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Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for Titan Gym Expansion

Yes, the Titan Gym expansion project remains on schedule.

But we’re dealing with the state of California’s schedule here, which means the project might begin about the time men’s basketball Coach Brad Holland becomes a grandfather.

And his twin daughters are only 10.

The state has approved the project, but it’s like standing in line at the DMV. There is a priority list, and Cal State Fullerton is not at the top.

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The state has approved approximately $8 million to improve the school’s athletic educational facilities, including the expansion of classrooms and offices around Titan Gym.

It involves knocking down the south wall of the gymnasium, expanding the gym area, adding another corridor with classrooms and adding a practice gym for volleyball and basketball and a workout area for gymnastics.

According to Bill Shumard, Fullerton’s athletic director, officials hope to add about $1 million to the project, increasing the total budget to about $9 million.

What Fullerton would also like to do is install a new floor in the gym, ground-level seating, lights and a sound system.

The school will have to raise the extra $1 million in private funds, which, if it happens, might grab the state’s attention.

“What gives us hope is that the state shows a history of moving up (a priority number) if you show an ability to raise private funds to enhance the project,” Shumard said.

So far, Titan officials have held only informal discussions relating to what essentially would be a $1-million fund drive.

But combine the state’s economic situation with the school’s recent history of coming up short on fund-raising efforts, and it seems that construction crews will arrive in Titan Gym about the time cows graze on the moon.

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“Obviously, we would love to see it funded this year,” Shumard said. “If not this year, then in the foreseeable future.”

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House of a Sometimes Mild Ache: Since unveiling new “House of Pain” T-shirts Jan. 28 during warm-ups for the San Jose State game, the Titans are 2-2 in Titan Gym.

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Two reasons why the Titans lost to UC Irvine, 88-86, in overtime Saturday: Rebounding and free-throw shooting.

The Titans were beaten badly on the boards, 41-27.

They also shot only 62.1% from the free-throw line (18 of 29); Irvine shot 71.4% (20 of 28).

After halftime, the Titans shot 59.1% (13 of 22) from the line.

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Sometimes statistics are misleading. Sometimes, they help explain why the Titans (12-8, 7-5) dropped from third place in the Big West into a tie for fourth with Pacific.

Suddenly, a team that was overachieving and could have been in line for a National Invitation Tournament berth is scrambling for its life.

Although four of their final six games are at home, the Titans must face Cal State Long Beach and UC Santa Barbara, travel to Pacific and San Jose State and then play host to New Mexico State and Nevada Las Vegas.

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Two reasons why the Titans dropped two of three baseball games to Texas over the weekend: A lack of clutch hitting and issuing walks.

During Sunday’s 5-1 loss, the Titans stranded seven runners--six in scoring position.

“We’re not advancing runners,” Titan Coach Augie Garrido said. “Bunting, hit and run . . . we’re not making as many productive outs as we want.”

Titan pitchers also walked 18 in three games at Austin. Fullerton (3-3) has walked 28 batters this season.

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The two losses didn’t hurt the Titans too badly in the national rankings. They remained sixth in this week’s Baseball America poll and dropped from eighth to ninth in the Collegiate Baseball rankings.

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One reason why Lynn Rogers, Fullerton gymnastics coach, is glum: Ranked 11th nationally, his team suffered a blow during Friday’s meet at Stanford when freshman Brandi Baldasano broke her left hand.

Baldasano was injured on the uneven bars, the meet’s first event, and probably will miss the rest of the season.

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“It’s not a serious injury, just untimely,” Rogers said. “She was on a roll.”

Baldasano won the all-around title at Fullerton’s last home meet, Jan. 22 against San Jose State, and was second in the all-around Feb. 6 at UCLA. She is second on the team in all-around average.

“It’s kind of frustrating,” Rogers said. “We felt there was a three-way race for the Western Region championship between Oregon State, UCLA and (Fullerton). This certainly puts a dent in that.”

Titan Notes

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The times for both men’s home basketball games this week, Cal State Long Beach on Thursday and Santa Barbara on Saturday, have been moved to 8:30 p.m. to accommodate KDOC (Channel 56). . . . Bill Dobson, a former Titan assistant football coach, has been hired as an offensive line coach by the University of San Diego. Dobson also will be in charge of recruiting. . . . Jon Ward, a right-hander from Huntington Beach High, got his first college baseball start during Fullerton’s 5-1 loss at Texas on Sunday. Ward learned he would start only about 30 minutes before the game, when Derek Fahs came up with a sore arm. In four innings, Ward yielded three hits and two earned runs. He walked five and struck out two. . . . Lawyers Jared Huffman and Kirk Boyd, who sued Fullerton for violating sex-discrimination laws last year, have received a check from the state for $116,000 for their services. They are expecting another $10,000 to $20,000 to cover court costs. . . . The Fullerton softball team opens its season against Cal State Northridge at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Titan Softball Complex.. . . Shefonda Colbert had a career-high 18 rebounds and Allison Jackson’s six assists also were a career high as the Titan women defeated Cal State Northridge, 74-63, Saturday. Fullerton is 5-15, 2-10 in the Big West Conference. . . . Mate Borgogno, a second baseman on Fullerton’s 1990 College World Series team whose professional career was shortened by a shoulder injury, is coaching the freshman baseball team at Hacienda Heights Wilson High School. Borgogno has also returned to Fullerton and is on track to receive his bachelor’s degree next winter. . . . Tickets are on sale for the Big West Conference Women’s Gymnastics Championships March 20 in Titan Gym. Fullerton, Sacramento State, San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara and Utah State will compete. Tickets ($4 adult, $2 students/youths) are available through the Fullerton athletic ticket office.


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