The stakes just feel more important any time Cal State Fullerton visits Les Murakami Stadium. The defending Big West Champions are ranked 14th in the country heading into this weekend's series with the University of Hawai'i baseball team.
"They're the class of the league," said head coach Mike Trapasso. "Sixteen trips to the World Series. It's just a lot of fun, it gets the juices flowing."
UH currently sits fifth in the Big West standings, but the 'Bows are just two games out of second, a spot currently held by the Titans.
"This is what we've been waiting for, the top teams in our conference," said junior first baseman Eric Ramirez. "Hopefully we can keep playing the way we've been playing and win some games."
Hawai'i is coming off a series win on the road at CSUN last weekend where the bats came to life. UH hit .330 as a team, scoring 23 runs and parking seven home runs. Josh Rojas hit two of them, leading the way offensively with a .455 average during the series as the senior third baseman is beginning to find his groove in his second season in Manoa.
"This year I feel like when everything is working together, the game just comes so much smoother to you," said Rojas. "If there was a secret, I wish I could share it."
The all-time series between the two programs is significantly in CSUF's favor, winning 17 of the 24 series. However, last year the Rainbow Warriors went to Fullerton and stole two wins, giving the 'Bows the belief they're just as good as anyone.
"We feel that if we play the best that we can, we can't be beat," said Rojas. "I think if we can just take it as any other week, we play our best baseball, we compete against ourselves to make less mistakes than they do, I think it can be the same outcome."
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