March 2, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Gary Brown and Nick Ramirez each went 3-for-4 and combined to drive in five runs as No. 18 Cal State Fullerton handled San Diego 11-4 in a non-conference baseball game at Goodwin Field Tuesday night.
The Titans improve to 3-4 on the year and won their fourth straight meeting with the Toreros. San Diego drops to 4-5 on the year.
Kevin Rath (1-0) picked up the "staff day" victory giving up three runs (none of them earned) on four hits over four innings of work. AJ Griffin took the loss after giving up eight runs on four hits while walking four and hitting four over 2.2 shaky innings.
After a walk, and a pair of errors by Rath and Ramirez allowed the first San Diego run to score, Tony Strazarra lined a two-run single to right to give the Torero's a 3-0 lead after the first half inning.
The Titans scratched back in their half of the first, scoring a run thanks to Girffin's lack of control. The San Diego righty walked two and hit one to load the bases, then plunked Titan catcher Billy Marcoe to force home the first Titan run.
The Titans batted around in the second, again benefitting from Griffin. Ivory Thomas walked with one out and moved to third when Strazarra couldn't handle a pick-off attempt from Griffin at first base. Christian Colon was hit by Griffin (his third hit batter of the game) to put runners at the corners for Brown. Brown singled home Thomas to cut the Titan deficit to one run. A walk to Corey Jones loaded the bases, and a balk called on Griffin allowed the tying run to come across. Ramirez then went the other way for an RBI-single to left and he was followed by Carlos Lopez who did the same. Marcoe's run-scoring fielder's choice capped the Titans' 5-run inning, giving them a 6-3 lead going into the third.
Fullerton tacked on two more on Brown's two-out, two-run homer to center in the third. It was his first of the year. Brown's blast was the final straw for Griffin as he was replaced by Darrin Campbell , the second of seven Torero hurlers to toe the rubber on Tuesday night.
After a scoreless relief inning from Daniel Renken (only his third career relief appearance), San Diego got back on the board in the top of the sixth. Austin Green greeted new Titan reliever David Hurlbut with a line-drive home run to left-center on the first pitch of the inning. It cut the Titan lead to 8-4, but that was as close as the Toreros would get.
After Campbell pitched 2.2 innings of 1-hit ball, San Diego went to Sam Wolff in the sixth. He was promptly greeted with back-to-back doubles by Ramirez and Lopez, and a sacrifice fly by Marcoe, to give the Titans a 10-3 lead.
Jones, aboard on a fielder's choice in the seventh, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch by Jake Williams (pitcher No. 5), scored the Titans final run on Ramirez's third hit of the night.
Titan relievers combined to allow just one run on three hits over the final five innings without a walk.
Cal State Fullerton will hit the road for the first time in 2010 and travel to Tucson, Arizona, to take on the Arizona Wildcats in a three-game weekend series. The pitching rotation for the series will feature Renken (0-2, 4.26 ERA) on Friday, Noe Ramirez (0-1, 5.73 ERA) on Saturday and Tyler Pill (1-1, 4.26 ERA) on Sunday.