UA travels to face No.1-ranked Titans

By Sam Spiller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 16, 1996

This weekend Arizona takes on the guise of the proverbial David versus the Goliath of college baseball, Cal State-Fullerton.

Last year the Titans swept the Wildcats in three games by a combined score of 26-5. Though the Titans (6-1) went on to win the College World Series, this year is different. The Wildcats have an 11-2 record and a No. 22 ranking going into this heralded game.

"Fullerton's No.1 in the nation right now. They were good last year and the year before," left fielder Jeff Gjerde said. "We're going to come out and play hard that first game. That is going to be a big key. If we can win that one, that will carry us through the weekend."

The Wildcats are feeling confident after this week's sweep of New Mexico State and last weekend's series victory over No. 21 Texas A&M. Arizona's offense was particularly effective in the New Mexico State series, scoring 30 runs in two games.

"We're playing really well and gosh, we're all ready to go out to Fullerton right now and play them," Gjerde said. "It's a big series for all of us and I can't wait go out there. I want to play. I want to beat Fullerton."

The starter for today's game is senior left-hander Shawn Barrington (3-1, 2.69 ERA). Barrington has been pitching well for the Wildcats and was nominated for the Pacific 10 Conference pitcher of the week last week. Sunday's starter will be Matt Hendren. Saturday's starter has yet to be named.

"We're really pumped up, really excited about the Fullerton series. They are a great club and they will really test us to see how good we are," pitcher Clay Crossan said. "We are going to surprise a lot of people and hopefully keep moving up in the polls if we continue to win."