FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Fullerton, Calif. – The four-time national champion Cal State Fullerton Titan baseball program looks to have yet another challenging road ahead as the coaching staff unveiled its 2011 schedule Monday (Sept. 13) afternoon.
"We are very proud of the schedule we have put together for the 2011 season," said fourth-year head coach Dave Serrano. "Our philosophy has always been to challenge our teams with our schedules, and this year’s is no different."
Ten of Fullerton’s first 15 games, and 30 of its entire 56-game schedule, will be played on the road, including a pair showdowns with nationally prominent TCU and LSU, a midweek affair with Texas A&M, and a 4-game series at Hawaii. All four teams qualified for last year’s NCAA postseason, with the Horned Frogs finishing their season tied for 3rd at the College World Series.
The Titans will be making their first trip to Baton Rouge since the 1998 Regional, but will be playing the Tigers for the first time in the new Alex Box Stadium. This year will also mark Fullerton’s first trip to Hawaii since 1982.
The 26-game home docket will feature weekend series with the University of Washington, Big West Conference opponents UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific and Long Beach State as well as a two-game midweek series with Arizona State in the annual DeMarini West Coast Challenge. It will also feature broken home/road series with Long Beach and USC.
Also in the mix will be an added bonus to opening weekend, when the Titans, who start and finish the weekend at Long Beach State in a non-conference series, will face the North Carolina Tar Heels (Feb. 19) and the 49ers in a day/night doubleheader at Goodwin Field. It will be North Carolina’s first trip to Fullerton and will be the two team’s first meeting ever outside the College World Series.
On the midweek front, the Titans will face off against 2010 Super Regional foe and the College World Series runners-up UCLA Bruins on Mar. 29 (home) and May 17 (away). They will also play home and away midweek affairs with Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and San Diego.
The biggest twist in this years schedule won’t be seen in the W/L column and will benefit the Titans before the season even starts. Thanks to their series in Hawaii, the Titans have elected to utilize four additional dates to scrimmage other local universities in the fall.
Because of cost and distance, NCAA regulations allow a school to schedule games off the mainland once every four years and not have it count against its allotted number of games each season.
"We are very excited to be able to get in four competitive scrimmages this fall," Serrano said. "It will give us an opportunity to learn about our players, and it will give them a better opportunity to gel as a team as we head into the spring and our regular 56-game schedule." ‘
The Titans will square off with Cal Baptist (Fri., Oct. 29, 2010, 2 p.m.), the University of San Diego (Sat., Nov. 6, 2010, Noon), Cal State Dominguez Hills (Sat., Nov. 13, 2010, Noon) and Concordia (Sat., Nov. 20, 2010, Noon) during their official fall workout period from Oct. 11 to Nov. 20.
Cal State Dominguez Hills is a Div. II program located in Carson, Calif. Cal Baptist (Riverside, Calif.) and Concordia (Irvine, Calif.) are NAIA programs.
All four scrimmages will be open to the public and free of charge. Parking fees will apply on Fri., Oct. 29.
• The 2011 schedule has the Titans playing 26 home games, 30 road games, and a traditional 24-game Big West Conference schedule.
• The Titans play more than 3 games in a row at home just once, when they play 4 in a row from Apr. 5 to Apr. 10.
• The Titans will play 54 percent of their games on the road this year, with a five-game stretch (Mar. 6-Mar. 15) being their longest time period away from home.
• Fullerton will play 27 of their games against opponents from the Big West, 10 from the Pac-10, 7 from the West Coast Conference, 4 from the Western Athletic Conference, 3 each from the Mountain West and Southeastern Conferences, and one game each from the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference.
• 6 Fullerton opponents (UCLA, TCU, Arizona State, UC Irvine, Texas A&M, and LSU) finished in the Top 25 of at least one of the five major polls in 2010. UCLA and TCU were a unanimous No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the nation in all five polls, respectively.
• Nine of the Titans 2011 opponents qualified for the NCAA postseason last year – Arizona State, Hawaii, LSU, North Carolina, San Diego, TCU, Texas A&M, UC Irvine and UCLA – with six of them playing in two local regionals (ASU, USD and UH at the Tempe Regional and UCLA, LSU and UCI at the Los Angeles Regional).
• Arizona State, UCLA and TCU all reached the Super Regional and the latter two advanced to the College World Series.
• The Titans have played LSU just once in non-NCAA postseason play (1988 at the Busch Challenge II at the Superdome in New Orleans.) They have met 7 times overall and are 4-3 overall against the Tigers. All but two of their meetings have come in the state of Louisiana – the other two in Omaha, Nebraska, at the College World Series.
• The Titans are 8-5 overall against TCU since 1987, but have won just two games in six meetings over the last two seasons at Goodwin Field. In their last meeting in Fort Worth, the Titans took two of three from the Horned Frogs in 2008 and saw a kid doing one-armed push ups to "Cotton-Eyed Joe" on top of the dugout during stretch time.
• Fullerton and North Carolina have met just twice – both at the 2006 College World Series.
• Fullerton will see three new opponent head coaches this season: Frank Cruz (interim at USC, replacing Chad Kreuter), Troy Buckley (Long Beach State, replacing Mike Weathers) and Matt Curtis (Cal State Northridge, replacing Steve Rousey). Arizona State’s Tim Esmay will return to Goodwin Field as the official head coach of the Sun Devils, but will have "interim" removed from his title.
• Former Titan pitcher and coach Ted Silva will be in a new uniform this season. He will be in the dugout with former Titan teammate and coach Jason Gill at Loyola Marymount. The Titans will face off against LMU on Mar. 1 (home) and May 18 (away). Silva moves from UC Irvine to LMU.