .317/.463/.488, 1-8-0) has taken advantage of Johnson’s absence from the lineup and split time between 1B and DH and leads the team in OBP and SLG in limited action (41 AB’s) and already has seven HBP’s (8th in the Big West). Lynch has gone 8-21 over the last couple of weeks. JC transfer #34 Austin Logan (LH – .292 in 24 AB’s) and Soph #36 Evan Wolf (RH – .208 in 24 AB’s) have also seen starts at 1B during Johnson’s absence.
2B – SR #22 Ryan Allgrove (RH – .192/.289/.260, 0-4-1. ’11 – .211/.242/.211, 0-4-0) was a part-time player in 2011 and has taken over for Justin Andrade, who was second on the team in AVG. He didn’t have an extra base hit last season but has five doubles thus far. Allgrove is another player who will stand in and take a HBP and has been hit seven times (8th in the Big West). He will usually bunt when the situation calls for it and is second in the conf with eight SAC’s. Allgrove won’t take many pitches and has only walked three times.
SS – FR #30 Evan Heptig (RH – .176 in 34 AB’s) has seen the most time at SS with eleven starts, including all four games at Hawaii, as the Aggies have struggled to find a replacement for honorable mention All-Big West SS Scott Heylman. Other players who have seen time at SS are FR #14 Tino Lipson (LH – .324/.409/.324, 0-5-1), who doesn’t have an extra base hit in 37 AB’s and also played twice at 2B at Hawaii, and Soph #3 Adam Young (RH – .192 in 26 AB’s), who has four HBP and four SAC’s in his limited action.
3B – JR #24 Paul Politi (RH – .316/.370/.379, 0-16-1. ’11 – .255/.319/.314, 1-10-2. ’10 – .296/.385/.376, 1-25-2) had a solid season as a FR but didn’t his as well in 2011 with the BBCOR bats and missed the last six weeks of the season with an injury. Politi has come back and been one of the most consistent hitters on the team and leads the Aggies in RBI as the cleanup hitter despite not having much power (six extra base hits in 95 AB’s). He went 0-10 against Fullerton last season and is 3-22 in his career against the Titans.
UC Davis returns their CF and has part-time players starting in the other two OF spots.
LF/DH – SR #20 David Popkins (Both – .302/.423/.397, 1-5-3. ’11 – .321/.391/.459, 4-23-1; ’10 – .388/.473/.580, 5-43-2) was 1st team All-Big West the last two seasons and is the best hitter on the team when he is healthy. He started in LF the first twelve games of the season but was injured and missed eight games before starting three times at DH in Hawaii. Popkins split time between OF and DH and also pitched in 2011 but is focusing only on hitting this season. He will hit third when he is in the lineup. Popkins went 3-11 against Fullerton last season and is 7-22 in his career against the Titans.
FR #48 Austin March (LH – .273 in 22 AB’s) and JC transfer #26 Mike Mazzara (.227 in 22 AB’s) have been splitting time in LF since Popkins went out of the lineup with March starting five times and Mazzara starting three of the last five games.
CF – SR #9 Brett Morgan (RH – .276/.376/.355, 0-8-5. ’11 – .271/.351/.347, 1-9-9) is a good athlete who has been one of the better hitters on the team the last two seasons. He led the team in SB in 2011 (9th in the Big West) as well as this year. Morgan was hitting well over .300 going into the Hawaii series before he went 1-15. He was the leadoff hitter in 2011 and has split time between there and the lower part of the lineup. Morgan went 0-10 against Fullerton last season.
RF – FR #4 Kevin Barker (RH – .349/.414/.460, 0-6-1) only started three times in the first eight games but once he was inserted into the lineup he went on a tear and is tenth in the Big West in AVG and SLG as the primary leadoff hitter. He was hitting close to .400 before struggling at Hawaii when he went 2-12. Barker has good speed and leads the team with seven doubles. FR #43 John Williams (LH – .143/.271/.184, 0-7-3) has good speed and was starting initially as Davis looked to replace 10th round pick RF/RHP Scott Lyman but Barker beat him out after Williams got off to a slow start.
Fielding % – .960 (9th) with 38 errors. .969 (5th) with 65 errors in 2011.
Johnson is a solid 1B and his replacements have been below average. Allgrove is a good defensive player at 2B but split time last weekend with Lipson, who has good range but has already made five errors. Heptig is average at SS. Politi at 3B leads the Big West with seven errors. The LF’s are average. Morgan and Barker/Williams have good range in CF and RF.
Stolen Base Attempts – 20-33 (5th). 37-70 (5th) in 2011.
Davis was terrible against the running game in 2010 but has been much better the past two seasons. Runners are 16-26 against Kalush and were 36-55 in 2011.
