April 29, 2007
Riverside, Calif. - Riverside, Calif. - Joey Gonzalez's RBI-double proved to be the decisive hit as UC Riverside (27-16, 7-2) completed the three-game Big West Conference sweep of No. 15 Cal State Fullerton (27-15, 7-5), 5-4, at the Riverside Sports Complex.
Michael Morrison (5-2) lasted just 1 1/3 innings on his second weekend start of the year and suffered the loss as Fullerton was unable to pull off a win in a weekend series for the second time in 2007.
Nick Mahin's two-out solo home run over the left field wall off Pat Cassa gave Fullerton a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
UC Riverside bounced back and plated five unanswered runs, scoring three in the first and two in the second, all off Morrison. With one out, back-to-back home runs by Jaime Pedroza and Aaron Wible gave the Highlanders the lead that they would never relinquish.
After a pair of singles and an RBI-double by Joey Gonzalez in the second, Morrison was replaced by Dustin Birosak who struck out Pedroza with runners at second and third for the first out of the inning. The Titan lefty then hurled a wild pitch, allowing Carl Uhl to bring home the fith and final Riverside run.
Cassa worked out of minor Fullerton threats with a pick off in the second, and an inning-ending double play in the third, but Fullerton scored two times off him in the fourth to cut the Highlander lead to 5-3. Evan McArthur doubled to left-center to lead things off and traded places with Chirs Jones who also doubled two batters later. Matt Wallach followed with an RBI-single to left to inch Fullerton back into the game.
Birosak retired 13 of the first 14 Higlanders he faced and kept Fullerton in the game for a career-high 4 1/3 inning outing. Joe Scott snapped a string of 10-consecutive outs for the Titan southpaw with a fielding error on a grounder to shortstop.
Cassa came out for the fifth inning and gave up a single to Corey Jones and a double to Scott and was quickly replaced winning pitcher Dan Runzler (3-6). Runzler nearly single-handedly got UCR out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts right out of the pen, then got Nick Mahin to fly to center to end the Titan threat.
Fullerton acquired their fourth and final run thanks to a mental and physical error by catcher Jeff Dunbar. With Joe Scott at first a wide ball four seemingly allowed everyone to advance one base, but when Dunbar threw wildly down to second thinking Scott was stealing, Scott was able to continue on to third base on the throwing miscue. Scott later scored on a Mahin fielder's choice to get the Titans as close as they would get.
Joe Kelly struck out one over the final 1 2/3 innings and didn't allow a hit to close out the game and pick up his fourth save of the year.
The Titans out=hit the Highlanders 8-7 in the matinee, as Matt Wallach and Scott each tallied two apiece to lead the Fullerton squad. Kyle Barratt had two for UC Riverside.
The Titans will finish their six-game span of games away form Goodwin Field with a Wednesday afternoon game at Pepperdine. Game time is set for 3 p.m.