#19 Cal State Fullerton Baseball 2019 Preview

Cal State Fullerton Titans
Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #1 Big West
 Cal State Fullerton Logo
Cal State Fullerton was a resilient squad in 2018 as they battled for 27 outs and win or lose, they didn’t go down without a fight. The Titans went to the Stanford Regional and knocked out a national title contender in the Stanford Cardinal. Washington came to Fullerton for the Super Regional and fell to the Huskies in a dramatic third and final game to fall just short of a trip to Omaha. Head Coach Rick Vanderhook and his team bring back a group that should be highly motivated to make amends for last season ending in such gut-wrenching fashion.
2018: 36-25, 18-7
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rick Vanderhook
Key Departed Players:
Ruben Cardenas, OF, .292 BA, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 12 SB
Colton Eastman, P, 2.37 ERA, 10-4 W/L, 117.2 IP, 28 BB, 124 SO
Tommy Wilson, P, 2.71 ERA, 7-0 W/L, 89.2 IP, 22 BB, 81 SO
Andrew Quezada, P, 3.90 ERA, 4-5 W/L, 83.0 IP, 19 BB, 58 SO
Blake Workman, P, 3.28 ERA, 4-4 W/L, 60.1 IP, 20 BB, 72 SO
Brett Conine, P, 4.09 ERA, 4-2 W/L, 44.0 IP, 8 BB, 49 SO, 10 SV
Key Returning Players:
Sahid Valenzuela, INF, .272 BA, 0 HR, 22 RBI
Hank LoForte, INF, .339 BA, 2 HR, 35 RBI, 4 SB
Daniel Cope, C, .279 BA, 5 HR, 44 RBI, 4 SB
Jacob Pavletich, INF, .282 BA, 0 HR, 22 RBI
Mitchell Berryhill, OF, .295 BA, 0 HR, 23 RBI, 10 SB
Brett Borgogno, INF, .246 BA, 0 HR, 21 RBI
Tanner Bibee, P, 3.86 ERA, 3-5 W/L, 56.0 IP, 18 BB, 56 SO
Cal State Fullerton is going to have to win games with a deep everyday lineup. Hank LoForte is a senior who was named to the 2018 All-Big West First-Team as he hit. 339 with two homeruns and 35 runs batted in. LoForte also has a 22-game hitting streak heading into the start of the 2019 season. Daniel Cope hit five homeruns and drove in 44 runs and will have the task of leading a young pitching staff. Tanner Bibee will be the ace on Friday night for the Titans and will look to build upon a good freshman season in 2018. Bibee struck out 56 batters in 56 innings and most importantly limited his walks to just 18.  The key for Bibee will be to eat up innings to save stress on the bullpen during weekend series. The schedule is absolutely loaded for Cal State Fullerton as they will open the season at the MLB Collegiate Tournament against TCU, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. Washington will visit for the home opener and then the schedule will include games with Missouri State, Stanford, USC, and UCLA. UC Irvine will visit during the last weekend of April in a series that could very well decide the Big West Conference championship. Look for Cal State Fullerton to grind their way through the difficult non-conference schedule and be in the mix to make another Super Regional this season.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament