Cal State Fullerton baseball is set to play rival Long Beach State in a three-game series this weekend.
Despite the Dirtbags also being a member of the Big West Conference, these games will count as three of the four final non-conference games against CSUF. The Titans will play Santa Barbara in their conference home opener against Santa Barbara next Friday.
The last time these two teams saw each other was the finale of Big West Conference play last season. CSUF took two of the three games. In the 2018 season, the rivals split the sum of six games equally at 3-3.
Heading into this weekend’s series, each team has a record under .500 as the Titans hold a record of 8-10 while the wins have been sparse for the Dirtbags with a record of 3-16 this season.
Two of those three games that Long Beach won came against ranked opponents, including No. 16 Michigan and No. 23 Texas Christian University.
TCU may sound familiar to CSUF fans as the Titans opened up their season against the Horned Frogs in the MLB4 tournament. CSUF pulled off a 2-0 win behind a shutout performance by pitcher Tanner Bibee.
Fullerton currently sits in the middle of the Big West in fourth place, just one game behind Hawaii. Long Beach sits at the bottom of the conference in ninth place.
— Titans Baseball (@FullertonBSB) March 20, 2019
CSUF will need to be on top of their game as Long Beach will look to use this weekend’s opportunity to gain ground before opening conference play April 5 at UC Irvine.
The Titans’ second baseman Hank LoForte enters the matchup carrying a 63 game on-base streak, which started over one year ago on March 11, 2018. Over the course of the first 18 games, LoForte has had a batting average of .356, with 16 runs and 10 RBIs.
Pavletich enters the game with 12 RBIs, two home runs and 8 runs scored.
Wrapping up CSUF players to watch is Sahid Valenzuela. The junior infielder has similar statistics to LoForte, with a .348 batting average, 11 RBIs, and 12 runs on the season.