April 5, 2008
Irvine, Calif. - Ollie Linton singled home the tying run, then scored the game winner on a Ben Orloff's game-winning single off Adam Jorgenson (1-1) in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift No. 5 UC Irvine to a 3-2 win over No. 25 Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at Anteater Ballpark.
The win for Irvine evens the Big West Conference series and lifts the Anteaters to 20-4 overall and 3-2 in league action. The loss for Fullerton snaps a modest three-game winning streak, dropping the Titans to 17-10, 3-2.
Pettis, Irvine's closer, worked the final four innings in relief, fanning three Titans to earn the win and improve to 2-0.
Sean Madigan led off the 12th with a single to left off Jorgenson who had come out for his fourth inning of work. Madigan was then sacrificed to second and scored on Linton's single to center. Linton, the nation's leader in stolen bases, swiped his 26th bag of the year, putting himself in scoring position for Orloff.
With the outfield drawn in to cut off the run, Titan right fielder Jeff Newman threw a perfect strike to home that was cut off and re-directed by first baseman Jared Clark to back up catcher Matt Powell in plenty of time to get Linton, but Powell could not handle the throw with the winning run sliding in beneath him.
Linton's heroics came a half inning after Fullerton scratched its way to a 2-1 lead in the top of the 12th. A two-out, catcher's interference call on Aaron Lowenstein extended the Titan inning and gave Corey Jones the opportunity to single home the go-ahead run off Irvine closer Eric Pettis. Christian Colon, who singled, advanced to second on a passed ball, and to third on a grounder, scored on the lofted single to center by the designated hitter.
Fullerton plated the tying run in the top of the ninth off Pettis, with Jeff Newman leading things off with a single to left. After a sac-bunt, a walk and a pinch-hit infield single by Brian Wilson to load the bases, Pettis struck Josh Fellhauer out with a nasty breaking ball that kicked to the backstop allowing the tying run to score.
Lost in the extra-inning affair was a pitcher's duel between starters Daniel Renken and Bryce Stowell, with both earning no-decisions.
The Titan right-hander, Renken, pitched well against the fifth-ranked Anteaters, holding them to just four hits over 5.1 innings of work. The freshman retired 11 hitters in a row from the first inning through two outs in the fourth before UCI broke through with a run in the fourth.
Back-to-back singles by Jeff Cusick and Ryan Fischer with a Daniel Renken wild pitch mixed in, accounted for the only run of the night for UC Irvine in the bottom of the fourth. Both hits came with two outs in the frame.
Renken finished three walks and four strikeouts before being replaced by Michael Morrison with one down in sixth.
Stowell also tossed a gem, working out of jams in the first, third, fourth and seventh, forcing the Titans to leave eight runners stranded over his seven innings of work. Clark had the most success off Cusick, picking up two of the four hits the righty surrendered. He left with a 1-0 lead but didn't figure in the win.
Clark and Colon each had a pair of hits to lead the way offensively for Fullerton while Linton paced all player with three hits on the night for Irvine.
The third and final game of the series will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with Cory Arbiso (4-2, 3.96 ERA) towing the
NOTES: Third base coach Greg Bergeron was ejected for arguing an appealed third strike in the top of the eighth...Erik Komatsu's 10th inning single extended his hitting streak to 11 games...Michael Morrison, Jason Dovel and Ryan Ackland tossed 2.2 scoreless innings in relief in the loss.