Baseball Visits Fullerton For Three-Game Series With No. 10 Titans
April 27, 2011
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Pacific Tigers travel to Fullerton to take on the No. 10 ranked Titans in a three-game Big West baseball series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field. Senior 1B Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) needs one run scored to become just the second play in Tigers history to reach 200 hits, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in his career.
Junior Josh Simms (La Mesa, Calif.) carries a 10-game hit streak into the series, the second-longest active streak in the Big West. The shortstop is hitting .351 (13-for-37) during the streak, and is four off the longest in the conference this season.
Cal State Fullerton (28-12 overall) is ranked No. 10 in the country by Baseball America and leads the Big West with a 9-3 conference mark.
The Tigers (13-23 overall, 5-7 Big West) have picked up a pair of wins over ranked opponents this season, with victories over No. 13 Cal, 7-4, on April 5, and No. 17 UC Irvine, 6-4, on April 16, and sit at 2-3 against Top 25 opponents.
Martin hit the 200-hit mark for his career on April 9 at UC Riverside and sits third on the Tigers' all-time hit list, two back of second place. With 108 career runs batted in, Martin is seventh on the Pacific leader board, while also sitting sixth in career doubles with 40. In his last 21 games, Martin is hitting .412 with 35 hits in 85 at bats, including 12 multi-hit games.
With 67 hits in their last four games, the Tigers enter the weekend hot offensively. Pacific is averaging seven runs in the last six games and 5.2 runs per game since inserting sophomore 2B Tyger Pederson (Palo Alto, Calif.) into the leadoff spot 14 games ago.
Pederson has been so torrid at the plate since, that his two-for-five Tuesday at Santa Clara lowered his batting average since the move, as the lefty-swinging infielder is hitting .414 (24-for-58) since April 2. Even hotter at the plate has been sophomore 3B Dustin Torchio, who slid over to third base and has hit .490 (25-for-51) since.
Senior OF Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) turned in a two-for-five game Tuesday, his Big West leading 17th multi-hit game of the season, to go with a pair of runs batted in. Carvutto picked up an RBI double, his BWC leading 17th of the year, in the first inning at Santa Clara, and added an RBI single in the second.
The Tigers 54-hit barrage in three games at Cal State Northridge improved the team's batting average by 16 points. Pacific is hitting .283 as a team with 70 doubles, eight triples and 10 home runs.
The Titans enter the series with a .271 team batting average with 49 doubles, 18 triples and 11 home runs. Fullerton has racked up 28 wins via a pitching staff which ranks 12th in the nation in ERA in the latest NCAA statistics rankings. The Titans boast a team ERA of 2.71 while holding opponents to a .240 batting average.
The Fullerton staff is not without question marks as their rotation for the series has yet to be announced. RHP Noe Ramirez (6-2, 2.04 ERA) is listed as day-to-day with a weekend start in jeopardy. The Tigers expect to face RHP Tyler Pill (5-0, 2.11 ERA) and RHP Colin O'Connell (5-3, 2.47 ERA) in the series.
Pacific will counter with sophomore RHP Brent McMinn (Houston, Texas) on Friday in the 7 p.m. start. McMinn (1-2, 6.60 ERA) will make his third start of the season against a ranked opponent after picking up a victory against No. 13 Cal, and taking a loss to No. 17 UC Irvine. In five appearances, McMinn has punched out 11 batters in 15 innings of work.
On Saturday, in a 6 p.m. start, the Tigers send senior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) to the hill. Pointer (3-5, 6.20 ERA) has a 2.50 ERA and a pair of wins in his last three outings. In 65.1 innings, Pointer has recorded 38 strikeouts.
Senior RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) gets the nod in Sunday's 1 p.m. start, taking his 4-3 record and 4.36 ERA to the mound for his 11th start of the season. Hummel has struck out 51 batters against just 17 walks this season, while logging 66 innings pitched including a pair of complete games and one shutout.