Feb. 20, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State's five-hit, five-run sixth inning was too much for Cal State Fullerton as the 49ers held on for an 8-5 non-conference victory at Blair Field Sunday afternoon.
The win was the first for Long Beach in the last nine meetings between the two teams. The Titans drop to 1-2 on the year while the 49ers even their record at 1-1. The deciding game of the series, a make-up of Friday night's rain out, will take place on Monday night in Long Beach at 6:30 p.m.
Christian Coronado's Titan debut on the mound was short-lived, facing just four batters in relief of starter Jake Floethe. Coronado (0-1) took the loss after allowing three of those batter to reach base (walk, hit batter, single) in the decisive sixth inning, with all of them coming around to score. Dylan Floro came in to try to stop the rally, but he was touched for two runs on four hits in just .2 innings of work.
Eddie Magallon (1-0), one of six 49er hurlers in the nearly four-hour game, tossed 2.2 innings of relief allowing just three Titan hits (all singles) while striking out three. Shawn Stuart tossed the final 1.2 innings and recorded his first save of the year.
On the surface, the Titans' 18-hit attack would seem like a good day, but 14 men were left on base, 11 of them in scoring position. Richy Pedroza (4 hits), Nick Ramirez (4 hits) and Carlos Lopez (3 hits) combined for 11 hits from the first four spots of the Titan lineup.
The Titans seemed in control for the first three innings of the game that lasted nearly 1 hour 45 minutes and included a 27 minute delay due to an injury (concussion) to home plate umpire Gary Gilman. Fullerton scored once in the second on a Casey Watkins sac-fly, and then three times in the third, all off Long Beach starter Matt Johnson (2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1ER, 2 K). Tyler Pill had an RBI single and Joe Terry's two-run knock gave the Titans a brief 4-0 lead.
Long Beach chipped away with runs in the third and fifth off Floethe (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), who was making his Titan debut after sitting out all of 2010 due to the NCAA transfer rule. Floethe left leading 4-2 after five innings, in line for the win.
Coronado was brought in to start the bottom of the sixth and walked the leadoff man, Kirk Singer. Brennan Fulkerson sacrificed him to second and then Coronado hit Juan Avila to put runners at first and second. The next hitter Brennan Metzger singled sharply to left to drive home Singer and cut the Titan lead to 4-3.
The Titans went to the pen in Floro, but the righty gave up back-to-back singles to Jeff McNeil and Matt Duffy that drove home the tying and go-ahead runs for the 49ers. After getting Mike Marjama to pop up, Floro gave up two more singles with the big blow being a two-run single to left by Jeff Yamaguchi.
Long beach tacked on an unearned run in the seventh to make it 8-4 off reliever David Hurlbut. The lefty hit the first batter, Matt Hibbert, who was promptly sacrificed to second, then wild pitched him to third. Hurlbut then looked to have crossed up catcher Jared Deacon, allowing the final Long Beach run to score with a passed ball.
The Titans threatened in the top of the eighth, scoring on a Pedroza double, and a Ramirez single. But with runners at first and second with an out, Stuart shut the Titans down with a pair of strikeouts to get out of the inning.
Monday night's game will feature Titan right-hander Colin O'Connell (0-0) and Branden Pinder (0-0) for Long Beach.