WP’s/PB’s Allowed – 27 (4th). 68 (8th) in 2011.
Kalush has improved and been average at blocking pitches after struggling with keeping the ball in front of him the previous two seasons.
- ERA – 3.57 (4th in the Big West). 4.41 (7th) in 2011.
- BA – .257 (3rd). .276 (7th) in 2011.
- OBP – .323 (3rd). 368 (7th) in 2011.
- HBP – 15 (8th). 63 (4th) in 2011.
- Walks – 65 (3rd), 2.7 BB/9. 194 (7th), 3.7 BB/9 in 2011.
- Strikeouts – 163 (6th), 6.7 K/9. 350 (6th), 6.6 K/9 in 2011.
- SLG – .335 (3rd). .372 (7th) in 2011.
- HR – 9 (6th). 19 (4th) in 2011.
UC Davis returns two of their three starting pitchers from 2011 and moved their closer to the other SP spot. All three starters are SR’s so they are experienced and have a good idea about what they are doing on the mound and have allowed only fourteen walks in eighteen starts and 127 innings.
FRI – SR #6 Dayne Quist (LHP – 4-0, 1.99 ERA, 6 GS, 2 CG, 45 IP, 25 H, 6 BB, 48 K, .158 AVG, 1 HR, 6 HBP, 4 WP, 1-2 SB. ’11 – 2-7, 5.14 ERA, 14 apps, 11 GS, 75 IP, 100 H, 25 BB, 64 K, .330 BA, 2 HR, 10 HBP, 9 WP, 9-14 SB; ’10 – 7-4, 5.57 ERA, 14 GS, 95 IP) is in his fourth year in the rotation and relies on control, changing speeds and using a curve/breaking ball that dives out of the zone as his swing and miss pitch. He had trouble missing bats prior to this season, which led to bloated ERA’s, but this year he has been one of the best pitchers in the Big West and leads the conference in AVG, is second in wins and strikeouts and fifth in ERA and IP and has an insane 8/1 K/BB ratio (48K/6 BB). Quist threw six shutout innings with 12 K’s for the win against Utah in the opener, got two no decisions against Bakersfield (8 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and Creighton (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 9 K) and has been outstanding in winning his last three starts in complete games against Seattle (9 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K) and San Jose State (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K), for which he was named Big West pitcher of the week, and at Hawaii (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K). He has been a workhorse and thrown over 100 pitches in all six of his starts. Quist allowed 19 R and 24 H in 12 IP in his first two starts in his career against Fullerton but pitched better against the Titans last year when he allowed four runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings.
SAT – SR #28 Anthony Kupbens (LHP – 2-3, 2.98 ERA, 6 GS, 1 CG, 42 IP, 49 H, 5 BB, 21 K, .304 AVG, 1 HR, 3 HBP, 3 WP, 1-5 SB. ’11 – 5-8, 2.36 ERA, 14 GS, 3 CG, 103 IP, 93 H, 25 BB, 69 K, .251 AVG, 4 HR, 7 HBP, 1 WP, 5-13 SB; ’10 – 3-3, 6.98 ERA, 7 GS, 39 IP) doesn’t have the swing and miss arsenal that Quist has and relies on control (two walks or less in every start), spotting his fastball, changing speeds and putting sink on his fastball to get hitters to pound the ball into the ground for outs. Kupbens got off to a very good start in 2011 and was very consistent with a 2.36 ERA both in conference games and for the season and was honorable mention All-Big West. He didn’t have a good W/L record but that was due to a lack of run support and he finished second in the conference in losses, third in innings and sixth in ERA. Kupbens hasn’t been missing as many bats this season (6.0 K/9 in 2011, 4.5 K/9 thus far) and has been getting hit more with the AVG against him going up 50 points but he has been scattering hits and has kept his ERA under 3.00. He wasn’t sharp in his first two starts against Utah (5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER) and Bakersfield (6 IP, 8 H, 3 R), and threw better against Creighton (7 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER), Seattle (7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER) and in a complete game against San Jose State (9 IP, 9 H, 1 R) before losing his last start at Hawaii (7 1/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R). Kupbens has thrown over 100 pitches in each of his last four starts. He was throwing well before his start at Fullerton as a soph but was injured during that start (4 2/3 IP, 15 H, 16 R) and lost for the rest of the year and came back to make a great start against the Titans last year in Davis (8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K).
