April 27, 2007
Riverside, Calif. - Aaron Wible's walk-off, RBI-single lifted UC Riverside to a 3-2 upset against No. 15 Cal State Fullerton in a Big West Conference pitcher's duel at Riverside Sports Complex Friday night.
The loss for Cal State Fullerton snapped an eight-game winning streak and drop their record to 27-13 and 7-3 in conference play. UC Riverside improves to 25-16, 5-2.
The anticipated pitcher's duel lived up to its billing as James Simmons and Fullerton's Wes Roemer went toe-to-toe with duel complete games. Simmons ups his record to 9-2 by surrendering just two runs on eight hits while fanning eight. Roemer falls to 6-5, allowing three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts of his own.
The Titans took a 2-1 lead with a successful squeeze bunt by Joe Scott that brought home Matt Wallach in the top of the ninth inning. Wallach led off the frame with a double that nearly went over the center field wall. Evan McArthur followed and reached base on a fielder's choice. Corey Jones laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up setting up Scott's go-ahead bunt.
Roemer came out for the ninth inning with his seventh win on his mind, but allowed four straight Highlanders to reach base. Mark Samuelson doubled home the tying run with a bloop double down the line, setting up Wible's game-winner.
Early on Simmons had the advantage, as Ryan Goetz split the left-centerfield gap for a double, bringing home Wible who singled to lead off the inning. Roemer, like Simmons a half inning earlier, then set down the next three Highlanders in order to end the threat.
The Titans squandered a prime opportunity to get a Simmons in the top of the second, as Nick Mahin singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error by catcher Jeff Dunbar's throwing error. From there Simmons set the Titans down in order with two pop outs and a strikeout.
Mahin and Hardman led Fullerton with two hits each, while a trio of Highlanders (Joey Gonzalez, Wible and Ryan Goetz) matched the Fullerton pair with two hits as well.
Fullerton has lost six of the last seven match-ups held at the Riverside Sports COmplex dating back to 2003.
The two teams will square off on Saturday evening as seven-game winner Jeff Kaplan goes for Fullerton. He will be put up against Marc Rzepczynski (5-1) for Riverside. First pitch is at 6 p.m.