Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Titan Connection - March 27 edition

It was an eventful week for our Cal State Fullerton HarbourCats with Bryan Conant notching his first start and Joe Navilhon also grabbing a few meaningful innings.

First the numbers on Conant's start against Nebraska - 3 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (both earned), 2 strikeouts and 2 walks. He faced 13 batters and threw 42 pitches, 23 for strikes. I'd say he was slightly unlucky in the way that the runs were scored on him - a couple of sacrifice bunts and some well placed ground balls - but he didn't do himself any favours by consistently falling behind in the count on most batters. He threw a first pitch strike to only 6 of the 13 hitters he faced but in this night, but so did most of the other Titan pitchers.

In the end, Conant left a tie ball game but with some big bats in the later innings, Cal State Fullerton ended up with a comfortable 10-4 win. After putting the first 2 batters on with a walk and an HBP, Conant seemed to shake off the first inning jitters and settle in a bit. He was hit pretty hard a couple of times but overall, I think it was a great experience that he can hopefully build on. He did struggle somewhat with his control and that is something he can work on, but he does throw hard and is an imposing presence on the mound, standing at 6 feet 5 inches.

Joe Navilhon
Later that same game, the other baby 'Cat, Joe Navilhon, pitched a perfect ninth inning to shut the
door. It seems like the Titans were giving some mid-week action to their freshman against a weaker hitting Nebraska team and both of our boys benefited by seeing some decent action.

Conant also saw the field in the most recent outing, a 3-2 loss to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday. Here he faced one batter in a the pivotal seventh inning. With the Titans clinging to a 1-0 lead, he entered the game with runners on first and second and one out. After getting behind in the count, Conant gave up a single to load the bases.

Enter Joe Navilhon. Our other baby 'Cat came in and ended up pitching the rest of the seventh and all of the eighth. Although his line looks respectable for 1 and 2/3 innings - 1 hit, no runs, one walk and 2 strikeouts - the seventh was a bit of a nightmare. With the bases loaded, Navilhon got behind in the count and threw a wild pitch to score a run before giving up a single to score another. With the Titans now down 2-1, a couple more wild pitches saw another run cross the plate before he settled in and got the last two outs.

The eighth inning was much better and after walking the first batter, he retired the next two and got some help from his catcher in nailing a runner attempting to steal second. Overall, Navilhon seems to have a decent fastball and definitely some nice bending pitches (slider and curve) that he struggled with a bit, but again, a pretty stressful situation to address. It was good to see the Titans stick with him after he cleared the bases in the seventh and I think he'll be the better man for it. Even though they lost the game 3-2, the experience that both our freshman got in this game, and in the previous one against Nebraska, is all part of the growing process. Getting a start or having to come into a bases-loaded jam is all part getting the feel at the next level of baseball.

It really is great being able to watch these guys on-line as the Big West network saves all the games so you can go back and watch pretty much any game. I'd encourage you to go and find these games and give them a look. Now I'm curious as to how they will be used this summer when they are getting even more seasoning here in the WCL. My guess is that Conant will end up a starter for the HarbourCats and I'm really not sure on Navilhon as I haven't seen him pitch enough yet. The fact that he entered the last game with the bases loaded makes me think he could be a set up guy or maybe the closer, even though I believe he was a consistent starter in high school.

In any case, check out the link above and take a look at what is in store for us at RAP this coming summer. I can almost smell the hot dogs already!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

HarbourCanucks corner - March 24th edition

Nick Pivetta
Nick Pivetta of the New Mexico Junior College (NMJC) Thunderbirds continues to pitch extremely well this season. On Friday, he went the distance to lead the Thunderbirds to a 6-3 victory over Howard College and raise his record to 5-2. Pivetta gave up three earned runs on eight hits in his nine innings of work. He also struck out four and didn't walk a single batter. Pivetta now has a 3.05 ERA, a nifty 1.11 WHIP and he has walked fewer than two batters per nine innings. Given that his velocity took a big jump in the fall, it’s a wonder that his control has also improved from the 3.7 walks per nine innings that he issued with the Thunderbirds last season. It’s pretty easy to understand why the scouts have been flocking to Pivetta’s starts this year.

NMJC ended up taking three of four games from Howard College on the weekend to raise their record to 23-7 on the year. Their next action is this upcoming weekend when they take on Odessa College in a four-game series.

