Titan Alums reach World Series

Justin Turner catches the ball and throws it to first to get the third out for the Dodgers. (Photo Credit MLB)

It has been an active year for Cal State Fullerton baseball; 12 alumni were on Opening Day rosters across the major league, the most by any school in the country. Of those alumni, only two remain in the playoffs: Justin Turner and Dylan Floro. 

This marks the fourth World Series in a row that will showcase CSUF talent. In 2017, Chris Devensky of the Houston Astros played against Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2018, Turner and Floro of the Dodgers went up against the Boston Red Sox. In 2019, Kurt Suzuki of the Washington Nationals played against Devensky and the Astros. Now, Turner and Floro will face off again in 2020. 

Turner and Floro are looking to end a historic 31-year World Series drought that has gathered quite a bit of controversy in recent years. Following a sign stealing scandal by the Houston Astros in 2017 and another loss to the Boston Red Sox the next year, the Dodgers are determined to finally bring a championship to Los Angeles in its third try in four years. 

The Dodgers had a Hollywood ending in the 2020 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves to secure the trip to the World Series. After falling behind in the series 3-1, the Dodgers managed to force a Game 7, in which they won by a score of 4-3. A powerful offense, led by Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Turner will give their pitching staff a cushion in every game.  

According to ESPN, Turner, who attended CSUF from 2003-06, has a 2020 postseason batting average of .209 in 43 at bats, with two doubles, one homerun and four RBIs. Floro, a Titan from 2010-12, has a 2.70 ERA this postseason, appearing in three games, throwing 3.1 innings and striking out five.   

The Dodgers are facing the Tampa Bay Rays, the top team in the American League who narrowly escaped both elimination and nearly blew a 3-0 series lead to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. 

The Rays are riding a strong starting rotation, led by Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow, and an elite bullpen in an attempt to hold off  the Dodgers’ strong offense. With its explosive bats, led by rising superstar Randy Arozarena, the team hopes to power through to its first Series in franchise history.

The two teams have league leading pitching, clutch and powerful bats, and led its respective leagues in the standings prior to the postseason. Both have  faced and overcome adversity in the wild-card and divisional rounds, and ultimately have proven why they belong in the Series.

If the Dodgers win the championship this year, it will be the second year in a row that the Series is won by a team with a CSUF alumni, as the Washington Nationals won last year with Kurt Suzuki, alumni from 2002-04.   

The series begins Tuesday Oct. 20 at 5:09 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and all games will be broadcast on Fox. 

See the full series schedule at https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-2020-postseason-schedule-announced.  

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