After the midweek series with New Mexico State, Tech moves on to face more ranked competition. Cal State rolls in after losing one of one games on the road at Arizona. CSF isn't off to a great start (4-3) after last year's team finished in Omaha and ranked in the top 10.
This year's pitching staff has been highly effective. The staff boasts a 2.07 ERA as a whole, a WHIP of 0.78. Leading the staff are a pair of right-handed freshmen in Colton Eastman and Brett Conine. Eastman has pitched 12 innings in his two starts while striking out 11. In 2016 Eastman has only walked one batter and allowed a measly three earned runs. Conine started the Arizona game, giving up only two runs in five innings. These two are the only two starters on the team with an ERA under 3.
While pitching and defense are important, teams can't win if they don't score runs. This has been the case for CSF as of late. In their four losses, the Titans have scored 1 run twice and were shut out in the other two losses. As a team Fullerton has a slash line of .203/.265/.278. That would be abysmal for a player; it's unimaginable as a team. As a whole this team is striking out nearly four times as often as they walk. That is very not good. While seven games is an extremely small sample size, it's still safe to say this team is in a major offensive funk.
Road trips have not gone well so far for the Titans. In four road games Fullerton has scored five runs, four of which came in one game. Away from home this team has an OPS of .394. Tech's pitching staff currently boasts a 1.33 WHIP and a staff ERA of 3.40. Neither of these are bad, but they have room for improvement. A series against a top 25 team with a struggling offense could be exactly what this team needs. There are only so many opportunities to beat ranked opponents and this weekend is one of them.
Tech needs to capitalize on this favorable matchup to boost their momentum and their résumé.