March 7, 2009
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Freshman Noe Ramirez notched his second win of the week, and Khris Davis went 3-for-5 with two RBI as No. 7 Cal State Fullerton took advantage of Southern Miss' defense and won the second game of the series, 11-6, Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park.
The Titans, riding a seven-game winning streak, scored 11 times on 10 hits and five USM miscues to improve to 8-2 on the year, and 5-0 all-time against the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss drops its second game in a row and third on the year, falling to 8-3.
Noe Ramirez (2-0) was the third Titan arm to see the mound on Saturday, and he pitched 2.2 innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. The rookie right-hander faced nine batters from the sixth inning to the eighth, allowing just a double to Taylor Walker, the first batter he faced.
Southern Miss starter Cody Schlagel (2-1) could not settle down after a throwing error by his third baseman that loaded the bases with no outs in the first. He suffered the loss after just one inning of work and five Titan runs.
Gary Brown led off the game with a line drive single to left and moved to second when Christian Colon was hit in the hand with a pitch trying to sacrifice Brown over. The next hitter, Josh Fellhauer, successfully laid down the bunt, but was safe at first when Walker's throw went wide of first to fill the bases for Jared Clark. The senior first baseman sent a scoring fly ball to center to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. On the fly, all the runners moved up 90 feet, and two scored as Khris Davis singled to bring home two more.
Schlagel made things a little worse for himself as his pick-off throw to first sailed wide of the base and, with an ample amount of foul territory, Davis scored all the way from first to give the Titans a 4-0 lead after a half inning.
The Titans added one more off Schlagel in the second as Gary Brown singled to center with one out off reliever Kyle Lindsey. Titans' catcher Dustin Garneau, aboard on a Schlagel walk, scored on Brown's single. Garneau was the last batter Schlagel faced.
Starter Kyle Witten continued the Titans' string of good starting pitching, allowing just one unearned run in 2.2 innings before leaving the game with discomfort in his right hip with two down in the third. After a trip to the mound by Head Coach Dave Serrrano and Trainer Chris Mumaw, Witten stayed in for one more batter before being relieved.
Trailing 5-1, Southern Miss got as close as it has in the entire series by scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth off Kyle Mertins, on in relief of Witten. Three singles, a sacrifice fly and a Clark fielding error got the Eagles to within 5-4, but the Titans punched back with three more of their own in the top of the sixth.
Again, fielding bunts caused problems for Southern Miss. After a leadoff single by Davis, his second of three hits on the afternoon, Jeff Newman laid down a sac-bunt that Lindsay fielded cleanly, but threw wide of first to set up yet another bunting situation for Fullerton. Garneau did as Newman had one batter before, and got the bunt down. Lindsay fielded it and tried to get Davis, the lead runner, out at third and that throw went wide allowing Davis to score. Joe Scott promptly singled in Newman and Garneau from second and third to give the Titans an 8-4 lead and end Lindsay's time on the mound after four inning of work.
After a Travis Graves single and a Tyler Koelling walk, Mertin's day was done on the mound, giving way to Noe Ramirez. Walker's double put runners on second and third with one out, but a hidden ball trick by Brown at third caught Koelling off guard at third taking the wind out of the Eagles' sails before Ramirez induced an inning-ending fly out by Kameron Brunty.
Freshman Nick Ramirez belted his second homer of the series, and third of the year off Jonathan Johnston in the seventh. It was a two-run shot that extended his hitting streak to eight games. Fullerton scored once more off Johnston in the eighth on the heels of a Brown triple. Brown scored advancing as Colon was caught in a rundown from first after reaching on a fielder's choice giving the Titans' their 11th run.
James Ewing's ninth inning RBI-single off Ryan Ackland did give the Eagles another run, but they came up short as Brian Dozier grounded into a 4-3 double play and Cory Stevens popped out to end the game.
Brown and Davis each contributed three hits to lead both teams, while Nick Ramirez, Davis and Scott each tallied 3 RBI. The top of the order for Southern Miss (Walker and Brunty) shared four of the Eagles' 10 hits on the afternoon, with Ewing, leading the way for the home team with a pair of RBI.
Tyler Pill will get the ball on Sunday for Fullerton as the Titans try for their second straight weekend sweep. First pitch from The Pete will be at 1:00 p.m. CT.