Ask Dave, Part 1 of 2

TitanCentral.com has gotten together with assistant coach Dave Serrano to discuss his reation to getting to host a Super Regional and their next opponent Mississippi State.

TitanCentral.com: Congratulations on getting to host your first Super Regional. The coaches and players have to be real excited about this historic event.

Coach Dave Serrano: Oh yeah, I think it's exciting. It's exiting for Cal State Fullerton, the coaches, the players, the administration, the families... it's what we've waited a long time for, to be able to have back-to-back regionals at our place. It shows the university's commitment to upgrading the facilities and the excellence the players have done on the field, and for it to finally come to fruition is fantastic.

Not to say the players over the years have not earned the right to host but I think our facility is now up in the range where we're able to host this and have a very respectful regional.

TitanCentral.com: Yup, couldn't have made for a better regional with an SEC powerhouse such as Mississippi State. Do you think the MSU fans will travel out here?

Coach Dave Serrano: I'm sure they will have a good following. They have a great fan base in Starkville and I'm sure a lot of people will make the trip to California probably just to get away from Starkville [laughs].

TitanCentral.com: Now you were an assistant at Tennessee for two years so you played in Starkville before right?

Coach Dave Serrano: No, actually Mississippi State came to our place, I never went to MSU while I was at Tennessee but I've heard it's one of the most exciting places to play in the country. The reason we didn't play them in my two years was because they came to our place the first year I was there and then we had a bye with them the following year.

Coach Vanderhook went there and he said it's one of the most exciting places to play. In fact, he mentioned to me just the other day, ironically, that we would like to get them on our schedule on a home-and-home basis every other year.

TitanCentral.com: That's great, would love to see that happen. How about Miami. Are they on a home-and-home with us?

Coach Dave Serrano: Well, they'll be in our tournament, the Kia Klassic, next year.

TitanCentral.com: Looking at Mississippi State's stats it appears that they have average hitting and some great pitching. What's the early scouting report them?

Coach Dave Serrano: They're not known to be a banging offensive team. I think they're like how we were in the middle of the year where it's execution. It's not a lot of power. They're strength is definitely pitching and defense.

From what I understand, Coach McMahon does a good job of using his bullpen and he'll go get guys early because they feel they are six or seven deep on the mound.

TitanCentral.com: Pitchers are hard throwers?

Coach Dave Serrano: Yes. And that's typical of teams in the South. They're going to have some good arms. They're going to have some good pitching. From my two years at Tennessee it seems like kids fall through cracks more often out there than kids in California. Those universities are blessed in getting some better arms into their programs.

TitanCentral.com: Is that necessarily a bad thing, to bat against the hard throwers? My take is that we seem to hit better against good, hard-throwing pitchers that we do against the finesse, junk ball-type of pitcher.

Coach Dave Serrano: You're right on that. We have faced some pretty good pitchers across the country. That first 15 games we probably faced as good a pitching as you can face in the country. That has been the trend with us. We'll hit the guys that have the velocity. It's the guys that turn the ball over and have a slow little breaking ball that we seem to struggle against.

TitanCentral.com: What do you know about the MSU baseball program?

Coach Dave Serrano: I think there's mutual respect from both universities. They have a long history and tradition at Mississippi State. Obviously we have a long history and tradition at Cal State Fullerton. Two great baseball universities matching up in a showdown to see who gets to go to the College World Series.

TitanCentral.com: What do you know about the coaching staff at MSU?

Coach Dave Serrano: Coach McMahon was an assistant for a long time under coach Polk and ow he is in his third or fourth season as a head coach. He is the head coach for Team USA this summer that Darric and Chad will get to try out for so that'll be good for them because they get to showcase their talents right before the guy who will be making the decisions.

We'll be posting the second part of this interview later in the next day or two.