Feb. 29, 2012
Box Score / Photo Gallery
Fullerton, Calif. - A botched throw to the plate by Lion pitcher Aaron Griffin with the bases loaded, allowed the go-ahead run to score and opened the door for a Titan four-run eighth inning as No. 20 Cal State Fullerton defeated visiting Loyola Marymount 6-2 Wednedsay evening at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (5-3) win their fourth in a row and improve to 7-2 in Leap Year games dating back to 1975. The Lions fall to 2-6.
Christian Coronado (1-0) picked up his first win of 2012 with a solid 3.1 inning performance that was marred by a solo home run by Scott Harkin to lead off the top of the seventh. Coronado allowed just two hits and struck out two in relief of starter Koby Gauna and Kenny Mathews. Michael Lorenzen got the final two outs of the game after Coronado walked a batter with an out in the ninth.
Griffin (1-2) was strapped with the loss, giving up all four runs in the eighth inning, though three were unearned following the throwing error.
Harker, who accounted for both LMU runs offensively, had an RBI single in the second inning off Gauna to give the Lions and early 1-0 lead.
Fullerton tied the game 1-1 in the third on an error by catcher Colton Plaia. Michael Lorenzen doubled and went to third on a wild pitch and when Plaia tried to pick Lorenzen off third a batter later, his throw got away from third baseman Alex Guthrie, far enough for the speedy runner to score.
The Titans again tied the game courtesy of the Lions in the seventh. With runners at the corners and one out, reliever Ramiro Carreon balked Matt Orloff to second and Austin Kingsolver home to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
Nine men came to the plate in the eighth for Fullerton. Richy Pedroza legged out an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Casey Watkins. Matt Chapman was hit by a pitch and Kingsolver walked to load the bases. Orloff, who was 3-for-3, fisted an easy pop up to the left of the mound that Griffin should have caught, but the ball dropped and the rushed pitcher's throw to the plate for the force out went wide and to the backstop allowing Pedroza to score.
A pitching change brough int Ryan Hawthorne who promptly surrendered a bases-loaded bunt single by Keegan Dale, an RBI groundout by Lorenzen, and another RBI-bunt single by Anthony Hutting to cap the scoring.
Carlos Lopez struck out to end the inning on a pitch that was high and tight. He spun out of the way, but the bat sailed through the strike zone prompting a punch out from home plate umpire Bradley Hungerford. Before Lopez got up, Hungerford ejected the first baseman for arguing the call.
The Titans finished with nine hits on the evening, with Orloff leading the way with three singles. Harkin led the Lions' six-hit attack, he had two hits and two RBI.
The Titans will host Utah Valley this coming weekend at Goodwin Field with game times at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.