SUN – SR #10 Tom Briner (RHP – 2-2, 3.43 ERA, 6 GS, 39 IP, 42 H, 3 BB, 28 K, .286 AVG, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 3 WP, 2-4 SB. ’11 – 3-1, 2.57 ERA, 23 apps, 6 saves, 35 IP, 23 H, 10 BB, 37 K, .197 AVG, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 2 WP, 2-2 SB) was one of the better closers in the Big West in 2011 when he finished fourth in saves and batters hit below .200 against him and has been converted to a starter this season. He is the hardest thrower of the three SP’s with a fastball that sits in the upper 80’s and he threw a little harder last year when he was able to air it out for one to two innings. Briner has had very good control and hasn’t walked more than one batter in any of his starts. He threw well against Utah in his first start (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R) but has been inconsistent since then, throwing a five hit shutout against Seattle and following that by allowing nine runs on 21 hits in his last two starts against St. Mary’s (6 IP, 10 H, 5 R) and Hawaii (7 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 10 K). Briner did not throw well against Fullerton in his only appearance against the Titans when he gave up three runs on three hits in one inning.
UC Davis is rebuilding their bullpen with their closer in 2011 now in the rotation and six of the other seven leaders in appearances moving on after last season or not pitching. The Aggies have been getting solid work out of their closer and two main set-up guys with all three having ERA’s under 3.00. UC Davis does not have a LHP in their bullpen.
Soph #27 Harry Stanwyck (RHP – 1-2, 1.86 ERA, 11 apps, 2 saves, 19 IP, 16 H, 11 BB, 19 K, .232 BA, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 2 WP, 2-3 SB. ’11 – 1-3, 5.64 ERA, 15 apps, 9 GS, 45 IP, 44 H, 21 BB, 26 K, .268 AVG, 3 HR, 7 HBP, 5 WP, 3-7 SB) was the midweek starter in 2011 but has been moved to closer this season. He has usually been effective but has gotten into trouble when he hasn’t thrown strikes, which has been an issue the last two seasons. He was lights out in the first game at Hawaii when he struck out three of the four hitters that he faced for a save but followed that up two days later by walking three hitters in 2 2/3 innings and taking the loss in extra innings.
JC transfer #16 Patrick Hennessey (RHP – 1-0, 2.76 ERA, 8 apps, 16 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 10 K, .239 BA, 2 HR, 1 HBP, 0 WP, 2-2 SB) has been the primary middle reliever to get the ball to Stanwyck and is able to go a couple of innings.
JC transfer #17 Ben Burke (RHP – 0-1, 2.77 ERA, 8 apps, 2 GS, 13 IP, 10 H, 13 BB, 9 K, .222 AVG, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 3 WP, 4-5 SB) made the first two midweek starts but has been pitching out of the bullpen since then. He has had problems with his control so his innings have been limited.
JC transfer #35 Chris Levy (RHP – 1-1, 4.82 ERA, 7 apps, 1 save, 9 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 10 K, .176 AVG, 0 HR, 4 HBP, 3 WP, 1-3 SB) will usually only face a couple of batters in the middle innings.
FR #11 Spencer Koopmans (RHP – 0-1, 8.16 ERA, 7 apps, 2 GS, 1 save, 14 IP, 22 H, 9 BB, 8 K, .367 AVG, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 2 WP, 3-4 SB)
FR #15 Craig Lanza (RHP – 0-0, 7.00 ERA, 4 apps, 9 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 4 K, .333 AVG, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 1 WP, 2-3 SB)
Soph #36 Evan Wolf (RHP – 0-2, 6.75 ERA, 2 apps, 2 GS, 9 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 6 K, .286 AVG, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2-2 SB)
Fullerton has pitched well most of the season and they are going to have to continue to do so in order to win this series because UC Davis has one of the better weekend rotations in the Big West. Runs should be at a premium in this series, especially in Thursday’s matchup of Dylan Floro vs. Dayne Quist. The Titans will need to get Kenny Mathews back to form in another solid matchup on Friday with Anthony Kupbens. Fullerton does have the edge in terms of bullpen depth late in games.
Fullerton has had their issues with getting consistent production from the offense for most of the season but that trend has started to change in recent games with the Titans averaging almost eight runs a game in their four recent wins. The offense for UC Davis has started to trend downward recently after the Aggies got off to a solid start at the plate. UC Davis cannot afford to let Fullerton get off to leads and try to play a game of catch up because they do not have much firepower in their lineup.
A key area to watch in this series is the fielding of both teams. Fullerton has been fairly consistent with a few hiccups. UC Davis has had instability in their infield defense and they cannot give the Titans extra outs with the way they have started to hit the ball recently.
Besides the pitching for the most part, the one area that Fullerton has been consistent in is winning weekend series. The Titans have won six straight series and only one of them was a sweep. Fullerton has the better team but there isn’t as big of a gap over UC Davis as there has been in recent years. The Titans should win this series but look for the Aggies with their solid pitching staff to win a game somewhere along the way.