April 11, 2010
Irvine, Calif. - Tyler Pill tossed 8.1 innings of seven-hit, one-run baseball and went 2-for-5 with an RBI to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 6-1 Big West Conference win over UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark Sunday afternoon.
The Titans, who took two of three from the nationally-ranked Anteaters and a midweek game from nationally-ranked UCLA, improve to 18-12 on the year. Fullerton takes a one-game lead over Irvine atop the Big West standings, improving to 5-1 in league action. The Titans also control the head-to-head tie-breaker should postseason berths depand on it. Irvine falls to 18-11, 4-2.
Pill, working on 13 days rest from the mound, retired the first 10 men he faced before allowing his first single to Casey Stevenson with one out in the fourth. He did not allow a run (unearned) until the eighth inning. The right-hander struck out four and had but just one jam - runners at first and second with no outs - to evade in the fifth.
Pill improves to 2-4 on the year, and got some ninth inning help from Nick Ramirez who moved from first base to retire the final two hitters and secure the series win.
Irvine All-American Eric Pettis was touched for five runs (3 earned) on 11 hits over 7. 1 innings. He absorbed the loss and fell to 5-1.
The Titans broke the scoreless tie when Billy Marcoe singled home Pill, aboard on a single to center, in the top of the fourth. The run came on the heels of a Pettis wild pitch that allowed the Titan pitcher to move up to second base.
A two-out knock by Gary Brown followed by a double to the left-center gap by Carlos Lopez gave the Titans a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Pill contributed to the cause again with a single back up the middle that scored Lopez from second, but was then caught rounding first too wide and was thrown out by first baseman Jeff Cusick to end the inning.
The Titans tacked on a solo run in the top of the sixth on a throwing error by Irvine catcher Francis Larson. After Corey Jones singled and moved to third on a Nick Ramirez single to right, the Anteaters guessed right and pitched out as the Titans attempted a suicide squeeze. As Jones retreated back to third, Larson's throw hit the runner, and scooted far enough away for Jones to turn back around and score the fourth Fullerton run
Fullerton took advantage of another Irvine miscue in the eighth, opening the door for a pair of runs. Pill reach base of for the third straight time, this time when shortstop DJ Crumlich's throw pulled Cusick off the base. After a groundout, Irvine went to their bullpen in Matt Summers. The righty walked the first batter he faced, Marcoe, then surrendered an RBI-single to Nick Ramirez that scored Pill and moved Marcoe to third. Joey Siddon's successful drag bunt loaded the bases and Austin Kingsolver's fielder's choice scored the Titans' sixth unanswered run.
Irvine ruined Pill's shutout bid in the eighth, scoring an unearned run on just one hit. Tommy Reyes reached when Christian Colon's throw went into the Titan dugout on his grounder to short. Reyes moved to third on a sharp single to center by Sean Madigan and scored on a 1-6-3 double play hit into by Casey Stevenson.
Colon, Brown, Pill and Ramirez each had two hits to pace the Titan offense. Larson was the only Anteater with multiple hits with two.
The Titans do not have a midweek game this week and will head to UC Santa Barbara for a three-game Big West series with the Gauchos, Firday-Sunday.