Matt Chapman’s drive to be better doesn’t stop with A’s

The chip on his shoulder isn’t the direct reason for Matt Chapman’s incredible arm strength. The mind games Cal State Fullerton baseball coach Rick Vanderhook tried playing with him aren’t the reason Chapman seems to know what’s going to happen before it happens.

The platinum glove sitting on his mantle, emblematic of Chapman’s status as the best defensive player in the American League, isn’t the direct result of a golden light flashing above him after his 2018 breakout season with the Oakland Athletics.

No. To understand why Chapman — one of 10 Cal State Fullerton baseball products currently on a major league roster — is an All-Star and considered not only one of the game’s brightest stars, but its best defensive player, you must take all of it into account. The chip on the shoulder, the head games, the mindset he carries around like his Gold Gloves that he still isn’t one of the game’s upper echelon players – despite evidence to the contrary.

And that evidence, which comes in weekly, is considerable.

Last year, Chapman hit a career-high-at-any-pro-level .278, with 24 homers, 68 RBI, 42 doubles and 100 runs. His 8.2 WAR (wins above replacement, a stat that measures how much a player is better than the average major leaguer) was third in the American League behind Boston’s Mookie Betts and the Angels’ Mike Trout, who went 1-2 in league MVP voting.

Those offensive numbers only scratched the surface why Chapman finished seventh in MVP voting. Because when Chapman’s name is brought up, things get rather defensive.

En route to winning the Gold Glove, the Wilson Overall Defensive Player of the Year and the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, which goes to the best defensive player at any position, Chapman led all AL third baseman in defensive WAR, in range factor, in putouts and assists. His 3.5 defensive WAR means he’s 3½ times a better defender than the average major league third baseman, while leading in range factor means he’s getting to balls no other third baseman can reach.

Balls like the one Toronto’s Yangervis Solarte hit last year. The A’s were in a shift for the left-handed Solarte, which meant Chapman was essentially playing shortstop. Solarte poked a ball away from the shift down the third-base line. Chapman roamed over, backhanded the ball, then threw against his momentum and nipped Solarte by a half-step.

“I’ve never seen a corner infielder save as many runs as he does,” said Athletics Manager Bob Melvin, who had to dig to find “just one play” that illustrates Chapman’s elite glove. “It starts with his arm strength. With his arm strength, it allows him to play deep, which allows him to get to more balls, whether it’s down the line or whether it’s in the hole. That allows us to move our shortstop toward the bag a little more.

“Even though he plays deep, he’s the best at bunts. He still comes in and gets guys on bunts. It just feels like there’s no way to get a ball by him.”

The evidence continues pouring in this season. Chapman made his first All-Star team and through Monday, is hitting .257 with 24 homers, 64 RBI, 27 doubles and a .515 slugging percentage. His errors are down from 20 to seven, and he once again leads AL third basemen in range factor, runs saved, putouts and assists.

Yet, Chapman refuses to acknowledge the evidence. That’s because he’s so focused on the process that produced that evidence.

“To be honest, I still feel that I haven’t realized that (being one of the upper echelon players). That’s why I’m really hard on myself,” he said.

Enter the chip on the shoulder. Chapman grew up in El Toro as one of those proverbial very good-but-not-great players who always had someone overshadowing him. In this case, it was Nolan Arenado, the same Nolan Arenado currently holding down the title as best third baseman in the National League for the Colorado Rockies.

Chapman learned very early that there are a plethora of ways to be successful in baseball, but only one way to find that success: grind, grind and grind some more. While waiting for his growth spurt to catch his classmates, he built a foundation of fundamentals: fielding, running and analyzing the game from every angle. When he filled out after his sophomore year and added arm strength and power to his arsenal, Chapman thought the offers would roll in.

They didn’t. The only school he heard from was Cal State Fullerton.

“It was always my dream to go there,” he said. “They recruited me, and I felt like my mindset and the way I operate works perfectly for there: hard-working; nobody’s too special, and everyone has to earn everything. I was put on an even playing field for the first time, and the best man got the job. I finally got to prove my worth.”

This turned out to be one of those blessings-in-disguise situations that probably enabled Chapman to have such a seamless transition to the major leagues. Because playing for the no-nonsense Vanderhook served as a perfect finishing school for Chapman, not only because of Vanderhook’s doctoral-level command of the game’s innumerable nuances, but his incessant skill at making his players as uncomfortable as possible.

“Hookie’s no joke. I learned you have to be tough if you’re going to go there, and I learned how to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” Chapman said.

