March 3, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - Despite four hits from junior centerfielder Clark Hardman, No. 10 Cal State Fullerton dropped Game 2 of the three-game series with No. 6 Rice, 9-3, in front of 2,789 at Goodwin Field Saturday night.
With the win, the Owls improve to 11-5 and snap a two-game losing streak to the Titans dating back to last season. Fullerton falls to 11-5 overall with the loss.
Rice lefty Bobby Bramhall (2-2) tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Ryan Berry to earn the win. The southpaw issued five walks and surrendered just two hits, but the Titans were unable to capitalized, stranding nine runners on base over the last four innings. Berry was pulled with the bases loaded in the fifth, just one out away from being eligible for the win.
Jeff Kaplan (3-1) worked five innings for the Titans and surrendered four runs on a season-high eight hits that included two of the three Rice home runs on the evening by Jess Buenger and Aaron Luna. The junior transfer struck out four and walked just one, but left the game trailing 4-1 getting hit with his first loss of the year. Both he and Adam Jorgenson were tagged for four earned runs apiece with Jorgenson tossing just an inning and a third.
Fullerton, trailing 4-1, put the pressure on Berry in their half of the fifth inning. Joe Scott led off the inning by getting hit with a Berry offering, then moved around to third on back-to-back hits by Hardman and Joel Weeks to load the bases. Rice shortstop Brian Friday then made a diving grab of a soft blooper saving two runs off the bat of Jake Vasquez for the first out of the inning. John Curtis followed with a soft grounder to the third baseman that erased Scott at the plate. Pinch-hitter Corey Jones was hit by the second pitch he saw cutting the Owl lead to 4-2, bringing home Hardman from third. After the pitching change that brought Bramhall into the game, pinch-hitter Nick Mahin drew a walk that plated the second run of the inning, but the rally would fall short as Curtis was caught in a rundown between third and home to end the inning.
Jorgenson started the sixth inning for the Titans and was met with a towering blast off the bat of Chad Lembeck over the left field wall. A one-out walk and a single set the table for Joe Savery's RBI-single to center extending the Owl's lead to 6-3.
An RBI-double by Seastrunk and a run-scoring single by Tyler Henley in the seventh inning knocked the Titan reliever from the game and added unnecessary insurance runs for the Owls.
Justin Klipp work the Final 2 2/3 for Fullerton including a three-pitch ninth, but even he could not walk away unscathed. Seastrunk's third hit of the night drove home Luna from third, handing Klipp his first earned run of the year.
Savery ties Seastrunk with three hits on the night, upping his total to six in nine at bats versus Titan pitching this weekend. Seastrunk and Luna led all players with two RBI each. Hardman went 4-for-5 with four singles upping his season average to .426. The junior scored two of the three Titan runs and was retired just once courtesy of a great play on a pop foul ball by Seastrunk at the tarp.
Right hander Seasn Urena (2-0) gets the call on the mound for the Titans in the rubber-game on Sunday at Goodwin Field. He will face the southpaw Savery (3-0), who will go for Rice. First pitch is slated for noon.