Titans baseball ranks in the top 20 of major preseason polls

In Sports
(Courtesy of Matt Brown)

Titans baseball has seen its program featured all over recent polls. Ranking in the top 20 of six national publications, Fullerton has now reached its highest ranking (10) so far in The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

In an attempt to stay true to this ranking, CSUF was able to test the dynamic of this season’s squad when it came out victorious in the annual alumni game on Jan. 27.

The Titans are the only member of the Big West conference that made the Top 35 of the poll, which consists of over 299 schools and 12 conferences.

CSUF has seen itself in the College World Series a total of 18 times, two of them under Titans Head Coach Rick Vanderhook, who is entering his seventh season.

With all of its appearances in Big West tournament finals and the College World Series, D1Baseball.com also ranked Fullerton the ninth best program in of college baseball after the 2017 season.

Fullerton’s roster is comprised of Titans new and old, including College Top 100 Prospects for the 2018 MLB draft Andrew Quezada and Colton Eastman.

Despite being one of the newest additions to CSUF’s lineup, Quezada is confident that team will fair well during the season.

“This season is a totally different animal, so we’re just going to take one game at a time. It’s a long season,” Quezada said. “I think they do a really good job welcoming people. I think we mesh well and it hasn’t been too big of a transition for me, so it’s been good.”

Returning relief pitcher Brett Conine was also named a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason All-American second team after an impressive season as the Titan’s closer.

(Courtesy of Matt Brown)

Conine picked up the top spot on Big West leaderboards after boasting a conference-high 15 saves last season, which was also good for sixth place nationally. His 15 saves also placed him fourth in CSUF’s single-season record book, just one behind a three-way tie for third place between Michael Lorenzen (2012) and Tyler Peitzmeier (2015).

Although Fullerton showed positive signs against the former Titans, Vanderhook said being a good team shouldn’t come so quick and easy.

“You don’t want to be a good team too early. It’s a step-by-step process,” Vanderhook said.

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