“He always used to challenge me, but he learned he didn’t have to challenge me too much, because I always rose to the occasion. The most he could do to me to make me mad was to tell me I was selfish and didn’t care about the team because that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

“That made me mentally tough coming out of there. I learned how to play the game inside and out. It’s like going to the Navy SEALS of baseball.”

It also explains why Chapman was the Athletics’ No. 1 draft pick in 2014, why he was an everyday major leaguer by the middle of 2017, a Gold and Platinum Glove owner in 2018 and an All-Star by 2019. His transition was virtually seamless because the Fullerton Finishing School already had a strong foundation to work with. Chapman knew the game. He just needed the right people to know that.

“You knew he would catch up as far as making adjustments and just his aptitude and understanding in playing baseball would suggest he’s going to develop pretty quickly and that’s exactly what you’re seeing,” Melvin said.

“Matt’s definitely a typical Titan baseball player in that he’s hard-nosed, he’s a team leader by example, but he also plays the game with a passion,” said former Cal State Fullerton standout Mark Kotsay, the Athletics’ quality control coach. “He cares about the game, and he cares about his teammates. He’s absolutely a Titan at heart.”

And now, Chapman is a purposeful and more relaxed Titan. The chip on his shoulder, the mind games that never stuck in his eventual Gold Glove, the mindset that built a four-tool All-Star who is on pace to become the greatest defensive player of his era all did their jobs.

Not surprisingly, Chapman is smart enough to understand that.

“I was bitter I didn’t get drafted. I didn’t get recruited by a bunch of colleges,” he said. “This is something not many people know, but I have Tourette’s. When I was younger, I was always a little shy about it and nervous about people knowing it. I felt different. For me, it motivated me to prove people wrong. I always had the mindset that I was different. I wanted to prove people wrong and that stuck with me forever.

“I’m pretty comfortable with it now, but it was definitely something I was embarrassed about when I was younger. I wanted nobody to know about it because of how kids are. But now that I look back on it, it was a blessing in disguise because it made me who I am today. It gave me that drive and that chip on my shoulder.”

Read more about Matt Chapman’s drive to be better doesn’t stop with A’s This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Cal State Fullerton baseball blanks Long Beach State in series opener

FULLERTON — For the first time in decades, the Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State baseball programs are meeting in a late-season series that has no postseason implications for either side.

That doesn’t mean the longtime Big West Conference rivals lack motivation when it comes to an opportunity to earn bragging rights over each other.

Pitchers Timothy Josten and Kyle Luckham combined on a shutout as the Titans defeated Long Beach 6-0 in their series opener on Thursday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans, who swept the teams’ annual nonconference series at Blair Field earlier this season, are trying to complete a six-game season sweep for the first time since 2013.

Fullerton (23-25, 9-10 Big West) spent much of the night protecting a 1-0 lead before breaking the game open with a four-run seventh inning, highlighted by Kameron Guangorena’s two-run single.

Josten (3-4) had his best start of the season, as the left-hander held LBSU (11-39, 5-14) to four hits through seven innings while striking out two. Luckham allowed just three hits in the final two innings. It was the Titans’ third shutout of the season.

Zach Lew went 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI to pace Fullerton, which will miss the NCAA postseason for the first time since 1991.

Senior Hank LoForte and Jacob Pavletich kicked off the final home series of their CSF careers with solid nights. LoForte went 3 for 4 with a walk, one run scored and an RBI. Pavletich went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.

Sophomore left-hander Adam Seminaris (3-9) allowing just one unearned run in six innings for LBSU, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Three LBSU players had multi-hit games: Chris Jimenez and Jacob Hughey both went 2 for 4, while Aidan Malm went 2 for 3 with a walk. Hughey and Malm each had a double.

Long Beach had at least one runner on base in seven of the nine innings and loaded the bases in the sixth with two hits and a walk, but Fullerton shortstop Brett Borgogno caught Chase Luttrell’s sinking line drive to end the threat. Long Beach managed a pair of singles and a walk in the ninth inning but stranded two runners in scoring position to end the game.

The series continues Friday at 8:15 p.m., with right-hander Nick Avila (0-4, 4.50) scheduled to start for LBSU. Fullerton has not named a started for Game 2. The series finale, which will be Senior Day for the Titans, is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Read more about Cal State Fullerton baseball blanks Long Beach State in series opener This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Whicker: Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

FULLERTON — Washington’s baseball team would have gone anywhere to play in an NCAA regional.

Anywhere turned out to be Conway, S.C., home of top-seeded Coastal Carolina.

That meant changing planes and layovers and the distinct possibility the bags might visit another regional somewhere.

Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

The athletic department recognized this and ordered a nonstop charter. The only catch was that a fuel stop was required.

In Omaha.

“I honestly didn’t know what to think about that,” said Nick Kahle, the catcher.

Every day, coach Lindsay Meggs had walked into team meetings and said, “Good morning,” and that was the cue for the entire team to answer, “Omaha!” The Huskies never had played in a College World Series before.

Meggs had coached at Long Beach City College and played at UCLA. He played for Dave Snow. He played for George Horton in an Alaskan summer league. He knew what he wanted to bring to Seattle: “Cal State Fullerton-style baseball, in the Pac-12.”

Meggs reached out and grabbed Kahle and kissed him on the forehead. The Huskies won Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional Sunday night, at Cal State Fullerton.

Actually it felt like Games 3-4-5 because they had to win three different times, but Kaiser Weiss delivered a simple run-scoring fly ball with bases loaded, no out in the 10th. That ended a baseball game that turned into a slam-dunk contest.. Among the wacky aspects was Washington getting the bottom of the ninth at Fullerton’s ballpark, since both were No. 3 seeds in the regional and thus flipped coins.

“I probably should have done a better job flipping it today,” said Rick Vanderhook, the Fullerton coach.

The Titans were double-crossed by their own defense, particularly in the 10th, when reliever Brett Conine threw away a bunt and the middle infielders erred twice. But they’ll always believe they would have won if they’d gotten the ball last.

Hank LoForte slammed a rare Titan home run in the 10th for a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, the Titans put together three runs, culminating with Chris Prescott’s go-ahead single, but Washington tied it on an RBI single by Mater Dei alum Jonathan Schiffer.

Until the ninth, Washington’s Joe DeMers pitched the most immaculate game you’ll ever see. He gave Fullerton one hit and needed only 78 pitches. He had only one walk and one 3-ball count. His fastball was tailing away from lefties and crowding righties. He retired the first 18 Titans he faced with no difficulty whatsoever.

“I looked up and it was the fifth inning already,” said Kahle, who got Washington’s first run on a homer off Tanner Bibee. “When a guy can put the ball exactly where you’re expecting him to, that’s pretty sweet for a catcher.”

But LoForte cracked a hard double to open the seventh. The Titans’ contact intensified. Then came the ninth and DeMers began it by drilling pinch-hitter Jordan Hernandez.

“We had two leadoff baserunners all night and both scored,” Vanderhook said. “We need things like that to get our offense going.”

“I was getting a little worn out,” DeMers said.

You picked a heck of a time to hit your second home run of the year Mr. LoForte…

FULLERTON LEADS 5-4 pic.twitter.com/DhhaTJ1lRM

— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 11, 2018

“I wanted him to finish it,” Meggs said. “I probably made a mistake, not taking him out.”

This is the fourth time a Pac-12 team has won a Super Regional at Goodwin Field, the only four times the Titans ever have lost one. The spirit of their program still shone through, even though the hands didn’t always. Catcher Daniel Cope broke his left thumb in the third inning on Friday yet caught every pitch thereafter.

“From where we started (1-7), we still wound up getting within one out of going to Omaha,” Vanderhook said. “So I’m pretty proud of our group.”

The Titans built a towering standard through 18 trips to Omaha. If their teams lose and especially if they lose ugly, they are judged by that. For Washington, this is a time of gleefuly discovery. Meggs has been at UW for nine years and this was the Huskies’ third postseason trip. They have a uninhibited dugout, where guys openly dance to the between-innings music. Sometimes the opposition doesn’t see the humor.

“But I think that helps us in situations like this,” Kahle said. “The guys on the bench don’t let us get down.”

Kahle is a junior who was the Mission League MVP at Chaminade. That wasn’t bad, considering that teammate Blake Rutherford and Notre Dame’s Hunter Greene were both playing. Kahle has caught every one of the Huskies’ 59 games and hit .295. He made only four errors.

He chose Washington without much assurance of June baseball.

“I just liked their coaches and the guys,” Kahle said. “Coach Meggs has a tough approach, but you feel like you’re getting better every day, you’re not going through the motions. It’s a chance to do something special.”

The Huskies’ next stop is Omaha, this time scheduled. Fuel will not be a problem.

Powered by WPeMatico

Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

FULLERTON — Washington’s baseball team would have gone anywhere to play in an NCAA regional.

Anywhere turned out to be Conway, S.C., home of top-seeded Coastal Carolina.

That meant changing planes and layovers and the distinct possibility the bags might visit another regional somewhere.

Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

The athletic department recognized this and ordered a nonstop charter. The only catch was that a fuel stop was required.

In Omaha.

