May 10, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - - Freshman Eric Karch had three hits and drove in two while sophomore Alex Najera kept the Titans at bay from the mound for 6.1 innings as unranked Pepperdine upset No. 9 Cal State Fullerton, 7-0, at Eddy D. Field Stadium Tuesday afternoon.
The sophomore Najera (1-3), who lasted just 3.1 innings allowing five runs on five hits against the Titans back on Apr. 5 at Goodwin Field, held the Titans scoreless on five hits on Tuesday to pick up his first career win. He struck out five and walked three. He and right-hander Ricky Villarreal shut out the Titans for the first time since Mar. 15, at Texas A&M.
Pepperdine improves to 20-25 on the year and will travel to San Francisco this weekend for West Coast Conference action.
Titan starter Jake Floethe (3-3) was touched for four runs on eight hits over five innings and took the loss as the Waves scored three times in the third and once in the fifth on his watch.
Fullerton drops to 33-13 on the year, snapping its four-game winning streak.
The game remained scoreless for three and a half innings before the Waves broke through for three runs off the Titan right hander Floethe in the fourth. Sam Meyer and Nate Johnson singled to lead off the inning but Meyer was retired at third on Trent Deitrich's unsuccessful sac-bunt attempt. The next batter David DiPaola sent a double into the left field corner to put Pepperdine on the board, 1-0. A groundout by Tony Cooper brought home Detrich and another double to left by Eric Karch quickly made it 3-0.
A Floethe walk and wild pitch put a runner at second, and Johnson's second hit of the day to right increased the Pepperdine lead to 4-0 in the fifth.
Back-to-back RBI doubles produced the fifth and sixth unanswered runs for Pepperdine in the bottom of the sixth, this time off reliever Chris Devenski, who was on in relief of Floethe.
Karch, playing in just his fourth game of the year, led all players with three hits, two doubles and a single in the eighth that produced the Waves' seventh run. Karch went to second on a passed ball charged to catcher Zach Tanida, moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a Christian Coronado wild pitch.
The only Titan threat came in the fifth when they loaded the bases for Nick Ramirez, but the Titan clean-up hitter grounded out to end the inning off Najera. Ramirez saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end. Tyler Pill walked three times in four plate appearances and saw his 10-game streak also come to an end.
The Titans collected seven hits on the afternoon. Ivory Thomas and Austin Kingsolver had two apiece. Five Waves had multi-hit days, leading to their 14-hit offensive effort.
The Titans return home for Big West Conference action against Long Beach State, Friday through Sunday. Sunday will be their last regular season home game and will feature pre-game Senior Day ceremony beginning prior to the 1 p.m. first pitch.