Cal-State Fullerton Titans Center Fielder Gary Brown broke his middle finger on his left hand sliding into second base on a successful steal attempt at Long Beach State on Sunday, but will not require surgery. Brown has been a beast all season and will be tough to replace. My best guess is that Austin Kingsolver could be sent to Center Field. Kingsolver started quite a few games early in the season in left field but is only hitting at a .242 clip and has been used primarily as a pinch hitter since, while Brown led the Titans with a .438 average. Brown could be the unanimous Big West Player of the Year, as he leads the conference in 7 categories, including Batting Average, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, Runs, Hits, Triples and Stolen Bases.
I’m guessing that RF Casey Watkins will be moved up to the 2nd spot in the batting order, as Titan Head Coach Dave Serrano really like his 3-4-5 combo of Lopez, Pill and Ramirez, but we will see come tomorrow as Loyola Marymount comes in for a game at Goodwin Field. Fullerton has a crucial home game coming up next Tuesday against UCLA that could be a defacto #8 National Seed playoff game, meaning the winner of that game will probably host a Super Regional between the two teams in a few weeks. Bad break for the Titans.
Full release from Cal State Fullerton after the jump.
Broken Finger Sidelines Titans’ Brown
Fullerton, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton Head Baseball Coach Dave Serrano announced this evening that the Titans will be without star centerfielder Gary Brown (Diamond Bar, Calif. / Diamond Bar HS) for the next couple of weeks due to a broken finger on his left hand.
The junior sustained a fracture to his third metacarpal (middle finger) while sliding into second base on a successful steal attempt in the fourth inning of Sunday’s win over Long Beach State at Blair Field. Brown remained in the game and had two more at bats but was retired after two failed bunt attempts.
The break is to his non-throwing hand and will require no surgery or pins to aid in the healing. Brown will be re-evaluated by a hand specialist in a couple of weeks.
The speedy outfielder has not been fitted with a cast, but is wearing a hand brace on his left hand.
“Obviously we are devastated by today’s news, but we will not use this as an excuse to keep moving forward in achieving our goals of having success in the Regionals and beyond,” said Serrano.
“We have battled through numerous injuries and setbacks this season and I have no doubt the team will rise to the occasion and continue to compete like Titans.
“Even though this is unsettling to our team, it is even more upsetting to Gary, who will not only be unable to help his team but also continue the player of the year-type season he is having.”
Brown, who is on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, is currently leading the Big West Conference in batting average (.438), slugging (.695), on-base percentage (.485), runs scored (62), hits (92), triples (8), total bases (146) and stolen bases (31). He also ranks nationally in the Top 10 in average, hits and triples.
Fullerton qualified for the NCAA postseason for the 32nd time in 36 years at the Div. I level on Sunday and will begin an 8-game homestand on Tuesday (May 18) night with Loyola Marymount.
Fullerton will then have a weekend series with Santa Clara (May 21-23) a midweek match-up with UCLA on May 25, and then close out the regular season with a Big West series with Cal State Northridge from May 28-30.