“I honestly didn’t know what to think about that,” said Nick Kahle, the catcher.

Every day, coach Lindsay Meggs had walked into team meetings and said, “Good morning,” and that was the cue for the entire team to answer, “Omaha!” The Huskies never had played in a College World Series before.

Meggs had coached at Long Beach City College and played at UCLA. He played for Dave Snow. He played for George Horton in an Alaskan summer league. He knew what he wanted to bring to Seattle: “Cal State Fullerton-style baseball, in the Pac-12.”

Meggs reached out and grabbed Kahle and kissed him on the forehead. The Huskies won Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional Sunday night, at Cal State Fullerton.

Actually it felt like Games 3-4-5 because they had to win three different times, but Kaiser Weiss delivered a simple run-scoring fly ball with bases loaded, no out in the 10th. That ended a baseball game that turned into a slam-dunk contest.. Among the wacky aspects was Washington getting the bottom of the ninth at Fullerton’s ballpark, since both were No. 3 seeds in the regional and thus flipped coins.

“I probably should have done a better job flipping it today,” said Rick Vanderhook, the Fullerton coach.

The Titans were double-crossed by their own defense, particularly in the 10th, when reliever Brett Conine threw away a bunt and the middle infielders erred twice. But they’ll always believe they would have won if they’d gotten the ball last.

Hank LoForte slammed a rare Titan home run in the 10th for a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, the Titans put together three runs, culminating with Chris Prescott’s go-ahead single, but Washington tied it on an RBI single by Mater Dei alum Jonathan Schiffer.

Until the ninth, Washington’s Joe DeMers pitched the most immaculate game you’ll ever see. He gave Fullerton one hit and needed only 78 pitches. He had only one walk and one 3-ball count. His fastball was tailing away from lefties and crowding righties. He retired the first 18 Titans he faced with no difficulty whatsoever.

“I looked up and it was the fifth inning already,” said Kahle, who got Washington’s first run on a homer off Tanner Bibee. “When a guy can put the ball exactly where you’re expecting him to, that’s pretty sweet for a catcher.”

But LoForte cracked a hard double to open the seventh. The Titans’ contact intensified. Then came the ninth and DeMers began it by drilling pinch-hitter Jordan Hernandez.

“We had two leadoff baserunners all night and both scored,” Vanderhook said. “We need things like that to get our offense going.”

“I was getting a little worn out,” DeMers said.

“I wanted him to finish it,” Meggs said. “I probably made a mistake, not taking him out.”

This is the fourth time a Pac-12 team has won a Super Regional at Goodwin Field, the only four times the Titans ever have lost one. The spirit of their program still shone through, even though the hands didn’t always. Catcher Daniel Cope broke his left thumb in the third inning on Friday yet caught every pitch thereafter.

“From where we started (1-7), we still wound up getting within one out of going to Omaha,” Vanderhook said. “So I’m pretty proud of our group.”

The Titans built a towering standard through 18 trips to Omaha. If their teams lose and especially if they lose ugly, they are judged by that. For Washington, this is a time of gleefuly discovery. Meggs has been at UW for nine years and this was the Huskies’ third postseason trip. They have a uninhibited dugout, where guys openly dance to the between-innings music. Sometimes the opposition doesn’t see the humor.

“But I think that helps us in situations like this,” Kahle said. “The guys on the bench don’t let us get down.”

Kahle is a junior who was the Mission League MVP at Chaminade. That wasn’t bad, considering that teammate Blake Rutherford and Notre Dame’s Hunter Greene were both playing. Kahle has caught every one of the Huskies’ 59 games and hit .295. He made only four errors.

He chose Washington without much assurance of June baseball.

“I just liked their coaches and the guys,” Kahle said. “Coach Meggs has a tough approach, but you feel like you’re getting better every day, you’re not going through the motions. It’s a chance to do something special.”

The Huskies’ next stop is Omaha, this time scheduled. Fuel will not be a problem.

Read more about Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Cal State Fullerton baseball fans back home gather to watch Stanford regionals

Cal State Fullerton students, alums and other fans gathered Friday, June 1, at two venues in Fullerton to watch the baseball team take on Big 12 champ Baylor in the NCAA tournament Stanford regional.

The Big West Conference champion Titans defeated Baylor 6-2 and beat Stanford 2-1 on Saturday. Cal State Fullerton plays again Sunday against the winner of the Baylor-Stanford elimination game.

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

 

 

Powered by WPeMatico

Jace Chamberlin’s pinch-hit home run gives Cal State Fullerton walk-off win against Stanford

STANFORD — Jace Chamberlin hit a towering pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Cal State Fullerton to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Stanford in a winner’s bracket game of the Stanford regional.late Saturday night at Sunken Diamond.

