With the Mountain West and West Coast Conference tournaments starting up Wednesday and Thursday and crucial weekend series to wrap up the regular season for the Big West and Pac-12, very few midweek games were on the slate this week.
But one game presented a pair of college baseball traditional powers squaring off in a huge bubble battle as the history-rich programs of USC and Cal State Fullerton played with RPI rankings on the line.
The game started in favor of one squad, but made a drastic turn with the assistance of a player nicknamed “Bubbles.”
Find out who came out ahead between the Trojans and Titans and hear the calls from a dramatic final inning in Riverside that featured a pair of home runs. Also, check out photo galleries from all three midweek games.
IRVINE, Calif. — J.D. Davis drove in four runs as Cal State Fullerton handed ace Andrew Morales his first loss in a UC Irvine jersey, knocking the normally steadfast ‘Eaters ace for five runs in five innings.
The Titans took a 9-1 victory at rival UC Irvine’s Anteater Ballpark, handing Morales his first loss in a UC Irvine jersey. And for the first time since April 13, head coach Rick Vanderhook was in uniform and in the dugout with his Cal State Fullerton Titans (26-22, 9-10).
“It’s better than being at home listening to it on the internet, that’s for sure!” — Rick Vanderhook said after the game.
UPDATED at 9:20pm on May 9th
We have posted an update to this story here.
Cal State Fullerton appears to be close to a resolution in the investigation of head baseball coach Rick Vanderhook.
According to a CBD source close to the situation, there was a meeting Thursday featuring Fullerton administrative members, including “all the university VPs,” that should bring a resolution to the situation involving Vanderhook, who has been on paid administrative leave since April 17.
While the meeting and the outcome was said to be “super top secret,” it is believed, if Vanderhook is cleared, he could be back as soon as today when the Titans take on UC Riverside at 7:00 p.m. PST on ESPN3/WatchESPN.
As embattled head coach Rick Vanderhook sits at home awaiting his fate to be decided by an administrative investigation, his Cal State Fullerton Titans continue to slide farther and farther.
The Titans (18-17, 3-6) lost their sixth in a row Wednesday night. Managing only six hits in the final 12 innings, Fullerton suffered a deflating 2-1 loss in 16 innings at Fresno State as questions, rumors and conjecture continue to swirl about the program and stable leadership still seems missing.
Cal State Fullerton’s season ended last year with UCLA celebrating on the Titans’ home field, having earned a College World Series berth after sweeping the Fullerton Super Regional. Before the game, the Titans’ coaching staff told the players to remember the crushing feeling they had watching the Bruins’ joy.
The Titan players responded, grinding out a 4-3 win over UCLA (18-13) thanks to a three-run fifth inning.
“They dogpiled on our field last year, so it was nice to get a W over them,” junior third baseman Matt Chapman said. “It’s just another game, but it definitely had a little bit of redemption in it.” Continue reading
Long Beach State took a 3-2 victory to even its annual non-conference series with rival Cal State Fullerton with the assistance of a Titan blunder on a routine fly ball to centerfield Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Dirtbags chased Fullerton starter Phil Bickford in the sixth inning after tying the game, 2-2, on an Ino Patron RBI single to plate Garrett Hampson. Reliever Willie Kuhl entered and induced a routine fly to centerfield.
Four SoCal squads take to the skies for major road trips this weekend with three teams traveling to one side or the other of the Red River. The Big 12’s Baylor and Oklahoma State get a pair of Southern California gems in No. 4 Cal State Fullerton and San Diego while a strong Sam Houston State squad will welcome Cal State Northridge.
Another quality squad from the Lone Star State will make its way to Los Angeles as Houston will make stops at USC, UCLA and Pepperdine as part of the Not-So-Dodgertown Classic (the name is explained below). The Big 12 will also send a team this way as West Virginia makes its second cross-country trip to Southern Cali to participate in the UCR Tournament with the Highlanders and Sacramento State.
But the biggest pepper test (baseball’s version of the litmus) will be UC Santa Barbara’s road trip to Tucson for Arizona’s Hi Corbett Tournament that will feature the home-standing Wildcats and No. 12 Mississippi State.
To get you ready for the Southern California baseball action, we’ve got your schedule and Around the Horn preview of series to watch. Continue reading
Several Southern California college baseball squads take to the road this weekend with teams flying to the Pacific Northwest, North Carolina, across the Pacific and even to the country’s heartland.
And those teams might be the lucky ones as Southern California is being beset with rain that threatens to wipe out several scheduled games around the area.
To get you ready for the Southern California baseball action, we’ve got your schedule and Around the Horn preview of series to watch highlighted by a top 10, familiar foe, face-off along with teams vying to return to the national spotlight and a team that won’t get to avoid one of the nation’s top pitchers any longer. Continue reading
It’s Valentine’s Day!
Who cares? Unless your sweetie is taking you to the ballfield, we definitely don’t.
That’s because it’s Opening Day! The college baseball season officially kicks off today.
To get you ready for the opening weekend of Southern California baseball action, we’ve got where the teams will be playing along with an Around the Horn preview of series to watch.
And in this opening weekend preview, you’ll also get the preseason version of Shotgun’s SoCal Squad, your All-Southern California Team.
Teams wil be trying to start strong to open the season and there is an opportunity for teams to makes some noise. Long Beach State hosts Vanderbilt while No. 1 ranked Cal State Fullerton will welcome a Washington State squad that has a lot of potential.
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Cal State Fullerton freshman Thomas Eshelman needed only 62 pitches to get through seven innings as he shut down rival Long Beach State in a 5-0 non-conference win Friday night at Blair Field.
Michael Lorenzen provided the offense, knocking a solo home run in the second inning to put Fullerton ahead (for good since Eshelman and reliever JD Davis only allowed two Long Beach baserunners). Lorenzen also doubled deep to left-centerfield.
Carlos Lopez brought in a run in the third inning with an RBI single over the shortstop’s head. Chad Wallach made it 3-0 after he scored on an error in the seventh and the Titans blew open the game with three runs in the eighth inning. Keegan Dale got an RBI with a bases loaded walk and Austin Diemer completed the scoring with a two-run single.
But Eshelman was the story as he pitched seven innings, allowing only one baserunner on a low-lining flare by Eric Hutting, younger brother to Fullerton’s Anthony. Eshelman picked up the win to improve to 5-1 while JD Davis had two strong innings out of the bullpen (see That’s Filthy section). Continue reading