March 23, 2007
Long Beach, Calif. - A two-run home run to right field by Jake Vasquez in the top of the seventh broke a 4-4 tie and proved to be the game-winner as No. 13 Cal State Fullerton beat No. 18 Long Beach State 7-4 in the opening game of a three-game non-conference series at Blair Field Friday night.
With the win Fullerton improves to 14-9 overall and extends their winning streak over the 49ers to eight straight games. Long Beach falls to 12-8 and dropped their 10th game to the cross-town rivals in their last 11 at Blair Field.
Justin Klipp (1-0) picked up his first win of the season with 3 1/3 innings of near perfect baseball in relief. The righty struck out three and finished by retiring the last nine men he faced. The only blemish to Klipp's line was a leadoff walk to Brandon Godfrey in the sixth inning. Andrew Liebel suffered the loss and fell to 3-2.
For just the second time in 37 career starts, Titan starter Wes Roemer was unable to pitch into the fifth inning. The junior struggled with his control, walking a career-high four batters while hitting four in 4 2/3 innings of work before Klipp came on in relief. Roemer surrendered three unearned run early allowing Long Beach to jump out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. A two-out throwing error by third baseman Evan McArthur brought home the first Long Beach run, then a bases-loaded walk to Jason Tweedy and an infield single to Kip Masuda boosted the first inning lead.
Fullerton fought back from the first-inning deficit plating three unearned runs of its own in the top half of the second inning off Long Beach starter Vance Worley.
The Titan rally started as Josh Fellhauer reached on an error and stole second before being moved to third on a Nick Mahin single. Then with runners at first and third, Chris Jones lifted what would have been a sacrifice fly, to left fielder Ted Paddock, who had the ball kick off his glove as he went back for it allowing Fellhauer to bring home the Titans first run of the night. Back-to-back RBI-squeeze bunts by Joe Scott and Clark Hardman got the teams even at three runs apiece
Designated hitter Shane Peterson's leadoff home run off Roemer in the bottom of the fifth briefly gave the 49ers a 4-3 lead. After a pair of strikeouts following Peterson's blast, Roemer hit his third and fourth hitters of the night, leading to a pitching change. Roemer finished the night surrendering five hits, and just one earned run getting his first no-decision of the season.
Fullerton again would bounce back with a run in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4. Three consecutive singles by Jones, Fellhauer and Mahin, not only tied the game but knocked out Worley. Worley lasted just 5.1, surrendering seven Titan hits while striking out two and walking one.
Leiber came on to strike out the final two hitters and escape any more damage in the sixth, but the Titans forged ahead against the 49er reliever in the top of the seventh scoring three times to take the lead for good.
Clark Hardman singled and was sacrificed to second by McArthur to lead things off in the seventh before Vasquez blasted his second round-tripper of the year to right. Josh Fellhauer provided the last Titan run of the night as he grounded out to bring home John Curtis who walked two batters earlier.
Adam Jorgenson pitched the ninth inning and picked up his first save since Feb. 27 versus San Diego State. The right hander struck out one and surrendered a harmless two-out double to Peterson before locking down the final out.
The two teams will be back at it tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. as Jeff Kaplan looks to get his fourth win of the season and give the Titans their sixth series victory of the season.