Chamberlin’s dramatic shot – the burly freshman’s first career homer – bounced off the scoreboard in right-center field. The win means the Titans (34-23) will play the Sunday night game (6 p.m.) against the winner of the Stanford-Baylor elimination game that takes place at 1 p.m. Should the Stanford-Baylor winner beat Fullerton on Sunday night, the teams would meet in a winner-take-all game on Monday at 7 p.m.

Both starters were superb. Fullerton’s Tommy Wilson held Stanford to one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six with no walks. The Cardinal’s Kris Bubic went seven innings (130 pitches), also allowing one run on three hits. He struck out 10 and walked two.

Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

The Titans, who were designated the home team, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Hank LaForte and Mitchell Berryhill led off the game with back-to-back singles. Daniel Cope’s sacrifice fly scored LaForte.

Wilson only allowed one hit in the first five innings but Alec Wilson got to him leading off the sixth with a double. Tim Tawa’s triple tied the score. Fullerton third baseman Brett Borgogno made a huge play when he snared a hot grounder off the bat of Nico Hoerner and dove to tag Tawa, who had no time to get back, which probably short-circuited any further scoring.

Stanford is the No. 2 national seed in the 64-team tournament.

Much more to come on this story.

🐘 TITANS WIN ON A WALK-OFF! 🐘#RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/fNRXu8yezi

— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 3, 2018

Read more about Jace Chamberlin’s pinch-hit home run gives Cal State Fullerton walk-off win against Stanford This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman, Rick Vanderhook earn Big West awards

Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman and Coach Rick Vanderhook received Big West Conference postseason awards as the league’s Pitcher and Coach of the Year on Wednesday, while relief pitcher Blake Workman and second baseman Hank LoForte joined Eastman on the all-conference first team.

Eastman, who pitched the fifth no-hitter in program history in a 3-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara on March 29, pitched 103.2 innings and struck out 108 en route to a 2.26 ERA. Eastman (9-3) anchors a Titans pitching staff that ranks seventh in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.04) and fifth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.69). He is the 14th Titan to earn Big West Pitcher of the Year honors.

Vanderhook earned his fifth Big West Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Titans to their 22nd league title with an 18-6 mark. After dropping their opening series to UCSB, the Titans won their final seven league series to wrap up the crown before the season’s final week. Fullerton will make its 27th straight NCAA appearance when it opens play in the NCAA Stanford Regional on Friday. The fifth COY award ties Vanderhook with George Horton for the most in program history.

Workman went 1-1 with three saves and a 2.81 ERA during 15 appearances in conference play. He had 35 strikeouts and eight walks in 25-2/3 innings. LoForte batted nearly .400 during conference play, scored 21 runs and had 20 RBIs and was constantly in the middle of key rallies.

Cal Poly’s Alex McKenna was named Big West Field Player of the Year and teammate Nick Meyer (Santa Margarita High) earned Defensive Player of the Year. UC Riverside’s Cole Percival was named Freshman Pitcher of the Year while UC Davis’ Tanner Murray was named Freshman Player of the Year.

Fullerton, UC Irvine and Hawai’i paced the league with three first-team selections apiece.

Five other Titans received all-conference recognition as Jacob Pavletich, Tommy Wilson and Ruben Cardenas earned second-team honors, while Mitchell Berryhill and Daniel Cope were given honorable mention nods.

Nine UCI players earned all-conference honors, led by first-team selections Andre Pallante, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Parker Coss.

Pallante, named one of five finalists for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year award, was the only pitcher in the Big West to win 10 games, going 6-1 in conference play and leading the league with a 1.60 ERA. His 115 strikeouts ranked No. 2 among conference pitchers.

Fitzpatrick, a first baseman, led UCI and the Big West in on-base percentage (.436) while pacing the Anteaters with 44 RBIs and a .526 slugging percentage. He hit .307 with 59 hits and 14 doubles and shared the team lead with eight home runs.

Coss’ .276 average was second among Big West third basemen, and he was arguably the conference’s best defender at the hot corner.

UCI’s Cole Kreuter and Konnor Zickefoose earned second-team honors, while Matt Reitano, Jordan Bocko, Christian Koss and Brendan Brooks received honorable mention nods.

Two-way standout Clayton Andrews was Long Beach State’s lone first-team selection, earning the nod as a starting pitcher. The five-time Big West Pitcher of the Week led the conference with a 1.11 ERA during conference play, finishing with a mark of 1.99 overall. His 118 strikeouts led the conference, and his 11.21 strikeouts per nine innings during conference games was easily the highest among starters. Andrews allowed 78 hits and 17 walks in 99.2 innings pitched, giving him a conference-best WHIP of .950.

Andrews also hit .302 with a team-leading five triples. He was second on the team in RBIs (26), walks (25), and stolen bases (13) and struck out just six times in 215 at-bats, making him the toughest batter in the country to strike out. Andrews was also the first player in Big West history to win Pitcher of the Week and Player of the Week during the same season.

Three Long Beach players earned second-team recognition: second baseman Jarren Duran (Cypress High), junior closer Chris Rivera and starting pitcher Zak Baayoun (Woodbridge High). LBSU had no honorable mention picks.

Read more about Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman, Rick Vanderhook earn Big West awards This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. SaddleBack Valley Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

College baseball roundup: Colton Eastman strikes out 13 as Cal State Fullerton extends win streak

Colton Eastman struck out a career-high 13 batters and Cal State Fullerton got timely hits when it needed them as the Titans held on for 3-2 victory over UC Riverside and extended their winning streak to seven games on Friday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans (26-20 overall, 13-3 Big West Conference) has won four consecutive Friday games, and Eastman (8-3) has had a significant hand in all of them.

The right-hander has never lost a Big West game on the mound, and he held UCR to two runs while scattering seven hits amid all those strikeouts in seven innings. Blake Workman pitched two shutout innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out four.

Ruben Cardenas went 2 for 4 with an RBI for his team-leading 17th multi-hit game. Sahid Valenzuela picked up two hits himself, including a double, and scored a run. Hank LoForte extended his on-base streak to 30 consecutive games and has at least one hit in 19 of his last 20 games.

Mitchell Berryhill was 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases. Jacob Pavletich went 1 for 2 with two walks, while Jairus Richards went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Brett Borgogno produced a hit and a walk.

UCR (17-27, 5-11 Big West) opened the scoring in the second when Connor Cannon homered to right center.

Fullerton tied the score in the bottom of the third when Berryhill singled, stole second and third and scored on Cardenas’ sacrifice fly.

The Titans took the lead for good one inning later. Valenzuela led off with a slicing double down the right field line, and Pavletich bunted for a base hit to put runners at the corners. Two batters later, Richards delivered an RBI single to left. Borgogno then walked to load the bases, and Berryhill drew a bases-loaded walk for a 3-1 lead.

The Highlanders got one run back in the fifth inning, but that was all they could muster.

The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m.

Great game by @EastmanColton as he tosses 7 innings and gets a career high 13 strikeouts in a win over UC Riverside#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/QnAzaoEdgh

— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) May 12, 2018

UC Irvine 3, Cal Poly 1: UCI and host Cal Poly combined for 23 hits, but pitching and defense dictated the outcome with UCI prevailing behind Andre Pallante on Friday night in San Luis Obispo.

UCI’s Andre Pallante and Cal Poly’s Trent Shelton each pitched six innings. Pallante (8-1) limited the Mustangs (22-26, 8-8 Big West) to Elijah Skipps’ RBI double in the second inning and got them to strand eight runners on base while striking out nine on a career-high 117 pitches.

After watching their four hits produce no runs in the second inning, the Anteaters (28-19, 9-7) finally broke through in the fifth. Cole Kreuter’s two-out single scored Mikey Filia from third base to even the score, then Matt Reitano’s sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth.

Sean Sparling took over for Pallante in the seventh, and Filia bailed him out by throwing out the potential tying run at the plate to end the inning. Jordan Bocko retired all six hitters he faced to earn his seventh save.

No. 9 hitter Filia had a career-high four hits and scored two runs, the second coming on Kreuter’s two-out single in the ninth. Christian Koss had a three-hit night and Konnor Zickefoose had two for UCI, which collected five infield singles among its 13 hits.

Long Beach State 9, UC Santa Barbara 8: Trailing by eight runs going to the bottom of the sixth inning, things looked grim for the hosts Friday night at Blair Field, but four-run rallies in the sixth and eighth innings helped set the stage for a wild walk-off win on a wild pitch in the ninth. It was the fifth straight win for LBSU (23-26, 8-8 Big West).

UCSB (22-23-1, 7-9) scored six runs in the second inning and one each in the third and fourth to open its 8-0 lead, but Long Beach started to chip away a few innings later. Freshman Chris Jimenez, who finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored, drove in LBSU’s first two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth. A pair of RBI groundouts by Steven Rivas and Shaq Robinson followed and cut the deficit in half.

