Titans Top Bruins, 5-3
Mar. 29, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Tyler Pill and Carlos Lopez each drove in a pair of runs and Raymond Hernandez pitched three scoreless innings for the save Tuesday night as Cal State Fullerton beat UCLA, 5-3, in the teams' first meeting since the 2010 NCAA Super Regional.
The win was the fifth in a row and ninth in 10 games for the No. 12 ranked Titans (17-8) while the No. 24-ranked Bruins fell to 11-9. Fullerton has now won 40 of its last 49 against the UCLA and holds an all-time record of 61-26-1 against it.
Pill had a pair of RBI singles and Lopez singled in a pair to cap a 3-run first inning. Colin O'Connell bounced back from a pair of ineffective starts to go 6 innings and improve to 3-2. Freshman Zack Weiss (1-1) took the loss in his first start of the season.
Weiss' first pitch of the game hit Ivory Thomas and the Titans promptly loaded the bases. Richy Pedroza beat out a bunt for a single and Nick Ramirez was hit in the back. Pill's bloop single scored Thomas and Pedroza and Ramirez came home on Lopez' one-out single off the left-center field fence. A 5-3 double play got Weiss out of trouble and he allowed only two more baserunners before coming out with one down in the Fullerton fifth.
O'Connell's wildness cost him a run in the UCLA fourth. After Cody Regis singled with two out, O'Connell hit Jeff Galelich and walked Marc Navarro. His errant pickoff throw to first then allowed Regis to score from third.
Thomas "stole" the run back in the bottom of the fifth. He bunted for a single and then stole second as first baseman Dean Espy's relay throw on a pickoff try bounced into the outfield. Thomas then was trapped between second and third as reliever Mitchell Beacom stepped off only to throw the ball wildly past third allowing Thomas to go all the way home.
Pedroza singled, Ramirez was hit in the back for a second time and Pill singled to right to score Pedroza. Beacom got a 3-6-3 double play to get out of the inning. Fullerton wasted a first-and-third, no-out situation in the sixth by failing to get down a pair of safety squeeze bunts.
UCLA parlayed a pair of infield singles into a pair of runs in the top of the sixth when Navarro punched a 2-run hit between Blake Barber and the third-base bag.
Hernandez allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Fullerton opens Big West Confernce play with a weekend series at UC Davis.