The VIBI Mariners played their first conference games of the season on Saturday and Sunday and Connor Russell earned the Opening Day start. Although the temperature in Nanaimo was 7C (45F) at game time on Saturday, it felt closer to the freezing mark with a stiff breeze blowing most of the afternoon. Russell got off to a great start by retiring the Prairie Baseball Academy (PBA) Dawgs in order in the first inning, but it was an uphill battle for the rest of the seven-inning game. After giving up a run in the top of the third inning, Russell was staked to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the frame on an opposite-field grand slam by Darren Kolk. The score remained that way until the top of the fifth when the Dawgs struck for three runs to tie the game. Russell deserved a better fate in that inning, as the Dawgs used three consecutive flares to the opposite field and a pair of walks to draw even. PBA scored the eventual winning run with two outs in the top of the seventh inning on a throwing error by the catcher, making the final score 5-4 for the visitors.
Connor Russell

On the afternoon, Russell went seven innings and gave up four earned runs on eight hits. He walked six, struck out five and threw a total of 123 pitches. Although this wasn’t the result he was hoping for, Russell still impressed me with his resilience and compete level against the defending Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) champions. Including non-conference games, he now has a 2-2 record and a 4.03 ERA on the year.

Unfortunately, things did not go any better for the Mariners during the rest of the weekend, as the PBA Dawgs won all four games. The Mariners have a heavy schedule in the next week with eight games coming up against the Sherwood Park A’s, Edmonton Prospects and the University of Calgary. All games are at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

Austin Russell of the Southern Polytechnic Hornets failed to receive much playing time for the second consecutive week, although he did reach base on an error in his only at-bat. Russell’s average sits at .327, good for sixth best on the team. The Hornets can certainly use an offensive boost after being held by Lee University to one run and a measly 10 hits in a three-game series over the weekend, so perhaps Austin will be back in the starting lineup soon. The Hornets play a doubleheader against Point University on Tuesday and then they take on William Carey University in the three-game set next weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The real HarbourCats of Santa Barbara - Mar 21 edition

Nesovic scores the winning run on Saturday
The UCSB Gauchos snagged two of three games from the Sacramento State Hornets last weekend and HarbourCats pitcher Robby Nesovic played a huge role in the series victory. Nesovic, who had multiple hits in all three games against Sacramento State, has been a man on a mission in the batter’s box of late. The freshman went 7-for-11 with a pair of RBI on the weekend and he now appears to be the team’s regular DH and cleanup hitter. Nesovic also has an impressive six-game hitting streak.

It’s difficult to select the high point of Nesovic’s weekend for the Gauchos, but perhaps it was in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game. With two outs and the score tied 4-4, Nesovic hit a liner over second to start a UCSB rally. Two batters later, he raced from second on a base hit and slid in safely at home on a close play for the eventual game-winning run.

Nesovic has posted some scary numbers so far this season – a .500 batting average, .541 on-base percentage and an out-of-this-world slugging percentage of .600. Ay, caramba!! This young man is going to be a joy to watch at Royal Athletic Park this summer, whether it is at the plate or on the mound.

The low point of the weekend came in the first inning of Sunday’s 13-7 loss when the Gauchos gave up eight runs and committed three errors. The lopsided first inning did have a bright side for HarbourCats fans, as it allowed Connor Baits to come in and help stop the bleeding. The freshman’s 3 1/3 innings of work was his longest relief appearance of the season, and he gave up four hits and two earned runs without walking a batter. Baits now has a 5.91 ERA in eight relief appearances.
Connor Baits

The other two H-Cats on the UCSB squad, Dillon Tate and Art Vidrio, remained on the sidelines this past weekend. Hopefully they’ll get into their first game of the season soon, but that seems less likely each week. The next bit of action for UCSB is this coming weekend when they play a three-game series against the Cal Poly Mustangs. The Gauchos are then off to Honolulu to play the University of Hawaii the following weekend in the first conference games of the season.

- Co-written by WC and Gus

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Titan Connection - March 20 edition

Bryan Conant delivers against Pepperdine earlier this year
Since the last Titan post, none of the Cal State Fullerton HarbourCats have seen any action, but that's all about to change tonight when Bryan Conant "the Barbarian" - our six foot five inch tall, 220 pound lefty - takes the hill for his first start in the second game of a two game set against Nebraska.

CSF baseball (@BaseballTitans) just tweeted this tidbit of information, along with a picture of Mr. Conant's newly buzzed head. This is exciting news for Conant who has 4 appearances and 3 and a third innings of work so far this year. He enters the game with a 5.40 ERA and 1.61 WHIP - stats that are admittedly not that indicative of performance, given the small sample size.