Jimenez started the rally in the eighth with a leadoff single. After a two-out walk and a wild pitch, Clayton Andrews blooped a two-run single down the left-field line. Brooks Stotler then drove a triple over the head of the UCSB center fielder to make it a one-run game, and Jarren Duran tied the score with a sharp single through the left side to cap the two-out, four-run rally.

Long Beach senior Sebastian Sanchez worked three scoreless innings of relief to get the game to the ninth, where closer Chris Rivera took over, striking out the side in the top half.

Jacob Hughey started the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle, and was lifted for pinch-runner Garrett Nelson. After a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk, then an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Santino Rivera. All he had to do was watch as the first pitch to him sailed well wide and reached the backstop. Nelson scored easily to give LBSU its first walk-off win of the season.

Through the first five innings, UCSB had eight runs on 10 hits while holding Long Beach scoreless on two hits. Over the final four innings, Long Beach State scored nine runs on nine hits, while the Gauchos were held scoreless and had just two hits. Five Long Beach players had multi-hit games and eight players scored at least one run.

The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m.

No. 11 UCLA 7, Washington 3: Michael Toglia hit a three-run home run and Jake Bird pitched 6-1/3 innings with seven strikeouts as the Bruins took the series opener in Seattle and snapped their four-game losing streak.

Bird (6-3) held Washington (23-21, 13-9) to three runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Garrett Barker earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

Daniel Amaral had two doubles and a run scored for UCLA (31-14, 15-7 Pac-12), while Chase Strumpf and Jack Stronach each had two hits and an RBI.

USC 8, Washington State 6: Jamal O’Guinn drove in the game-tying and go-ahead runs, and Stephen Dubb drove in the eventual game-winner in the ninth as the Trojans rallied to win the series opener in Pullman, Wash.

Washington State (14-26-1, 6-15-1 Pac-12) led 4-1, but USC (22-22, 10-15) scored three runs in the sixth inning to tie the score. With a runner on third and one out in the eighth, O’Guinn singled home Dillon Paulson with the go-ahead run. Kaleb Murphy scored on a wild pitch in the ninth, then Dubb’s two-run single provided what proved to be the winning runs.

Chris Clarke earned the win in relief, holding the Cougars to one hit over three innings and striking out four to retire nine of the 10 batters he faced. Lunn allowed a two-run homer in the ninth before closing out the win.

Dubb finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs and one run scored, while O’Guinn was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Murphy was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Blake Clanton hit two home runs for Washington State, including the two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Powered by WPeMatico

Cal State Fullerton baseball takes advantage of UC Irvine’s generosity

  • Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Colton Eastman throws to the plate during Friday’s Big West Conference series opener against UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Colton Eastman throws to the plate during Friday’s Big West Conference series opener against UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss is out at first base as Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich makes the catch while they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss is out at first base as Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich makes the catch while they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • UC Irvine pitcher Andre Pallante throws against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine pitcher Andre Pallante throws against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela is congratulated after scoring a run against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela is congratulated after scoring a run against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine players watch the game as they are down against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine players watch the game as they are down against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Jake Palmer celebrates being safe at second base against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Jake Palmer celebrates being safe at second base against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss goes high for the catch as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte is safe at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss goes high for the catch as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte is safe at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich beats the tag at second by UC Irvine’s Cole Kreuteras they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich beats the tag at second by UC Irvine’s Cole Kreuteras they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits an RBI against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits an RBI against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss throws to first after Cal State Fullerton’s Jairus Richards is out at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss throws to first after Cal State Fullerton’s Jairus Richards is out at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Brett Borgogno is congratulated after scoring during the Titans’ 8-3 Big West Conference victory over UC Irvine on Friday night at Anteater Ballpark. The series continues Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Brett Borgogno is congratulated after scoring during the Titans’ 8-3 Big West Conference victory over UC Irvine on Friday night at Anteater Ballpark. The series continues Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich is on the dirt after getting hit with a UC Irvine pitch as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine. Pavletich got up and made it to first base.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich is on the dirt after getting hit with a UC Irvine pitch as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine. Pavletich got up and made it to first base.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Devin Pettengill is out at second as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte looks to throw to first base as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Devin Pettengill is out at second as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte looks to throw to first base as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman is congratulated after pitching against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman is congratulated after pitching against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton players warm up against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton players warm up against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Fans wait for the game to start as UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton battle during a three series Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Fans wait for the game to start as UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton battle during a three series Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

IRVINE — When Cal State Fullerton’s version of small ball is working, it doesn’t need much help from an opponent. But UC Irvine gave the Titans plenty Friday night in the first game of their three-game Big West Conference series at Cicerone Field.

