April 29, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - TITANS EVEN SERIES WITH 11-3 WIN
April 29, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. -- No. 1 Cal State Fullerton bounced back from a Friday night loss with an 11-3, Big West Conference victory over visiting UC Riverside Saturday night behind a 17-hit offensive outburst and another solid pitching performance by Lauren Gagnier.
The Titans snapped a small three-game losing streak to the Highlanders and improved to 32-11 overall and 9-2 in league. Riverside, who collected 10 hits in the loss, fell to 22-16, 4-4.
Blake Davis extended his hitting streak to 12 games as he got the Titans on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI-triple that brought home Justin Turner. Brett Pill drove in Davis a batter later with a single to right field off UCR starter Haley Winter (3-4) who would eventually be tagged with the loss. Fullerton would score one more time in the first, when David Cooper would pick up one of his three hits on the night, driving in Pill to give the Titans and Gagnier a 3-0 lead to work with.
Riverside's leadoff hitter Aaron Grant touched Gagnier for a solo home run in the top of the third, the first of two that the Titan righty would allow, but the only one that would leave Goodwin Field.
Fullerton would come back with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the third, as four singles would bring home two more runs to give the Titans a 5-1 lead. Danny Dorn and Brandon Tripp would pick up RBI-singles off Winter, who would last 5 1/3, and eventually give up seven earned runs on the night.
A bit of controversy ensued in the top of the fifth as with one out, Riverside's Drew Garcia launched a ball to the deepest part right-center field, a ball that Brandon Tripp seemingly made a dazzling play on, slamming into the wall with a great catch. Despite Tripp's immediate lifting of his glove to show that he held on to the ball, first base umpire Billy Haze ruled that Tripp did not retain possession after contact with the wall, allowing Garcia to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run. The umpires met after a discussion with Titan skipper George Horton, but the call stood, with the Titans leading 5-2.
Fullerton would score six more times off three Riverside relievers in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, with the biggest run-producing hit being a two-run double by Evan McArthur in the seventh inning off of reliever Pat Cassa.
Gagnier (10-3) would pick up another quality start, going seven innings, allowing three earned runs on eight scattered hits to pick up his nation-leading (tie) 10th win of the season.
UCR would score their final run in the seventh inning as Garcia led off the frame with a double to left field then move to third on a ground ball. He would score a batter later as Gagnier would uncork one of his two wild pitches on the night, allowing to Garcia to trot home with Riverside's third run of the night.
Six Titans would collect two or more hits, with Cooper and Turner leading the way with three apiece. Garcia was the Riverside leader with three hits of his own.
Turner, Davis, Tripp and McArthur each drove in a pair of runs as the Titans improved to 9-0 when scoring 10-or-more runs in a game.
Dustin Miller (8-1, 3.49 ERA) looks to become the Titans' second nine-game winner Sunday afternoon as he will be on the mound as the two teams will meet up for the rubber-match of the three -game series at 1 p.m. UCR will counter with Taylor Bills (4-2, 3.09 ERA) .
Notes: Blake Davis' triple in the first inning gives him three on the season and 12 in his career, moving him into sole possession of second place all-time for a career behind Dante Powell who collected 18 from 1992-94...Fullerton is now 15-0 when they score in the first inning and 23-3 when they score first in the game....Even without Vinnie Pestano and/or Ryan Paul leading the way Saturday night, Fullerton improved to 30-0 when leading after eight innings.