If last night's game against the Cornhuskers was any indication (an 11-inning thriller won by CSF), tonight's game should also be a good one. The 'Huskers are only 6-12 and are hitting .235 as a team compared to 17-3 and .271 for the eighth ranked Titans so let's hope for many Nebraska zeroes and many crooked CSF numbers.

This is a great opportunity for the freshman Conant to show his stuff, not only to us (his summer hosts!) but to the Cal State bench bosses in charge of dolling out precious innings. He will be the sixth CSF pitcher to start this year, where they seem to have a pretty set four-man rotation. It would be EXCELLENT (said in best Mr. Burns voice) to see Conant have a solid outing.

Tonight's game is being streamed live at Big West TV if you want to check him out. Come on, take a lawn chair and your laptop out to your front porch so you get yourself warmed up for the balmy Victoria opener.

Here's hoping for a great start!

Monday, March 18, 2013

HarbourCanucks corner - March 18th edition

Nick Pivetta
It appears that the media blackout on information about the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds baseball team has mercifully ended. This means that we can finally give you an update on what Nick Pivetta has done on the mound in the last couple of weeks -- and the news is good.

On March 9th, Pivetta held Midland College to only four hits and two earned runs in six innings pitched. He struck out four and walked two. On Friday, Pivetta got the win against Cochise College by giving up no earned runs in seven dominant innings on the hill. He only gave up five hits while striking out six and walking one. Pivetta now has a 4-2 record on the year with a 3.06 ERA and an impressive 1.16 WHIP. The Thunderbirds, who are now 20-6 on season, are the 20th-ranked junior college baseball team in the country in the most recent poll. However, they have gone 5-1 since those rankings were released. The next action for the Thunderbirds is a four-game series against Howard College this weekend.

Connor Russell had his best start of the year on Sunday, leading the VIBI Mariners to a 3-1 victory over the Okanagan College Coyotes. Russell only gave up three hits and one earned run in six innings, striking out seven and only walking one batter. The win moved his record to 2-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.68. Look for that earned run average to keep dropping, as his WHIP is a stellar 1.09. The Mariners play their first four home games of the season on Saturday and Sunday when they take on the Prairie Baseball Academy from Lethbridge, Alberta.

After posting a six-game hit streak, Austin Russell of the Southern Polytechnic Hornets has fallen abruptly into a hitting funk. Russell was held hitless in seven at-bats in the last week and his average has fallen to  .333. While that batting average may sound impressive, keep in mind that the Hornets' team batting average is .335. Not to worry -- we're confident that Russell will get right back into the hitting groove very soon. The Hornets have now won seven in a row to improve their record to 19-6 on the season. Next up is Tennessee Temple University on Tuesday and then a three-game series against Lee University on Friday and Saturday.

  • Matt "Coop" Cooper earned a couple of recent starts for the University of Hawaii after his outstanding relief appearance on February 22nd that saw him pitch 6 1/3 shutout innings. His first start against UNLV on March 4th didn't go so well, but last Tuesday's outing against Gonzaga was spectacular. Cooper threw a complete-game three-hit shutout, and he didn't walk a single batter. The win was the first of his NCAA career and he lowered his ERA to a team-leading 1.95.
  • Andrew Nelson has been wildly inconsistent in his six starts for Cuesta College this season. However, his most recent start on March 12th against LA Pierce College was outstanding. Nelson (3-3, 4.29 ERA) threw a complete game, allowing one earned run on eight hits.
  • Alex Real helped the University of New Mexico Lobos take two out of three from UNLV on the weekend, dropping the Rebels out of the Top 25 rankings. Real went 5-for-10 with a pair of RBI, raising his average to .328 and his on-base percentage to a sparkling .451.
  • Brett Urabe
  • David Schuknecht hit his third homer in his last five games on Saturday for Riverside City College. He now leads the team with a monster .569 slugging percentage. Schuknecht has also played the last four games in left field, which is a good sign for his surgically repaired labrum.
  • Brett Urabe got the first RBI of his college career on Saturday by successfully executing a squeeze bunt in the seventh inning of a 5-0 win by the UCLA Bruins over the Washington Huskies. Urabe only has two official at-bats this season and he is still looking for his first career hit.
  • The West Coast League appears to be getting closer to expanding to Northern California, as Redding and Chico may be granted expansion teams for the 2014 season. As an interesting sidebar, a former Blue Jay is spearheading the effort in both cities: Rick Bosetti in Redding and Pat Gillick in Chico.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The real HarbourCats of Santa Barbara - Mar 14 edition