The Anteaters made an uncharacteristic four errors to assist the Titans’ 8-3 win, pushing Fullerton (20-20, 7-3) into first place in the Big West. UCI (25-15), which had a six-game winning streak and had won 11 of its previous 13 games, fell to 8-5 and second place.

UCI came into the game ranked 31st nationally in team defense with a .977 fielding percentage and had committed just 33 errors in 39 games. But a night of bad throws and muffs led to seven unearned runs. Second baseman Cole Kreuter had a pair and pitchers Andre Pallante and Cole Spear each had errant throws to first.

“We’ve been good in the infield this season,” UCI coach Mike Gillespie said. “The second baseman had a rough night. But we do have the disease of pitchers throwing the ball away. It was a bit of a meltdown tonight.”

Ruben Cardenas had three hits and Mitchell Berryhill two for the Titans. Fullerton ace Colton Eastman (6-3) allowed just a run five hits through eight innings before getting touched for two runs and four hits in the ninth, including Konnor Zickefoose’s third home run of the season. Dillon Brown got the final two outs.

“Their pitchers made a couple of mistakes and it ballooned on them,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. His pitcher, Eastman, was marvelous for eight innings.

“Colton’s like a lot of our Friday night guys in the past,” Vanderhook said. “What makes him different is that he’s super competitive. He’s one of the few guys who we let shake off a pitch. He’s earned the right to do that.”

The Titans’ two runs in the second inning scored without a hit.

Jake Pavletich walked. Sahid Valenzuela dropped a sacrifice bunt but reached first when second baseman Kreuter bobbled an easy throw from pitcher Pallante. Jairus Richards then bunted the runners over to second and third.

Pallante struck out Brett Borgogno and induced Hank LoForte to hit a comebacker to the mound for what should have been the third out, but Pallante’s throw to first was in the dirt and popped off the glove of first baseman Ryan Fitzpatrick, allowing both runners to score.

The Titans made it 3-0 in the fifth, LoForte reaching on an infield single and scoring on Cardenas’ hard single to right field. The Anteaters pushed a run across in the bottom of the fifth, Matt Reitano doubling into the left-field corner and eventually scoring on a Jake Palmer groundout to first.

Fullerton made it 4-1 with the help of another UCI error. Pavletich singled and reached second when the umpire ruled Kreuter came off the base taking a throw from shortstop Christian Koss. LoForte drove home the run on an infield out.

“They are way better than their record shows,” Gillespie said of Fullerton. “They’re a handful to put it mightily. We’ll shake this one off and hopefully come out and play better tomorrow.”

The Titans blew the game open in the eighth, scoring four runs on three hits, a walk, a hit batter and a two-base throwing error by reliever Spear. The Anteaters did little against Eastman.

The Anteaters had two shots early. They loaded the bases with one out in the second on a Kreuter double, a walk and a Koss single, but Eastman struck out Reitano and Ryan Johnston grounded out. Jake Palmer doubled to start the third and was bunted to third but was stranded.

The teams meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. and play the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.

Ruben talking postgame after his big offensive performance in tonight’s W#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/LdziEVcqrc

— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) April 28, 2018

Read more about Cal State Fullerton baseball takes advantage of UC Irvine’s generosity This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Cal State Fullerton baseball hosts annual Miracle League Clinic

The Cal State Fullerton baseball team hosted its annual free clinic for the Miracle League of North Orange County on the evening of April 18 at Goodwin Field.

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball player Sahid Valenzuela joined teammates and coaches in the CSUF baseball team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    Cal State Fullerton baseball player Sahid Valenzuela joined teammates and coaches in the CSUF baseball team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

  • CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

of

Expand

 

The Miracle League gives children and adults with mental and physical disabilities the chance to play baseball.

“It was really awesome to get out there and spend time with these guys,” said Titan closing pitcher Brett Conine. “The passion and love they have for life and the game of baseball was awesome to see. It really puts everything in perspective.”

The clinic at Goodwin Field gave the players — with ages ranging from  8 into the 60s — the opportunity to interact with Titan coaches and players on the main diamond, in the bullpens and in the batting cages

The event has produced some of the Titans’ most loyal and supportive fans over the years. Many Titans had left the clinic saying it’s the most humbling and gratifying experience they’ve ever had.

The Titans and miracle leaguers participated in drills, ran the base paths, laughed and shared stories. The evening ended with the group eating pizza together.

Source: Cal State Fullerton Athletics

Read more about Cal State Fullerton baseball hosts annual Miracle League Clinic This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico