Fitt’s Bits: Takeaways From ArizonaAnalysis
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s time to empty out the notebook from my opening weekend stops at the MLB4 Tournament and the Angels College Classic. Read on for stray observations on Cal State Fullerton, Virginia, TCU, Vanderbilt, Grand Canyon, Wichita State and Ball State.
Cal State Fullerton
• The Titans pulled off a vintage gritty Titanesque victory Sunday afternoon against Virginia, coming from behind with three runs in the ninth to win 6-5. That rally featured two walks (one intentional), a hit batsman, a couple stolen bases, a sacrifice fly, two infield singles and a double — in other words, it was Titan Baseball. “I told them, I don’t think we could have played much worse, but we won twice,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said of his team’s 2-1 weekend. “But we’ll take two, it’s better than losing two.”
• The double in the ninth came courtesy of freshman right fielder Jason Brandow, who yanked an Andrew Abbott “cookie” (as Vanderhook put it) into the left-field corner. It was the second double of the game for Brandow, who had gotten Fullerton into the scoring column with a two-run double down the left-field line back in the fifth. Brandow brings intriguing physicality and athleticism to a Fullerton lineup that relies upon some smaller veterans in the top half. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds with high pockets and a whippy swing, Brandow has the look of a future impact power hitter, and he showed a glimpse of what is to come against Vanderbilt on Saturday, when he belted a grand slam halfway up the hill in right-center. His athleticism also plays on the basepaths, and he beat the throw from left field to score the tying run on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.