Mr. Utility, Robby Nesovic
When we last checked in with the Gauchos, they were stuck in neutral with a 4-4 record after getting pounded by the (then) 12th-ranked UCLA Bruins. UCSB then reeled off four straight wins against San Jose State and Saint Mary's College before being swept in a three-game series by the Texas Longhorns. Although they were humbled by the Longhorns, the Gauchos showed a good attitude on Tuesday night by bouncing back with a solid 7-2 win against the 17th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. UCSB's record now stands at 9-7 on the year.

Helping out in the Gaucho resurgence has been our own Robby Nesovic. Nesovic, who is a relief pitcher by trade, appears to have taken over the full-time duties as the team's designated hitter. Although starting pitcher Greg Mahle began the season in that role, Mahle hasn't started a game at DH since his "o-fer" on March 1st that dropped his average to .152. Meanwhile, Nesovic has gone on a tear with five hits and seven RBI in the last three games -- he now leads the team with an impressive .421 batting average. Nesovic has walked more often than he has struck out and that great strike-zone judgement has propelled him to a nifty .500 on-base percentage, good for second best on the Gauchos squad.

Nesovic also made his third relief appearance of the season on Tuesday night against Notre Dame, giving up two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief of Mahle. Nesovic's ERA for the year stands at 7.36, but he has plenty of time to turn things around on the hill.

Check out Notre Dame's exceptional retro uniforms!
Connor Baits has made two relief appearances since our last UCSB update. He pitched a scoreless inning against the Saint Mary's College Gaels on March 4th, and then he got roughed up by the Texas Longhorns on Sunday in an appearance that lasted 2 2/3 innings. Baits gave up four hits, including a three-run homer to the second Longhorns hitter that he faced. The round-tripper was the second long ball given up by Baits this season, and his ERA now sits at 6.14.

The other two HarbourCats freshmen on the UCSB roster, Dillon Tate and Art Vidrio, are still waiting for their first opportunity to show what they can do on the hill. Coach Checketts obviously isn't averse to using young guns on the mound -- 7 of the 11 pitchers used so far are freshmen. Since two of those freshmen sport ERA's of 8.64 and 15.43, perhaps it's time to see what guys like Tate and Vidrio can do. The next action for the Gauchos comes on Friday when they start a three-game series against the visiting Sacramento State Hornets.

  • Justin Burba of the Oklahoma Sooners got the first hit of his college career on Wednesday night and it was a big one. Burba, who had only four previous at-bats this season, pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Sooners trailing New Mexico State by a run. He smacked a double down the left field line on an 0-2 pitch and scored the tying run later in the inning (you can see his double on SoonerSports TV -- just advance to the 1:54:40 mark). The Sooners went on to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Burba's teammate (on both the Sooners and the HarbourCats) Anthony Hermelyn has cooled off of late. He's 0-for-3 in his last three games and is now hitting .225 with 8 RBI in his 40 at-bats this season.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Titan Connection - March 13 edition

The Cal State Fullerton Titans continue to move up in the Baseball America rankings, settling in this week at #8 (up from #10 last week) after going 3-2 in their last 5 games. As expected, with such a busy schedule all of our baby 'Cats (HarbourKittens??) saw some limited action in this latest string of games.

In an eventual 7-2 loss at the University of San Diego, Bryan Conant came in to try and work starter J.D. Davis (who took the loss but remained in the game as the DH!) out of a jam in the fourth. Conant pitched to 2 batters giving up one hit and allowing an earned run for Davis and one of his own on a subsequent sacrifice fly.

Joe Navilhon also pitched a full inning in the loss to USD, giving up one hit (a big one...a round tripper), two earned runs, and finished with a walk and a strike out. It was the first work in a while for Navilhon, again in middle relief.

David Olmedo-Barrera
After an 11-4 win at USC where none of our boys saw any action, CSF went home for a 3 game set with Texas A&M. The first two games were again void of any future HarbourCats (a 6-1 loss and a 2-0 win) but in the series finale - a thrilling 7-6 win - there was another David Olmedo-Barrera sighting in the 7th when he entered the game as a pinch runner and ended up scoring what would turn out to be the winning run.

