P.J. Pilittere is a fifth-year senior catcher at Cal State Fullerton. He capped an outstanding 2003 season with a spot on the College World Series all-tournament team by hitting .500 (6-12) with three extra-base hits and three RBI in four games. A native of Walnut, Calif., Pilittere is a broadcast journalism major and hopes to pursue a career in television broadcasting. He will provide weekly insight on the Titans' program.




Feb. 26, 2004

Catching Up Behind the Dish


The bulk of our road schedule continued as we headed into the Lone Star State to play a three game set with the University of Houston this past weekend.  I had been to UH once before in 2001, which happened to be my first road trip as a Titan. 


This would be our first road trip via plane this season, so most of the guys were excited to take a break from the recent trend of the never-ending bus rides.


Upon arrival in Houston, we quickly changed and headed to UH’s superb facility for practice.  Practice was a blast.  Largely due in part to a special challenge presented during batting practice.


This past week, the coaching staff has emphasized the mentality to compete and not give in to a situation because it is difficult.  Well, a difficult situation was presented, and his name was pitching coach Dave Serrano.  Coach Serrano stepped behind the L-screen and came right after each hitter.  We tightened up our belts and accepted the challenge, which included some taunting when succeeded against him.  Due to a long day of travel, we were all starved.  After practice, we stopped at Sonic and devoured burgers and tater tots.  We washed it all down with some traditional cherry limeades.


Friday marked the first start of the year for Titans All-American pitcher Jason Windsor.  It started rocky for Jason as Cougars DH Brett Cooley crushed a hanging changeup over the boards, giving the Cougars an early 3-0 lead. Windsor would not allow another run as he pitched 5.1 strong innings.  The Titans’ offense failed to get the timely hits and lost another road game 3-2.


I like to keep these journals team-related instead of personal, but Saturday was a special day for me.  If you don’t know, I have switched positions this season from catcher to first base, due in large part to the abundance of talent behind the plate.  It was a hard transition at first, but now I am making progress each and every day.  I received a phone call from Coach Horton in my hotel room about 2:30 p.m., and he said “Shake the rust off, we’re gonna put you behind the plate tonight.” 


I was overjoyed, especially because Ricky Romero – one of my favorite Titan pitchers to catch – was on the hill.  The night could not have turned out any better.  Ricky made it easy for me behind the dish, as he was dialed in from pitch one through pitch 115, recording a complete-game shutout.  I felt like it was just he and I out there all night.  No matter what sign I gave him, he agreed and made numerous hitters look silly.  Ricky certainly put the icing on the cake for an already special night for me.  Titans win 11-0.


Now, we had a chance to win our first road series of the season.  Sophomore lefty Ryan Schreppel, who has had a rather shaky start, was on the bump for the Titans.  Ryan turned in his best performance of the year as he pitched a strong seven innings, allowing just three earned runs.  Schreppel’s outing gave the Titans’ offense a chance to do some damage.  Sophomore outfielder Danny Dorn fueled the offense with four hits en route to a series ending 9-4 victory.


Finally a home series!  The Titans return home this weekend and host the annual Kia Bash that includes teams Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, and Southern Cal.


P.J. Pilittere


Previous Entries

On the Road Again (2/18/04)

Silence is Golden (2/10/04)


(photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton Media Relations Office)