Feb. 11, 2007
Las Vegas, Nev. - A balk with a runner at third by Titan reliever Bryan Harris (1-1) in the bottom of the ninth inning brought home the winning run of a wild 30-hit, 22-run affair that saw UNLV upend No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, 12-11, Sunday afternoon at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
The Titans drop their first game of the season and fall to 5-1 while the Rebels improve to 4-5 on the young season.
Harris took an 11-10 lead into the bottom of the ninth after the Titans rallied for a run in the top half of the inning on a Clark Harman single that drove home Dennis Gerbasi to break the 10-10 tie. The senior Titan reliever set down the first two Rebels in the bottom of the ninth, but UNLV posted three straight singles (Calvin Beamon, Blake Gailen and Keith Smith) to score the tying runs, and set the table for the balk that would bring home Gailen with the game-winner.
Gailen finished 5-for-5 on the day, with three singles, a double, a three-run homer and five runs scored to lead the Rebel attack. UNLV out-hit the Fullerton 18-12 on the afternoon and scored in every inning except the second and the seventh.
Marc Baca (1-0), the pitcher of record when Harris' failure to set took place, earned the win, his first of the season. Baca's 2 1/3 inning outing was interrupted for a batter when Gailen came in to face Hardman in the ninth, but he then returned from his first time in left field to finish out the inning. Baca was the last of six UNLV pitchers on the afternoon.
The Titans started early scoring three in the top of the first, courtesy of a Nick Mahin three-run blast over the center field fence of Rebel starter Kevin Skogley. The leftfielder added to his RBI totals in his next at bat with a sacrifice fly to center to give Fullerton a 4-1 lead after two.
Fullerton's Sean Urena making his second career start, and was roughed up for six earned runs over four innings of work. The freshman struck out four but surrendered seven hits and walked three. Urena was the first of four Titan pitchers, none of who went unscathed.
With the Rebels holding a 7-4 lead after five innings, Fullerton forged ahead 10-7 with a six-run sixth. A bases-loaded two-run single by Joel Weeks tied the game, then a two-run triple by right fielder Chris Jones put the Titans in the lead. Mahin would follow Jones with a run-scoring ground out, for his game-leading fifth RBI.
UNLV's Chris Saddoris worked four perfect innings before allowing four of the six Titans runs in the sixth. He hit two batters, and allowed two singles before being lifted for Adam Moser.Rebel reliever Koji Pupo was the only pitcher on the day that recorded one inning without allowing a run.
Chris Jones and John Curtis lead the team with a pair of hits, with Curtis' first single in the first, extending his hitting streak to nine games dating back to last year's College World Series. Jones, Weeks and Hardman added two RBI apiece to Mahin's five-RBI effort. Beamon and Smith both collected three hits contributing to the UNLV attack.
Fullerton will return home to host Arizona in a three game set Feb. 16-18 at Goodwin Field. Game times are set for 7 p.m., 6 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.