FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
FULLERTON, Calif. – Returning to the field after a record-breaking season in 2013, Cal State Fullerton has released its 2014 schedule, highlighted by eight weekend series at Goodwin Field.
“Once again we were able to assemble a very challenging schedule that will test the team immediately,” third-year head coach Rick Vanderhook said. “I think our fans will be extremely pleased with quality of opponents that will visit Goodwin Field this year, and we will also have some demanding road trips to Oregon, Baylor and Wichita State.”
Fullerton begins its quest for its fifth national championship on Friday, Feb. 14, hosting a three-game series against Washington State. The Titans will also play their second weekend series of the year at Goodwin Field, hosting San Francisco (Feb. 21-23).
USF is one of seven teams that reached the 2013 NCAA Baseball Tournament listed on Cal State Fullerton’s schedule, joining the company of Oregon, San Diego, Wichita State, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. The series will be the first between the Dons and Titans in Fullerton’s Division I era.
The Titans suffered a 9-8 loss to Washington State in 11 innings during the 2012 season, and the opening weekend of the 2014 campaign will mark the first time the clubs play a three-game weekend series against one another.
After opening the year with back-to-back home series, the Titans will take back-to-back road trips to Oregon and Baylor.
The series with the Ducks (Feb. 28-Mar. 2) is a return trip for Cal State Fullerton, after Oregon visited Goodwin Field in 2013. The Ducks, skippered by former Cal State Fullerton head coach George Horton, were ranked 17th by Baseball America in last season’s final top-25 poll. Fullerton will be making its second trip to PK Park, after traveling to Eugene, Ore., for the 2012 Eugene Regionals.
Fullerton and Baylor will meet for the first time since 2001, as the Titans have a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series. Fullerton clinched a 2-1 series win against the Bears at Goodwin Field in 2000, and completed the same feat in Waco, Texas, in 2001.
Fullerton will return to Goodwin Field to host back-to-back series against Saint Mary’s (March 14-16) and Long Beach State (March 21-23). The last time the Gaels and Titans squared off was in 1987, while Fullerton and the Dirtbags will play a non-conference series for the fourth straight year.
Fullerton will take its last non-conference road trip to Wichita State (March 28-30). In 2013, the Shockers won their 18th Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and played as the No. 4 seed in the Manhattan Regional.
The Titans will begin their quest for their 28th conference championship, including their fifth consecutive Big West title, when Fullerton hosts UC Davis (April 4-6) at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton will then have the task of traveling to UC Santa Barbara (April 11-13) and Cal Poly (April 17-19) – the Big West’s two other NCAA Tournament representatives from 2013 – in back-to-back road series.
In its second season in the conference, Hawai’i will travel to Goodwin Field for the first time since 2010, when the Titans claimed the series winning 2-of-3 games.
Fullerton will close the remaining four weeks of the year at Long Beach State (May 2-4), vs. UC Riverside (May 9-11) at UC Irvine (May 16-18) and vs. Cal State Northridge (May 22-24).
Fullerton has won seven straight against the Dirtbags, while UC Riverside was the last team to win a three-game series against the Titans at Goodwin Field (May 18-20, 2012) until UCLA’s two-game sweep during the 2013 Super Regionals.
Fullerton’s sweep of UC Irvine at Goodwin Field last season clinched the Titans their 27th conference championship, while for the second straight season, Fullerton will close the regular season against the Matadors.
Fullerton’s midweek opponents include USC (Feb. 18 & May 20), San Diego (March 11 & April 29), UNLV (March 18), UCLA (April 8 & May 6) and Fresno State (April 23 & April 30).
The Titans completed last season with a record of 51-10 and reached the NCAA Super Regionals before falling to eventual College World Series champion UCLA in two games at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton begins its first day of fall ball today (Thursday, Oct. 3), and will hold its first scrimmage beginning at noon on Saturday at Goodwin Field.