#17 Cal State Fullerton Baseball Preview

Cal State Fullerton Titans

Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #1 Big West
Cal State Fullerton Baseball Top 44 Team Preview
Cal State Fullerton Team Page


The Titans enjoyed a tremendous 2012 season, compiling a 36-21 overall record, clinching their 26th conference title and made their 34th postseason appearance. This year the squad looks even more dangerous as they return 22 players, including seven starters from their everyday lineup.

2012: 36-21, 17-7
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Rick Vanderhook

Field Players:
Of the Titans seven returning starters, none are more valuable than All-American Michael Lorenzen. The talented junior is a two way stud, making an impact as a position player and as a pitcher. He started all 57 games for the Titans last year in centerfield. There he dazzled fans with his speed, range, and arm. At the plate he impressed with .297 average, two homeruns, and team highs in RBI’s (43), total bases (101), runs (38), and stolen bases (14).  Lorenzen also utilizes his arm on the mound as the team’s closer. Richy Pedroza, a first team All-Conference selection last season, also returns and will have a huge impact on this squad. Last season he posted a team high .324 batting average, collected 69 hits, and drove in 21 runs. The senior is a tremendous talent and is a major asset to the team because he is a great utility infielder. Last year Pedroza saw action at second (22 starts), third (31 starts), and shortstop (1 start).  He also was a DH for a game. These two players are the nucleus of this offense and their experience will be huge for this team in 2013.  

The Titans pitching staff will be anchored by Grahamm Wiest, a second team All-Conference player a year ago as a redshirt freshman. He posted a 5-5 record with a solid 3.12 ERA. Now a sophomore, Wiest is hoping that his experience can make him an even better pitcher. His arm should be stronger and he should have a better idea how to throw to batters and work himself out of jams. He is a workhorse, laboring through 86.2 innings of work a season ago. He fanned an impressive 57 batters while walking just 18. That type of pinpoint command is what will allow him to continue to have success. Centerfielder who moonlights as a closer, Michael Lorenzen, also returns to this staff giving them a reliable and dominate closer. The fireballer had a team high 16 saves a season ago and blew away hitters to the tune of an impressively low 1.23 ERA and 17 strikeouts. If the Titans have the lead into the ninth, it is a pretty safe bet they will come out on top.

Who to Watch:
Big West Freshman of the Year a season ago, Matt Champman, is a player everyone will have their eyes on. He hit a solid .286, fourth best on the team, slugged two homeruns and drove in 27 RBIs. He looks to have an even bigger impact this year as he has had a year to grow, get stronger, and become accustomed to collegiate pitching. This season could be a breakout year for the young slugger, which means this lineup could be far more dangerous than many people are expecting. The Titans are relying on Champman to avoid a sophomore slump and to be their X factor in 2013. . Infielder J.D. Davis is another player to watch closely. He flashed a tremendous amount of power last year, bashing six homeruns to lead the team. His batting average was a low .229, but he had a healthy .381 on base percentage. This year his role could be expanded, and with the ability of the players ahead of him to get on base, his homerun power could lead to a breakout season, making this lineup even more deadly.   

Final Projection:
This team has tremendous talent and returns many key players, making them an experienced team. Combine that with their stranglehold on the Big West Conference and their dominance at home, this team is a lock to appear in the NCAA tournament for the 35th time in the programs rich history. Michael Lorenzen will carry this team as far as he can with both his bat and his arm. The Titans also boast a tremendous amount of depth, which should play a major role in this team’s ability to win down the stretch.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Michael Lorenzen, CF, 232
Hits: Michael Lorenzen, CF, 69; Richy Pedroza, INF, 69
Home Runs: J.D. Davis, INF, 4
RBIs: Michael Lorenzen, CF, 43
Runs: Michael Lorenzen, CF, 38
Stolen Bases: Michael Lorenzen, CF, 14

Wins: Grahamm Wiest, RHP, 5
Innings: Grahamm Wiest, RHP, 86.2
Strikeouts: Grahamm Wiest, RHP, 57
Saves:  Michael Lorenzen, RHP, 16

Madness 2013 MLB Draft Rankings:
#44 Michael Lorenzen

Madness 2013 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#78 Justin Garza


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