Titans Win Rubber Match, 8-4
April 9, 2006
Irvine, Calif. - Brett Pill drove in a trio of Titans and reliever Adam Jorgenson threw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief as top-ranked Cal State Fullerton defeated UC Irvine, 8-4, in the rubber-match of a three-game Big West Conference series at Anteater Ballpark Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Titans secured their eighth series victory in ten opportunities this season and improved to 26-8 overall and 5-1 in league play. UCI lost their sixth game in their last eight opportunities and fall to 19-15 on the year, with a 1-5 conference mark.
After getting shutout a day before, the Titan offense rebounded by collecting 13 hits off of four Irvine pitchers to earn their 17th win in their last 19 games. But it was the Titan relief pitching that proved to be king, as Jorgenson, John Estes and Vinnie Pestano tossed 6 2/3 of shutout baseball, allowing just two singles, striking out four along the way.
Jorgenson (1-0), on in relief of Dustin Miller, was quite impressive in just his eighth appearance of the season, his longest of the year by 1 2/3 innings. The sophomore faced 12 batters, retiring 11 of them including 10 in a row after a one-out walk in the third, earning his first victory of the season.
The southpaw Estes struck out two, and allowed a single in his inning of work before giving way to the Titan closer Pestano, who pitched the final two frames.
Fullerton jumped on Irvine starter Gary Nakashima (2-1), as they did to Justin Cassel on Friday night, plating four runs in the top of the first giving Miller an early lead to work with. Both Justin Turner and Blake Davis reached on singles to lead of the game for the Titans, then both came around to score on a throwing error by Anteater catcher Chad Lowenstein trying to catch Turner on a double steal.
After a Pill pop out and a Bryan Harris strikeout, John Curtis and Jard Clark strung together back-to-back singles to set up a big Brandon Tripp at bat. With two outs and two on, Tripp took a Nakashima offering to the left centerfield gap to clear the bases and extend the Fullerton lead to 4-0 after a half of an inning.
The hero of Irvine's win on Saturday, Zach Robinson inched Irvine closer as he picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to left field in the bottom of the first. Miller would give up one of his two hits in that first inning but would also walk and hit a batter before getting the final two to pop out.
IN the second, Fullerton would again put up multiple runs, this time on a two-run double by Pill increasing the Titan lead to 6-1. They would go on to post another lone run in the top half of the third as well as Evan McArthur cued a ball that ricocheted right as second baseman Cody Cipriano went to his left, scoring Clark all the way from second on the grounder.
Irvine would mount their biggest inning in the bottom of the third, scoring three times off of Miller, on a Martinez RBI double, another Sac-fly by Robinson and an RBI-grounder by Matt Moris narrowing the lead to 7-4 in the Titans favor. Miller would go on to pitch just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on two hits, while walking and hitting two batters.
Pill would go on to knock in his third run of the game with an RBI single in the seventh off of Glenn Swanson, driving in Turner who led off the inning with a line drive double off the top of the leftfield wall.
Turner, who is nine for his last 18 at bats, led all players with three hits on the afternoon and bumped his team-leading average up to .371 and stole his team-leading 15th base of the season. Pill and Clark each added a pair of hits in the winning effort.
The Titans will return home Thursday night to take on the Aggies of UC Davis, in town for a non-conference series set to begin at 7 p.m. Fullerton and Davis will go Thursday (7 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.) in honor of the Easter holiday this week, with the same rotation in Wes Roemer, Lauren Gagnier and Dustin Miller likely for the Titans.