Fullerton no pushover for Vandy

Vanderbilt plays the Cal State Fullerton Titans on Sunday in the College World Series. At first glance, because they are not a member of a power conference, you might think the Titans aren't a quality program but that's far from the truth.

Cal State Fullerton's baseball program has a history of success. The Titans have 27 Big West Conference Championship banners. This College World Series will be the Titan's 17th. CSF won national championships in 1979, 1984, 1995 and 2004. The Titans are an impressive 151-79 all-time in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

Cal State Fullerton (39-23, 19-5 Big West) is coached by Jim Vanderhook who is in his fourth season with the Titans (160-78).

Finishing its season with a 35-22 record and a Big West Championship, the Titans had about a week off before the first game of their home regional. CSF beat Pepperdine in the first game and then downed Arizona State 3-2 the next day. The Titans then took down Pepperdine 10-1 in the final game to earn a trip to the Louisville Super Regional.

In Louisville the Titans defeated the Cardinals 3-2 in game one. On Sunday the Cards handled CSF with ease, 9-3. However, on Monday the Titans rallied by scoring two runs in the eighth inning to earn the trip to Omaha.

Fullerton's pitching staff has a solid 2.84 ERA. They are allowing opponents a .249 batting average. The Titans are an impressive fourth in the nation in shutouts with nine.

Junior right hander Thomas Eshelman (8-5, 1.58 ERA) is the Titan's top starting pitcher. On Monday night, Eshelman recorded his first career save in his second career relief appearance, pitching a scoreless 11th inning to secure the Titans a trip to the College World Series in the win over Louisville. Eshelman was recently named to the American Baseball Coaches' Association/Rawlings All-America team. In 131 innings pitched this season, Eshelman has 131 strikeouts and an incredible only seven walks.

John Gavin (2-0, 3.66 ERA) pitched in the second game against Louisville. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings allowing five hits and walking one. Right handed freshman Connor Seabold (5-3, 2.84 ERA) started the final game against the Cards. He allowed 5 hits and 2 runs in five inning pitched.

Cal State Fullerton is batting .265 as a team. They have just 20 home runs on the season. The Titan's other All-American is designated hitter Olmedo-Barrera who enters the College World Series with a .328 average, leading the team in runs (44), triples (5), home runs (10), RBIs (45), total bases (113) and slugging percentage (.571). Competing in 58 games and batting third as Fullerton's starting designated hitter, Olmedo-Barrera adds 44 runs scored, eight doubles, 27 walks and a team-high 14 stolen bases to his offensive repertoire. Olmedo-Barrera went 3-for-4 in the Super Regional final at Louisville and had two homers to lead the Titans.

Josh Vargas (.340, 15 RBI), Tyler Stieb (.303, 23 RBI), Josh Estill (.283, 31 RBI, 5 HR) are the Titan's other key hitters.

Sunday's game starts at 7 pm CT and will be televised on ESPN2. Vanderbilt will face either LSU or TCU in its second game at the CWS on Tuesday.

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