May 19, 2007
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Jeff Kaplan tossed eight innings of four-hit ball and Clark Hardman's two run double drove home the game winner as Cal State Fullerton evened the Big West Conference weekend series with Cal Poly with a 7-1 win at Baggett Stadium Saturday night.
The Titans snap the Mustangs four-game winning streak with the win and improve to 32-20 overall and 9-8 in league play. Cal Poly falls to 28-24, 9-8.
Kaplan (10-3) had a shaky start over the first three innings but settled down to earn his tenth win of the year. Kaplan sandwiched a Bryan Kepner double in the second with a pair of walks to load the bases with no outs, but retired the seven, eight and nine hitters without allowing a run to score to get out of the jam. Kepner's two-base hit would be the only hit the Titan starter would allow until the sixth inning.
Kaplan retired 13 of 14 mustang hitters from the second to the sixth, with only a leadoff walk to Logan Schafer in the third breaking the string of retired hitters.
Fullerton followed their two-run fifth with a three-run sixth off three different Cal Poly arms. Chris Jones delivered a run-scoring double off of starter Grant Theophilus who suffered the loss (1-2), nearly missing a home run off the top of the centerfield wall.
The double knocked the starter out of the game after 5.1 innings of work and brought on Derrick Saito out of the Mustang bull pen. Jones stole third then scored on a Saito wild pitch with Wallach at the plate, two pitches before Wallach reached via a walk.
The Titan first baseman then advanced to second on a passed ball, and stole third off the third Mustang hurler, Andrew Slorp, and scored on what should have been the third out of the inning. Billy Pinkerton grounded to third, but Brent Morel threw wild, allowing Wallach to come across with the Titans' fifth run on the error.
Cal Poly plated their only run of the game off Kaplan in the sixth as Wes Dorrell doubled home Kyle Smith aboard on a one-out infield single. Kaplan then set down eight of the last nine hitters he faced. Bryan Harris tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning and recorded a strikeout to close the door and even the series at one game apiece.
Jones drove home his second run of the game with an RBI single in the seventh and added another with a sac-fly in the top of the ninth to give him three to lead all players.
Hardman led all players with three hits, upping his team-leading batting average to .377. Hardman also finished with two RBI.
Smith had two hits to lead Cal Poly at the plate.
The Titans struck out 12 times on the night, and it was the 10th time this season Fullerton has had double-digits in strikeouts at the plate. Theophilus and Slorp each had six apiece. Kaplan recorded five for The Titans.
The rubber game of the series fromBaggett Stadium will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Paul Canedo or Justin Klipp will get the ball for Fullerotn, while Justin Eager will get the call for Cal Poly in the matinee.