Horton's Ducks Upset Titans on Opening Night
Feb. 20, 2010
Fullerton.edu - J.J Altobelli's RBI-single in the top of the sixth drove in what proved to be the winning run as visiting Oregon went on to stun No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, 7-3, Friday night in the opening game of the 2010 college baseball season.
Fullerton begins the season 0-1 for the first time since 2006. The Ducks who were just 14-42 after a 28-year hiatus without a baseball program last season, jump out to a 1-0 record in 2010.
Despite a threat of rain, nearly 3,500 were on hand for the return of former Titan head coach George Horton, who led Fullerton to six College World Series in 11 seasons at the helm of the program. The win was Horton's 265th win at Goodwin field, but only his first as a visitor.
Altobelli's single came on the heels of Danny Pulfer's 2-run double off Daniel Renken (0-1) that erased a 2-1 lead Fullerton had nursed since the first inning. Renken wasn't sharp on Friday throwing 95 pitches over 5.2 innings, though he did strike out seven. The junior right hander gave up four runs on four hits in the loss.
Oregon got strong efforts from their two hurlers, holding the Titans to just seven hits on the night. Tyler Anderson (1-0) worked 5.2 innings for the win while Scott McGough pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief for the save.
Oregon got on the board without a hit in the first courtesy of a hit batter, two passed balls and an error. But Fullerton bounced back for two runs in their half and lost their No. 2 hitter for the rest of the game in the process.
Gary Brown led off for Fullerton with a single to center. Corey Jones promptly left the game after getting struck in the face by an Anderson pitch while squaring to bunt. Adding insult to injury, the third base umpire ruled that Jones offered at the pitch, negating the extra base runner and eventually resulting in a strikeout with pinch hitter Ivory Thomas at the plate.
After a fly ball moved Brown to second, he then stole third and scored on an errant throw by catcher Eddie Rodriguez. A pair of two-out walks later, Billy Marcoe connected for an RBI-single to give the Titans a 2-1 lead after one.
Things remained quiet until the Ducks' three-run sixth that saw the Titans dip into their bullpen. Kyle Mertins faced just one batter, Altobelli, before giving way to lefties Kevin Rath and Nick Ramirez.
The Titans inched to within 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of walks set up a run-scoring pinch hit by Anthony Hutting, but that was as close as the Titans would get.
After enduring a 54-minute rain delay in the top of the seventh, Rath and Ramirez combined to allow three runs in the Oregon eighth on two walks, a throwing error (on Ramirez), a wild pitch and an RBI-double by Ducks shortstop KC Serna.
Fullerton out-hit Oregon 7-6 on the night, but also had a 3-1 advantage in the errors column. Christian Colon and Gary Brown each had a pair of hits to pace the Titan offense. Altobelli had two hits for the Ducks.
The Titans look to get back on track Saturday night against visiting Pepperdine. Right-hander Noe Ramirez will get his first start of 2010 and he will face southpaw Matt Bywater. First pitch is at 6 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information regarding the status of Saturday night's game with possible rain in the forecast, please call (657) 278-7676.