March 29, 2008
Fullerton, Calif. - Erik Komatsu's two-out, two-run triple tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and his one-out triple in the 16th inning set up a sacrifice fly by Chris Jones that gave Cal State Fullerton a dramatic 7-6 victory Friday night over UC Riverside in the teams' Big West Conference opener.
Fullerton won its fifth game in a row to improve to 14-8 overall while the Highlanders fell to 6-13 after the longest game by innings in the 17-year history of Goodwin Field.
The Titans got an overpowering relief performance from righthander Adam Jorgenson (1-0), who pitched 6.2 innings of two-hit relief and struck out a career-high 14. UCR batters struck out a total of 25 times in the game which appeared to be over in the ninth when Josh Fellhauer lifted a fly ball down the left-field line. The Highlanders' Aaron Wible, who hit a 3-run home run in the third inning to give UCR a 5-0 lead, dropped the foul ball after a long run for an error. Given new life, Fellhauer singled to right, pinch-hitter Brian Wilson singled off first baseman Ryan Goetz and Komatsu followed with a drive into the right-field corner to cap a 5-run rally.
Rob Waite (1-2), the fourth Highlander pitcher, took the loss. After Komatsu just missed a game-winning home run and hitting for the cycle when his drive bounced off the centerfield wall, Waite intentionally walked Jared Clark and Corey Jones to load the bases for Chris Jones. He lofted an 0-2 pitch deep enough to Wible in left to easily score Komatsu and end the game at 4:57.
Stephen Penney was two outs away from a complete-game victory but he hit Jon Wilhite and gave up a single to Joel Weeks. UCR went to its bullpen and Joe Kelly was greeted by a pinch-hit three-run home run by Khris Davis that made the score 6-4. Kelly struck out pinch hitter Matt Fahey before being victimized by Wible's drop.
UCR scored single runs in the first two innings and gave Penney a 5-0 lead when Wible hit a towering homer to left off starter Jeff Kaplan, The Titans got their first run in the fifth on singles by Wilhite and Weeks and Penney's errant pickoff throw to first. Joey Gonzales hit a solo home run for UCR in the seventh for a 6-1 lead and Kaplan gave way to Jason Dovel after a walk. Kaplan fanned 5 and Dovel struck out six before giving way to Jorgenson with one out in the tenth.
The longest previous game at Goodwin Field was a 15-inning game vs. UCLA on May 11, 1993. The Titans have played two other 16-inning games, losing both of them at Long Beach State in 2001 and 2002.