April 22, 2011
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - A dropped throw by Matt Orloff on a sacrifice bunt ignited a three-run Mustang seventh, as Cal Poly upset No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, 4-2, Saturday night in a key Big West conference series at Baggett Stadium.
The series win for Cal Poly (18-16, 8-3) is just its second series win over Cal State Fullerton (27-11, 8-3) in the history of the two programs at the Div. I level. The other came in 2007 at Baggett Stadium. More importantly, it evened up the Big West Conference race, with Cal Poly and moving into a tie for first with Fullerton. A win by UC Irvine over UC Davis would also place the Anteaters in a three-way tie with Fullerton and Cal Poly. Cal Poly is just 11-49 all-time against the Titans.
Steven Fischback (4-2), the beneficiary of the three unearned runs in the seventh, picked up the win in tossing the Mustangs' second consecutive complete game against the Titans. Fischback allowed just two runs on five hits while fanning five.
Colin O'Connell (5-3) allowed three runs (one earned) over six inning and was hit with the loss. Relievers Jake Floethe and Dylan Floro couldn't stop the Mustangs after O'Connell was lifted after the muffed play at first.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Evan Busby led off with a single to left and was moved to second on a sac-bunt by Jimmy Allen. O'Connell fielded the ball cleanly and threw to second baseman Matt Orloff covering first, but Orloff missed the ball allowing Allen to reach safely and Busby to move to third.
Head Coach Dave Serrano elected to go to his bullpen and Jake Floethe. The first batter he faced, Bobby Crocker, lifted a fly ball to right field, scoring Busby with the go-ahead run. Floethe then walked Denver Chavez and a passed ball moved he and Allen to second and third. Floethe then walked both Mitch Haniger and J.J Thompson to force in the second Mustang run of the inning.
A third run came across when new pitcher Dylan Floro walked D.J. Gentile, on four straight pitches.
Fullerton scored an unearned run in the ninth when Anthony Trajano reached on an error, moved around on two groundouts and scored on a passed ball charged to catcher Chris Hoo.
Trajano drove in the game's first run in the top of the sixth after the Mustangs intentionally walked Tyler Pill to get to the Titan shortstop. Nick Ramirez was already at second on a bloop double down the left field line. Ramirez came in to score as Trajano perfectly placed his hit in between the shortstop and third baseman.
Like Thursday night, the Titan lead didn't last long as Cal Poly immediately answered with a run in their half of the inning. Mitch Haniger doubled to left-center and moved to third on a fly ball to center. Gentile evened the game at 1-1 with a deep run-scoring fly ball to deep centerfield. The run for Cal Poly was the first O'Connell had allowed over his last 17.1 innings of work.
The series loss for the Titans is just the second of the season and the first since they were swept at Louisiana State from Mar. 11 to 13. It is also the first time the Titans have lost two in a row since Mar. 13 to 15 against LSU and Texas A&M.
The series finale will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.