#13 Cal State Fullerton Baseball 2017 Preview

Cal State Fullerton Titans
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #2 Big West
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Cal State Fullerton reached their 25th straight NCAA Tournament in 2016. It was not a great showing for the Titans in 2016 though. Following an opening game 1-0 win against Louisiana Tech, Fullerton fell to Mississippi State 4-1 and was eliminated by Louisiana Tech in a 6-2 contest. Thanks to a superb pitching staff, this is a team that can win low scoring games, but the offense was never able to make enough happen in the NCAA Tournament. That will be the concern again this season. Senior Timmy Richards is a superb hitter and belted a team high nine homeruns last season. Sophomore Ruben Cardenas has a lot of potential and those two will have to be very productive while Coach Rick Vanderhook looks to replace much of his regular field players.
2016: 36-23, 17-7
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rick Vanderhook
Key Departed Players:
Blake Quinn, P, 2.16 ERA, 66.2 IP, 69 SO
Tanner Pinkston, IF, .327 BA, 2 HR, 33 RBI
Dalton Blaser, OF, .359 BA, 4 HR, 38 RBI
Josh Vargas, OF, .268 BA, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Jerrod Bravo, IF, .234 BA, 1 HR, 16 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Colton Eastman, P, 2.24 ERA, 100.2 IP, 100 SO
John Gavin, P, 2.09 ERA, 86.0 IP, 60 SO
Connor Seabold, P, 2.48 ERA, 83.1 IP, 96 SO
Timmy Richards, IF, .280 BA, 9 HR, 31 RBI
Ruben Cardenas, OF, .233 BA, 3 HR, 28 RBI
The offense does not have to do too much though for this team to pull off some big wins. The pitching staff returns three superb young hurlers who will battle for plenty of postseason accolades this year. Sophomore Colton Eastman started a team high 15 games last season and struck out 100 batters in 100.2 innings of action. Juniors John Gavin and Connor Seabold were also All-Big West honorees. Gavin boasted an impressive 2.09 ERA, while Seabold fanned 96 hitters in 83.1 innings. With that much talent on the mound, the Titans are in great shape to reach their 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament. They should compete for the opportunity to host a regional too and if that happens, Cal State Fullerton will make much more noise in the 2017 tournament then they did in 2016.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament


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