So all in all, not too much action for our boys last week. It seems like with such a big hitting team, Olmedo-Barrera will see very playing time but we'll keep an eye on him, for sure. As for the hurlers, at least they got some action. Hopefully they will bide their time, throw up some zeroes, and take advantage of some middle relief opportunities to earn even more innings in the coming few weeks. Again, we're talking about three freshmen here so the light duties are to be expected.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

HarbourCanucks Corner - March 12th edition

Connor Russell
Connor Russell picked up his first win of the year on Sunday by leading the VIBI Mariners to a 6-4 win over Linn-Benton Community College. Russell (1-1) allowed only seven hits and two earned runs in his eight innings on work. He also struck out 10 batters while only walking two. Connor now has a 4.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in his two starts this season. The Mariners play a pair of games next weekend against both Wenatchee and Everett community colleges before returning to Nanaimo for their home opener on March 23rd.

Even though he has been on a roll of late for the Southern Polytechnic Hornets, Austin Russell only played in one of the three games against Emmanuel College last weekend. The Hornets swept the series and are now 15-6 on the year. Russell went one-for-four with two runs scored and a stolen base -- his first steal of the year in two attempts. Austin still leads the team in batting average (.390) and on-base percentage (.479), so I'd expect him to get some significant playing time this week. The Hornets play Lindsey Wilson College on Wednesday and then they take on Loyola University in a three-game series on Friday and Saturday.

Getting information on games played by the New Mexico Junior College baseball team seems to be tougher than extracting information on North Korea's nuclear program. We know that the NMJC Thunderbirds dropped three of four games to Midland College last weekend, but complete box scores are still not available. That means we have no idea how Nick Pivetta may have fared in his start against Midland College, but we'll let you know as soon as details are released. The three losses on the weekend dropped the Thunderbirds' record to 15-5 on the season.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A big weekend for the Schuknecht brothers

RCC's David Schuknecht
It was almost as if the two brothers on the HarbourCats, David and John Schucknecht, were trying to one-up each other this past weekend.

David Schuknecht hit a solo home run for Riverside City College on Thursday afternoon and then followed that up with a three-run homer and four RBI on Saturday. The round-trippers were the first two home runs in David's college career. His batting average currently sits at only .255, but he now leads RCC with 11 RBI and an impressive .511 slugging percentage. Although he is a catcher by trade, David has been used almost exclusively as the DH since he had a pair of early season starts behind the plate. Hopefully that isn't an indication that his surgically repaired labrum is giving him issues.

Not to be outdone by his older brother, John Schuknecht hit a three-run homer and had four RBI on Friday afternoon for the Cal Poly Mustangs. The homer was also the first of John's college career. He may only be hitting .238, but the freshman has been earning more playing time of late thanks to a solid .393 on-base percentage. Although John has only 21 at-bats in the Mustangs' 15 games, 12 of those at-bats have come in the last five days.
John Schuknecht

I'm sure that the Schucknecht siblings will continue to push each other when they both don a HarbourCats uniform this summer -- and that's going to be a lot of fun for Victoria baseball fans to watch.

  • Alex Real of the UNM Lobos split his time equally between first base and catcher this weekend.  He went 4-for-13 with an RBI and five runs scored in a four-game split with UC Riverside. He's now batting .321 on the year.
  • Alex DeGoti and Logon Lombana are two Victoria HarbourCats currently playing for the Long Beach State Dirtbags. ESPN recently published a very interesting article explaining the origins of the Dirtbags name.
  • If second baseman Alex DeGoti is at a loss for a walk-up song at Royal Athletic Park, he could always select this gem from the summer of 2000:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alex Real bounces back in a big way

The true test of any athlete is how he or she battles back when facing adversity. By that measure, Alex Real passed with flying colours last night.

While he will definitely be one of the offensive leaders this summer for the HarbourCats, Real's defensive play is still a work-in-progress. Although his UNM Lobos thumped Lasalle University by a score of 16-3 in Tuesday's game, it was a night to forget for Real. After making three errors at first base in the top of the third inning, Lobos head coach Ray Birmingham promptly lifted Real for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning. Ouch. Birmingham, who is known as a bit of an ornery old-school type of guy, must have had steam coming out of his ears by the third miscue.

But you have to give coach Birmingham some credit -- he trotted Real right back out there on Wednesday night, only this time it was for his first appearance of the season behind the plate. Real was used as a DH almost exclusively last season, but he polished his catching skills playing summer baseball for the Eau Claire Express in the Northwoods League. Birmingham's move paid dividends, as Real responded with the first four-hit game of his college career. In addition to his three singles and a double, Real knocked in three runs and scored one himself. His batting average now stands at .325, good for fifth best on the team.

