March 28, 2009
Riverside, Calif. - Christian Colon's hit-and-run single on a pitch out triggered a 3-run tenth inning Saturday that carried No. 1-ranked Cal State Fullerton to a 4-1 Big West Conference victory at UC Riverside.
The win evened the series at 1-1 and left Fullerton at 17-4 and 1-1 and UCR at 16-5 and 1-1.
Michael Morrison (1-1) got the final four outs for his first win and Kolby Moore (0-1), the fourth UCR pitcher, took the loss.
Colon's bouncer to right sent Gary Brown, who led off the tenth with a single, to third. Josh Fellhauer then sent a grounder to the hole on the left side and shortstop Trevor Hairgrove's throw to second trickled into short right field for an error. Brown scored, Colon went to third and Fellhauer ended up at second. The latter two scored a pair of unearned runs on a line drive single to center by Jared Clark.
Freshman righthander Noe Ramirez got his first weekend start for Fullerton and went a season-high 7.2 innings, facing only four men over the minimum. He gave up an infield single in the second, a triple for an unearned run in the fifth, a harmless single in the seventh and left after issuing his only walk in the eighth. He struck out five.
It was only the second victory at the Riverside Sports Complex in Fullerton's last 11 games here. Fullerton outhit the Highlanders for the second time in two days, 11-5, but left 8 men on base and had three men thrown out at home - two in the ninth inning.
"There's something about this place," said Clark. "They (UCR) are used to playing here."
"They are well-coached," said CSF Coach Dave Serrano. "Doug Smith has brought consistency to the program and his toughness as a coach.
"They've made a huge adjustment in the way they play defense and they are throwing strikes."
Fullerton got its leadoff batter on for the fifth time in the ninth inning when Khris Davis drilled a line drive off the centerfield wall for a double. Dustin Garneau walked which sent UCR to its bullpen for Matt Larkins. Joe Scott sacrificed for a fourth time to tie the NCAA single-game record and Tyler Pill pinch-hit for Jeff Newman. He grounded to second and Bryan Horst threw Davis out at home. With Gary Brown at the plate, Garneau tried to score when a pitch got away from catcher Robert Brantly but he retrieved in time to throw to Larkins covering the plate to end the inning.
Morrison came on in the ninth when Ryan Goetz doubled after Ryan Ackland had struck out two Highlanders. Morrison struck out Tony Nix and got two more strikeouts in a scoreless tenth.
Fullerton took a 1-0 lead in the third inning after its first six batters had been retired by starter Matt Montgomery. Garneau led off with a double down the left-field line. Scott sacrificed him to third. Jeff Newman hit the first pitch on the ground hard but right at second baseman Horst for the second out before Brown lined a 3-1 pitch into left centerfield for an RBI single. Carl Uhl then made a diving catch of Colon's sinking liner into rightcenter.
Fullerton kept hitting the ball hard in the fourth but came up empty. Fellhauer lined a single to left and Clark stroked a missile into left center for another single. Nick Ramirez turned on a 2-1 pitch and smacked the ball right to first baseman Brian McConkey, who was holding Clark on. McConkey started a 3-6-3 double play and Davis fouled out to right
UCR tied it with an unearned run in the fifth. Nix led off with a towering drive to center that carried to the wall and then bounced back past centerfielder Fellhauer for a triple. Joey Gonzalez grounded to short and Colon's throw home had Nix beat but Garneau dropped the ball for an error. Ramirez then got a double play grounder on a nifty back-handed pick and feed by Scott at second and he struck out three of the next four hitters to keep the score tied going into the seventh.
"Joe Scott had a perfect day," said Serrano, "and the team acknowledged that. It's about execution and being unselfish."
The Titans also wasted a pair of leadoff singles by Garneau. In the fifth, after Scott sacrificed for the second time, Newman grounded out and, after Brown was hit by a pitch, Colon struck out. In the seventh, after Scott's third sacrifice and a wild pitch by reliever Matt Andriese, Garneau tried to score on Newman's fly ball to short center. Uhl's looping throw to catcher Brantly was ruled in time by home plate umpire Mike Gilmore.
Fullerton got a pair of two-out walks in the eighth but Nick Ramirez flied out to deep left-center field.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. Pill (4-0) will start for the Titans vs. UCR lefthander Paul Applebee (4-1).
Joe Scott note: The other players to have four sacrifices in a Div. I game are Tommy King of South Carolina vs. Arkansas on March 8, 2004, and Andy Sawyers of Nebraska vs. Kansas State on Apr. 4, 1998.