May 15, 2011
Box Score / Photo Gallery
Fullerton, Calif. - Nick Ramirez had three doubles and Colin O'Connell allowed only an unearned run and 3 hits over 7.2 innings Sunday afternoon as Cal State Fullerton completed a Big West Conference series sweep of Long Beach State with a 6-1 victory.
The Titans improved to 36-14 overall and 17-4 in the Big West, where they hold a 2 ½ game lead over UC Irvine with two weekends remaining. The 49ers fell to 24-25 and 8-10.
O'Connell (7-3), who beat Long Beach in February with a 7-inning, 1-run effort, struck out 6 and did not walk a batter. The 49ers never had more than one runner at a time and their only run came as the result of 3 Titan errors in the seventh inning.
Ryan Ackland got the final out of the eighth and Raymond Hernandez pitched a perfect ninth. Shawn Stuart (3-4) went the first five innings for the 49ers and took the loss despite allowing only one earned run and 4 hits.
The Titans broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Ramirez doubled to right center, moved to third on Carlos Lopez' pop fly single to center and scored on Michael Lorenzen's sacrifice fly to right.
Long Beach's defense handed Fullerton two runs in the fifth. Second baseman Matt Duffy dropped Zach Tanida's soft line drive for an error. First baseman Ino Patron fumbled Keegan Dale's bunt and had to settle for the out at first. Tanida went to third and Ivory Thomas was safe at third as shortstop Kirk Singer bounced a throw to first for the second error of the inning. Tanida scored on Richy Pedroza's sacrifice fly to center and Thomas eventually came home when Ramirez' pop fly to short left field fell among three 49ers for an RBI double.
The Titans made it 4-0 in the sixth. Lorenzen singled to center, was sacrificed to second, went to third on a ground ball and scored on Dale' single to center.
O'Connell's throwing error after fielding Patron's one-out comebacker set up the 49ers' run in the seventh. Shortstop Dale then threw wildly to first after fielding Matt Duffy's grounder. Patron scored and Duffy ended up at second when second baseman Walker Moore threw wildly to home trying to retire Patron. But O'Connell got the next two hitters out and left after getting the first two outs in the eighth.
Fullerton tacked on two insurance runs against closer Eddie Magallon. Moore, who would make two diving catches as the right fielder in the ninth, led off with a double and came home on Tanida's single. Dale executed a hit-and-run single to right to send Tanida to third and he came home on the Titans' third sacrifice fly of the game, this time off the bat of Ivory Thomas.
Fullerton is idle next weekend but plays non-conference games Tuesday at UCLA and Wednesday at home vs. Loyola Marymount. The Titans complete the Big West schedule with 3 games at Cal State Northridge on May 27-29 while UCI (13-5) has six games to play.