I would expect to see Real back at first base for a good portion this weekend when the Lobos take on UC Riverside in a four-game series. In a post-game interview last night, Birmingham was quoted as saying "He's (Real) a good catcher, but we need him to play first base too and he's gotta get it." After everything that has gone on over the last couple of nights, it's pretty clear that Real gets it.

The post-game interview with Real starts at the 1:42 mark of this video.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

HarbourCanucks corner

Our other two regular features have catchy names, so why not brand our periodic updates on the three Victoria natives on the HarbourCats? That sounds like a good idea to me, so here is the first official installment of "HarbourCanucks corner."

On Sunday, Nick Pivetta of the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds raised his record to 3-1 on the season in a 14-4 victory over Clarendon College. The game was called after five innings by the "mercy" rule. Pivetta gave up six hits and three earned runs in his five innings of work, striking out seven without walking a single batter. His ERA now stands at 4.19 for the year.
Photo of Austin Russell by

The Thunderbirds -- the second-ranked junior college team in the country -- scored 54 runs on the weekend and swept all four games against Clarendon College. Their next test is a four-game set against Midland College that starts on Friday.

As we predicted, Austin Russell has been moved up to the top of the Southern Polytechnic Hornets batting order. Russell got the start in right field and batted second in two of his team's three games last weekend. In the series against Southern Wesleyan University, he went 4-for-9 with an RBI and a run scored. His RBI on Saturday was a significant one -- he drove in the tying run in the sixth inning of a seven-inning game and the Hornets went on to win the game in extras. Russell now leads the team in both batting average (.405) and on-base percentage (.488). The Hornets, now 12-6 on the year, take on Emmanuel College in a three-game series this weekend.

The Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners opened their season with four games in Yakima this past weekend. That allowed the third HarbourCanuck, Connor Russell, to finally take to the hill in a meaningful game. Unfortunately, Russell had a disappointing outing against Yakima Valley Community College, giving up eight hits and six earned runs in his eight innings of work. He struck out seven and walked three. Russell's next chance to pitch will be this weekend when the Mariners return to Yakima for a pair of games against both Clackamas and Linn-Benton.

  • Going into last weekend, five freshmen on the HarbourCats had yet to appear in any of their team's games. However, Kentucky’s 21-2 blowout over the University of Akron on Friday allowed Zach Storm to make his debut for the Wildcats. He went 0-for-1 and played three innings at second base. On Sunday, Brett Urabe got the start at DH for the UCLA Bruins and he went 0-for-2 with a run scored. David Olmedo-Barrera of the Cal State Fullerton Titans also made his first appearance on Sunday; He walked in a pinch-hit appearance. That leaves two HarbourCats who are still waiting for their first taste of game action: pitchers Art Vidrio and Dillon Tate of the UCSB Gauchos.
  • Freshman Logan Lombana got his first career NCAA win on Saturday for Long Beach State by pitching a perfect top of the ninth inning in a 4-3 win over Seattle University. Lombana now has a 3.60 ERA and a stellar 1.00 WHIP in five relief appearances. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Titan Connection - March 5 edition

The Cal State Fullerton Titans continue to roll along, taking a weekend match-up from the previously 14th ranked Oregon Ducks 2-1. CSF won the first 2 games 8-2 and 9-2 respectively before dropping the finale 9-1. Sunday's game was the first loss of the season for the 10-1 Titans, but the weekend series was enough to propel them up to #10 in the Baseball America rankings.

As for our HarbourCats, they saw limited action in the series with the Ducks. Bryan Conant pitched 1/3 of an inning in the Sunday loss facing two batters. He did give up a hit but also struck out one in middle relief. There was no appearance from the other HarbourCat pitcher - Joe Navilhon - but there was a David Olmedo-Barrera sighting as he came into Sunday's game as a pinch hitter. In his first appearance of the season he drew a base on balls. This Titan team is very strong, so earning playing time will be tough for our baby 'Cats since they are all freshman. With 5 games in the next 6 days though - all against unranked opponents -  there may be a chance to see our boys get some innings/at bats.

Saturday's game had a special meaning for the Titans as they honoured Nick Hurtado, a CSF Titan who passed away following a brave battle with bone cancer. There was a moment or silence before the game and Titan's first baseman Carlos Lopez wore Hurtado's number 56 in his memory.