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Turnabout for Titans Better Than Fair Play

Chris Dufresne

May 03, 1987|Chris Dufresne

Now, the Titans aren't the guys you want to take into an alley fight. With a few exceptions, they're built more like a debate team.

"We don't want to start fights," Mota said. "We don't have a bunch of guys that are 6-4 and 210. But we're not going to back down. We know that everyone wants a piece of us, but we're not intimidated.

"The tradition makes a big difference. We've always been highly touted. People want to beat the best."

So there are hassles, such as one at Fresno State last weekend, when the bat slipped out of Ken Garcia's hand and rolled out near the mound.

Garcia went to retrieve the bat, but Fresno State pitcher Steve Buckholz got to it first.

"He picked it up and jabbed it in my chest," Garcia said Friday, recounting the incident.

Well, you know what happened next.

"If we back down," Garcia said, "people will think that they've got us."

The Titans have used the fights to fuel their confidence. To give in to an opponent is to give up, they say.

Garrido, in his 15th season at Fullerton, says he's partly to blame for the letdown after the Titans won the title in 1984.

"Maybe I wasn't hungry enough," Garrido said. "Maybe I was talking too much about the past."

But Garrido and the Titans apparently have regained their appetite. It's a confidence that has grown slowly. The team lost five of its first six games of the season but is 38-14. As of April 27, Fullerton was ranked fifth in the country by Collegiate Baseball.

"Winning has built our confidence," Garcia said. "We feel like we can't lose."

Maybe the Titans aren't as good as they think they are. So who wants to tell them?

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