May 15, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Daniel Renken tossed a complete-game, 8-hit shutout and Christian Colon belted a grand slam to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 8-0, Big West Conference victory over Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at Blair Field.
Fullerton wins its sixth straight game and its ninth consecutive series improving to 33-14 overall and 17-3 in league play. The 49er drop to 22-25, 7-10, and fall 8 ½ games behind the first-place Titans in the Big West race.
Renken (9-2) tied UC Irvine's Daniel Bibona with his ninth win of the year on Saturday. The right-hander turned in his finest performance of the year, scattering 8 hits while fanning six 49ers without a walk.
Jake Thompson (5-3) suffered the loss while surrendering 7 of the 8 Titan runs. The righty gave up 8 of the Titans' 9 hits, and struck out five without a walk.
Jason Markovitz, Kenny Arnerich and Tommy Nance combined to hold the Titans to just 1 run and 1 hit.
Cal State Fullerton broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning when they caught a break as third baseman Joey Terdoslavich and left fielder Jonathan Jones misplayed/miscommunicated on a two-out pop up off the bat of Billy Marcoe. Marcoe slid into second with a double, and scoring on the play was Tyler Pill, who was aboard on an error by shortstop Kirk Singer.
A hit batter by Renken in the bottom of the fifth, and a hit batter by Thompson in the top of the sixth, showed the Titan/49er rivalry was still alive and kicking.
Renken, who plunked Steve Tinoco with a change-up to lead off the Long Beach fifth, received a long stare-down from the runner heading to first. But the right-hander retired the next three batters including a strikeout of Brennen Metzger to end the inning, and made a spirited exit back to the dugout.
Nick Ramirez was hit with and 0-2 pitch to lead off the top of the sixth, leading to warnings to both dugouts by home plate umpire Frank Pflugradt. Despite trading hit batters, things did not work out for Thompson and the 49ers as Fullerton scored six times to take a 7-0 lead.
Ramirez stole second and moved to third as Marcoe singled to right. Corey Jones punched a single through the left side to bring Ramirez home with the second run of the game. Casey Watkins reached safely as his sacrifice bunt was fielded by Long Beach catcher Kellen Hoime, but the catcher's throw to get the lead runner (Marcoe) at third was late, loading the bases.
Pedroza drove home Marcoe from third with a grounder to first, and remained on the base as Thompson missed touching first after taking the throw from Tinoco.
With the bases loaded, Christian Colon unloaded on Thompson, belting his Big West-leading 14th home run of the year, a grand slam over the left field wall. It was the third slam for the Titans on the year, the first for Colon. The home run not only put an exclamation point on the Titans' scoring for the inning, but it ended Thompson's afternoon.
The Titans tacked on another run in the top of the ninth as Gary Brown hit a bullet that ricocheted off Terdoslavich trying to defend himself. Brown wound up at second with a double and went to third on Austin Kingsolver's groundout to first. Nick Ramirez walked to put runners at the corners and reliever Tommy Nance uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Brown to cross with the Titans' eighth and final run.
Brown and Marcoe finished with two hits apiece to lead the Titans at the plate.
The Titans and 49ers will meet on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.