The Cal State Fullerton Titans will commence their 2014 regular season schedule with a three-game series against Washington State between February 14-16 at Goodwin Field. The Titans will face Big West Conference competition for the first time against UC Davis for a three-game series in early-April at home, to be followed by a single-game matchup against the reigning national champion UCLA Bruins.
The Titans will face UCLA for a second single-game matchup on May 6, this time at Los Angeles. Aside from their two matchups against the Bruins, the premier competition for the Titans will come in the form of the Oregon Ducks, who will host the Titans in Eugene for a three-game set from February 28-March 2.
Although Fullerton will be without Michael Lorenzen and his two-way production, the Titans still boast one of, if not the premier pitching staffs in the nation. Last season, the Titans topped the country in BB/9 (1.41), SO/BB ratio (4.94), and WHIP (1.00), while posting the fourth lowest ERA at 2.47.
The Titans will return in 2014 with much of the artillery that produced such impressive numbers. All-Americans Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza, along with Grahamm Wiest will anchor the weekend rotation, while flame-thrower J.D. Davis is set to anchor the back end of the bullpen (Davis should serve as a solid replacement for Lorenzen, as he has become one of the better two-way players in the nation).
Potential 2014 first-round draft pick Matt Chapman should slide into Richy Pedroza’s former role at short, serving as the definitive anchor of a lineup that includes the likes of Austin Diemer, Jake Jefferies, and Greg Velazquez.
The Titans can also further boast about their strong pitching staff through freshman signee Phil Bickford, the tenth-overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft and one of the premier prep arms in the country.
Bickford is burgeoning with talent that may allow him to develop into a number two starter at the big league level, but for now he will look to hone and develop his skill set as a member of the Titans, as they attempt to dominate the Big West Conference yet again and seek out their fifth national championship (and first since 2004) in school history.