April 1, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Lauren Gagnier fanned eight over eight innings and Blake Davis and John Curtis collected a pair of hits as No. 2 Cal State Fullerton beat Cal State Northridge, 6-1, in the second game of a Big West Conference series Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton improved to 2-0 in conference play and captured its seventh series victory of the season increasing its overall record to 23-7. Northridge fell to a game below .500 with the loss and fall to 15-16, 0-2.
Gagnier (7-2) became the Titans' first seven-game winner with another solid outing, surrendering just six hits and a run over eight innings of work. The only Northridge run came in the top of the first inning as Steve Lemmon doubled to left driving in Jonathan Sakurai who led off the game with a single to right field. The eight strikeouts and eighth innings pitched tied a career high for the Titan right-hander.
Fullerton bounced back in the second innings to tie the game on consecutive hits by John Curtis and Jared Clark. Curtis singled off losing pitcher Chuckie Fick (3-5) with one out in the frame and then advanced on a pass ball charged to the Northridge catcher, Lemmon. Clark then knocked in the tying run with an RBI-single of his own tying the game at 1-1.
The Titans plated two runs in the bottom half of the third to give the Titans the lead for good. Justin Turner led off the inning with a single to right and was followed by a one-out walk by Brett Pill. The next hitter Bryan Harris struck out looking on a double steal that CSUN's Lemmon came up throwing, but right in to Harris' bat. The ball ricocheted into the Titan dugout allowing Turner to score and moved Pill all the way to third base on the error. Curtis then came up with his second hit of the game to drive in Pill to increase the Titan lead to 3-1.
Fullerton put up another crooked number on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three more times off Fick, to knock him out of the game. The Northridge righty lasted 4 2/3 innings allowing all six Titan runs (five earned) on nine hits. The Matador hurler struck out and walked three in the losing effort.
Fullerton's designated hitter Harris drove in the first Fullerton run in the bottom of the fifth, with a sacrifice fly ball to right, scoring Blake Davis who collected one of two back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. With two outs, Jared Clark then walked setting up Brandon Tripp's two RBI-double to right field.
Edwin Quirarte and Matt Gaylord both on in relief for the Matadors pitched 3 1/3 socrelss innings the rest of the way, surrendering just one Titan hit, a single to right by Evan McArthur in the bottom of the eighth.
Ryan Paul pitched another scoreless inning, striking out two to finish the game out. The southpaw lowered his overall ERA to 0.82 in 11 innings of work this season.
Fullerotn will look to gain its sixth series sweep of the season with a win in Sunday afternoon's third and final meeting between the conference teams. Scheduled to start for the Titans is right-hander Dustin Miller (6-1, 3.40) with Jimmy Brettl (3-1, 2.95) toeing the rubber for Northridge. First pitch from Goodwin Field is set for 1 p.m. (DON'T FORGET TO SPRING FORWARD)