Komatsu, Fellhauer Pace Titans to Opening WinErik Komatsu drove in five runs with a home run, triple and double and Josh Fellhauer had four hits Friday night to lead Cal State Fullerton (1-0) to an 11-5 season opening victory at TCU (0-1).
Fullerton is now 19-15 all-time (Division I) on Opening Day and snapped its seven-game road season-opening losing streak dating back to 1994. The Titans also improved to 5-0 all-time against TCU.
The Titans combined for 18 hits on the night, helping starter Jeff Kaplan (1-0) to his first victory of the year. Kaplan, who got help from three other relievers, tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on six hits while fanning three Horned Frogs.
Fullerton led from the get-go, knocking out TCU starter Seth Garrison (0-1) after just two innings of work. The right-hander surrendered four earned runs on five hits while walking one and hitting three.
Komatsu got things started for Fullerton with a sacrifice fly in the first, driving in his first of five RBI in his Fullerton debut. The Titans then followed with three more runs in the second inning, one from a Joel Weeks double, and the other two from Komatsu's triple to right field.
Freshman Christian Colon threw his hat in the ring in the fourth inning picking up an RBI-single, the first collegiate hit and RBI of his young career.
Kaplan cruised for three innings, facing the minimum nine batters in under 30 pitches, before getting tagged with a run in the top of the fourth. Outfielder Clint Arnold and second baseman Ben Carruthers led off the frame with back-to-back singles then advanced on a balk by Kaplan. Matt Carpenter then knocked in a run with a groundout to short, breaking up the shutout bid.
Fullerton was silenced in the fourth and fifth, but then jumped out to a 9-1 lead with a four-run sixth inning. The Titan offense strung together five two-out hits including an RBI triple by DH Khris Davis, and Komatsu's two-run home run off the middle of the scoreboard in right center to force another pitching change.
The Horned Frogs second pitcher Paul Gerrish was also tagged for four earned runs in relief of Garrison.
Michael Morrison, on in relief of Kaplan surrendered a pair of Frog runs in the seventh on five straight singles to get them within four runs at 9-5. Brian Wilson replaced Morrison with two outs and struck out the first batter he faced in Aaron Schultz to end the threat.
Fellhauer's fourth knock of the evening came with the bases full in the top of the ninth, and drove in two insurance runs as Fullerton went on to win by a score of 11-5, giving Head Coach Dave Serrano his first victory as the Titans new skipper.
The Titans and Frogs will square off on Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium with Cory Arbiso making the start for Fullerton against TCU's Steven Maxwell. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. CT (Noon Pacific).
NOTES: Gary Brown also picked up his first collegiate hit and stolen base in the top of the eighth inning...Everyone that played in Friday night's opener except sixth-inning replacement Jeff Newman had at least one hit... Jared Clark was 2-for-3 in his first game since the 2006 College World Series. Clark missed the entire 2007 campaign with a knee injury... Weather didn't factor either way in the Titans' win, but near games end the temperature at Lupton Stadium was in the low 40's, significantly cooler than the Titans have seen over the last few months in Southern California.