Pitching and Defense Drop the Ball, Streak Snapped at 9
May 2, 2010
Stockton, Calif. - Christopher Brett, Mike Walker, Joe Oliveira and Ben Gorang each drove in three runs for Pacific which scored three-or-more runs in four innings on Sunday afternoon as it salvaged game three of the weekend series with Cal State Fullerton, in a sloppy 18-10 affair at Klein Family Field.
Despite a 10-run, 16-hit offensive attack, the Titans' nine-game winning streak came to an end with the loss, dropping them to 27-14 on the year and 12-3 in Big West Conference play. In the win, Pacific knocked out 17 hits (the most Fullerton has allowed this season) and improve to 26-16 overall and 8-7 in league play.
The Titans hold a 2 1/2 game lead in the Big West over second place UC Irvine and a 3.5 game lead over UC Riverside. With a win over Cal Poly, Long Beach could also be 3 1/2 out. (currently tied 3-3 in the top of the 11th).
In addition to serving up four Pacific home runs, four Fullerton pitchers walked six and hit two batter, with four of the walks eventually coming around to score.
Kevin Rath (2-2) lasted just 2/3 of an inning for the Titans, allowing five runs on five hits while walking three to take the loss. Jake Hummel allowed nine runs on 13 Titan hits over 5 1/3, but came out on the winning end to improve to 6-3.
Robbie Richardson allowed just three hits over the final 3 1/3 innings to earn his third save of the year.
After taking a 5-1 lead after the first inning (their first lead of the weekend), Pacific never looked back. The Titans got to 5-4 in the second by scoring three times (Carlos Lopez triple, Joe Siddons, Richie Pedroza and Christian Colon singles and a Nick Ramirez sacrifice fly), but took a hit when the Tigers scored five more times over the next two innings.
Christopher hit his fifth home run of the year in the second off reliever Kyle Mertins and back-to-back Titan fielding errors on Pacific bunts keys a four-run Tiger third.
Fullerton seemed to get the momentum going again in the fifth, cutting the Pacific lead to 10-6, but a four-run inning, courtesy of a Mike Walker solo home run off Kyle Mertins and a three-run Ben Gorang blast off David Hurlbut, again took the wind out of Fullerton's sails.
With persistence, the Titan offense rallied again for four runs through the sixth and seventh innings, only to be let down again, with an even more persistent Tiger attack. Tyler Pill singled home a run and Lopez and pinch-hitter Anthony Hutting each walked with the bases loaded to cut the Tiger lead to 14-9. They made it 14-10 in the top of the seventh with extra base hits by Colon (triple) and Gary Brown (RBI-double), but again were let down as Pacific used four singles, a walk and an error to score three more times.
Leading 17-10, the home team drove in the final nail in the bottom of the eighth as J.B. Brown homered to center off Colin O'Connell for the 18th and final run. The 18 runs scored on Sunday are the most Pacific has ever scored against Cal State Fullerton dating back to their first meeting in 1975.
A 4-for-6 effort by Colon and a 3-for-5 day by Gary Brown were wasted in the loss. Tyler Pill, Ramirez and Siddons each had two hits with Pill driving a team-high two runs on the day. Ramirez became the seventh Titan to ever amass a hitting streak of 20 games or more in a season with his infield single in the fifth.
Every Pacific starter, except for DH Allen Riley, had at least one hit. J.B. Brown matched Colon's effort with four hits of his own. Christopher had three hits.
Cal State Fullerton will host UC Riverside next weekend at Goodwin Filed. The Friday through Sunday series will have game times of 7 p.m., 6 .m. and 1 p.m., respectively.