Feb. 11, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - More than 80 former Titan players and a crowd of about 750 assembled Saturday afternoon at Goodwin Field to see Coach Rick Vanderhook's debut as Cal State Fullerton baseball coach. The 2012 varsity responded with a 3-2 victory over the alumni, which included 18 current or former major leaguers.
Four Titan pitchers combined to check the alumni on 5 hits. Freshman lefthander Kenny Matthews from Diamond Bar High School got the win with three shutout innings. Redshirt freshman Grahamm Wiest started and allowed one run and two hits over four innings. Junior Dimitri DeLaFuente pitched a scoreless eighth and freshman Jose Cardona got the save allowing only a tainted run in the ninth.
Junior Carlos Lopez led the varsity with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate and junior Austin Kingsolver went 2-for-2 with a triple to lead a 13-hit attach against six alumni hurlers. Ageless lefthanderEddie Delzer, winner of the 1984 NCAA championship game, started and tossed two shutout innings. Cory Arbiso(2006-08) followed with two shutout innings but Chris Robinson (1988-91)and Walker Moore (2009-11) each allowed an unearned run in one inning with Moore saddled with the loss. Former Texas Ranger righthander Wes Littleton (2001-03) pitched a scorelessseventh and formerOakland and Clevelandinfielder Mike Rouse (2001)was tagged for an earned run in the eighth.
The alumni scored inthe top of the first. With one out, New York Mets infielder Justin Turner (2003-06) singled to center. He moved to second as San Francisco Giant Brett Pill (2004-06) was grounding out and scored on a single to right field by Danny Dorn (2003-06), the Titans' No. 4 career RBI man.
The varsity left a man in scoring position in each of the first four innings before tying the game in the fifth. Singles by Michael Lorenzen and Lopez around an error by third baseman Brett Kay (1999-2001 catcher) loaded the bases. Freshman J. D. Davis hit a sacrifice fly to center but Robinson escaped further damage when he struck out junior Anthony Hutting and Lopez was retired trying to advance to second.
The go-ahead run came after Moore recorded two outs in the sixth. Junior Casey Watkins doubled into the rightfield corner and scored when Kay bounced a throw to first after a nice pick-up of junior Matt Orloff's bouncer to third.
The varsity added what proved to be the winning run in the eighth. Orloff doubled to right center and scored on a single to right by freshman Austin Diemer.
The alumni scored with two outs in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay, a 15-year major league veteran, walked on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. He remained at the plate as the Baltimore Orioles' Blake Davis ran for him. Davis stole second before Kotsay struck out against Cardona, who was asked to get a fourth out and did so, striking out Jeff Nichols (1975-78) but not before a wild pitch allowed Davis to score.
Other major leaguers present were: pitcher Brent Billingsley, pitcher Chad Cordero, outfielder Shane Costa, pitcher Jordan DeJong, infielder and Angels announcer Jose Mota, pitcher Vinnie Pestano, pitcher Jeff Robinson, pitcher Ricky Romero, catcher Kurt Suzuki, first baseman Tim Wallach, pitcher Jason Windsor, third baseman Mike Lamb and the 2012 Titans' pitching coach, Kirk Saarloos.
Fullerton opens the regular season next weekend with a 3-game series at No. 1-ranked Florida, last year's College World Series runner-up.
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