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June 5, 2007



Both UCLA and Cal State-Fullerton prevailed in west coast regionals last weekend, though neither hosted either event. The Bruins went into Long Beach, beating each of the other three schools once on their way to a sweep through the bracket. Fullerton, meanwhile, never even had to play host and nationally-seeded San Diego, as the Torreros went home after just two games. Surprisingly, neither squad's overall nor conference records were all that impressive this season, but they've caught some breaks, played well at the right time, and now have a chance to go to Omaha.


Goodwin Field on the campus of Cal State-Fullerton, also home to the minor league Fullerton Flyers, will be the home to this weekend's activity. The Titans, who have won four national championships, made this diamond their home in 1992, and a recent $3 million expansion project has greatly improved the stadium's appearance and increased capacity to nearly 3500.


Starting Pitching
The starting duo of Jeff Kaplan and Wes Roemer for Cal State-Fullerton is among the best in the country. While Kaplan has put together an 11-3 record and 3.35 ERA, Roemer has an impressive 10-6 mark and a 3.33 ERA. In addition, Roemer has struck out 136 batters in 127 innings. Though Sean Urena (3-3, 4.50) has the next most number of starts for CSF, it was Justin Klipp (2-0, 2.15) who started game three a weekend ago. UCLA's staff, meanwhile, is led by Tyson Brummett. The senior is 10-5 with a 3.57 ERA this spring, and he's struck out over 100. Gavin Brooks (6-6, 4.65) and Tim Murphy (5-4, 5.68), both of whom pitched well in Long Beach last weekend, are also usual starters for the Bruins. Still, though, with two legitimate aces, the edge here goes to Fullerton.
Advantage: Cal State-Fullerton
The Titans are led by junior Clark Hardman who is batting .389 with 4 homers and 44 RBIs. Josh Fellhauer, a freshman outfielder, is the only other Titan who hits above .300 coming into Super Regional play. Nick Mahin, meanwhile, leads the squad in homeruns with 9. While Fullerton boasts just two hitters above the .300 mark, UCLA claims a total of six, led by Alden Carrithers (.351, 2 HR, 32 RBI) and Gave Cohen (.348, 10 HR, 36 RBI). Cody Decker, a .314 hitter, is the team's leader in longballs with 14. The advantage in average and power obviously goes the way of the boys from L.A.
Advantage: UCLA
Out of the Pen
When it's time to shut things down, junior Adam Jorgenson is who the Titans turn to. He's compiled 8 saves this spring, while putting together a 3-2 record and 4.45 ERA in a team-leading 26 appearances. Other than those previously mentioned, other team leaders in appearances for CSF include Nolan Bruyninckx, Dustin Birosak, Bryan Harris, Paul Canedo, and Michael Morrison, with Harris (2-2, 3.08) most likely to come into the game. For UCLA, Garrett Claypoll (4) and Brant Rustich (6) have combined for 10 saves this year, while Kevin Brophy is also used frequently out of the pen. Jason Novak and Brendan Lafferty could also see action as the weekend wears on.
Advantage: Even
Few college coaches can match the success of Fullerton's George Horton, who has led the Titans to numerous 50-win seasons and a 2004 national title in Omaha. He has earned multiple national coach of the year honors and has sent many players on to play in the big leagues. UCLA's John Savage, meanwhile, is just in his third year at the helm but has already earned national attention, such as when Baseball America called him one of "ten people to watch in the future" back last summer. While Savage is a true up-and-comer in the game, Horton's past postseason successes give him the nod here.
Advantage: Cal State-Fullerton
Cal State-Fullerton has to feel a bit fortunate to have avoided the host team San Diego last weekend, while UCLA caught a break when LBSU was taken down by Illinois-Chicago the first night. All of that makes one wonder how good these two really are. The biggest intangible at this point has to be Fullerton's history of college baseball postseason success. Few times can match what the Titans have done since Horton took over there, and while UCLA has had a great season and has a bright future, the home team's field and recent success give the Titans the advantage in this one.
Advantage: Cal State-Fullerton


Few expected either of these teams to advance to Super Regional play, much less both of them. But upsets were abound all across the country, and last week's San Diego and Long Beach Regoinals were no exception. After somewhat quiet finishes to the season for both, they seem to have turned things up a notch here in the month of June, as each swept through last weekend without much of a problem.
Winning game one will be crucial for the Bruins as they send star Tyson Brummett to the hill. A loss for the Bruins in that opening game with a looming matchup against Kaplan in game two could spell doom for UCLA. Win that first one though, and the Bruins are guaranteed to get to a third game with both Roemer and Kaplan behind them.


Eddie Jimmy Jonathan
CS-Fullerton CS-Fullerton CS-Fullerton
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