Curtis' Bat Lifts Titans to 7-4 Victory
Feb. 24, 2007
Los Angeles, Calif. - Three Titans had two hits and John Curtis homered and drove in three as No. 10 Cal State Fullerton edged No. 15 UCLA, 7-4, Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Game 2 of a three-game a non-conference baseball series.
Fullerton snaps a modest two game losing streak with the win and improves to 8-4 overall while UCLA falls to 7-6.
Titan starter Jeff Kaplan went 6 2/3 innings surrendering three Bruin runs on seven hits to earn the win, improving to 3-0 on the year. The righty issued seven walks, but struck out five before handing the ball to the Titan bullpen. All three runs off the Titan starter came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Three-consecutive hits by Will Penniall, Brandon Crawford, and Mickey Weisser led to the first Bruin run, snapping 14-consecutive scoreless innings for Kaplan. A bases loaded walk to Tim Steward plated the second run of the inning and was followed by a sacrifice fly by left fielder Justin Urib to cut the Titan lead to 6-3.
Adam Jorgenson the third Titan reliever on the night retired the final two batters of the game to earn his second save.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to a 6-0 lead through the first four and struck first with three runs in the second inning off losing pitcher Matt Drummond. Drummond, in his second start of the week lasted just 1 2/3 and falls to 0-1. Curtis' second home run of the week got the Titans on the board as he led off the top of the second with a long ball the hooked just inside the right field foul pole. Not only did it give the Titans the 1-0 lead, but it extended the senior's hitting streak to 15 games. Bryan Harris and Clark Hardman later picked up RBIs with a sac-fly and a scoring groundout, respectively.
UCLA reliever Jason Novac didn't fair much better than Drummond, lasting just two innings and surrendering three runs in Titans' half of the fourth. Titan second baseman Joe Scott successfully squeezed home Fullerton's fourth run after hits by Harris and Hardman. Curtis then added his second hit of the night off Bruin southpaw Paul Schmidt, driving in his second and third RBIs of the night. All three runs in the inning were charged to Novac.
Schmidt tossed a career high 5 1/3 innings in relief surrendering a lone run on Nick Mahin's second homer of the season.
Alden Carrithers and Brandon Crawford posted 3-for-5 performances to lead all players, while Curtis, Mahin and Hardman each collected two knocks for Fullerton.
The rubber match of the nationally-ranked series will be Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Fullerton will start Freshman Sean Urena (1-0) while UCLA will counter with Gavin Brooks (1-0).