May 24, 2008
Long Beach, Calif. - No. 25 Long Beach State scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning off Jason Dovel and Adam Jorgenson and held on for an 8-6 upset over No. 6 Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at Blair Field.
The win for Long Beach snaps the Titans perfect record (32-0) when leading after seven innings and improves their record to 36-19 overall and 15-8 in Big West Conference play. The Titans saw their longest winning streak of the season (six games) come to an end as they fall to 37-18, 16-7.
A bases loaded walk by Jorgenson to T.J. Mittelstaedt tied the game, and chopper just over the head and out of reach of third baseman Joel Weeks by Jonathan Jones plated the game-winning runs for Long Beach.
Jason Dovel suffered the loss, giving up two of the three runs. The southpaw worked just 1.1 innings. Nick Vincent, one of five Long Beach arms on the night improved to 4-0 with a scorless inning of work while Bryan Shaw locked down his eighth save of the year. Shaw struck out Jared Clark and induced a game-ending groundout by Brian Wilson with the tying runs on base.
Clark put the Titans in prime position to win the ballgame in the top of the seventh by hitting his team-leading ninth home run of the year just inside the left field foul pole to give Fullerton the short-lived 6-5 lead. The homer came with two outs in the frame off Brett Lorin.
Titan starter Daniel Renken worked 6.0 innings and thanks to Clark's big-fly in the bottom of the stanza, left in position to win, though by the narrowest of margins. In his final inning of work, Long Beach plated a pair of runs to tie the game at 5-5. Shane Peterson led off the inning with a single and was promptly driven home with a triple laced down into the right field corner. Two ground balls later, Espinosa tied the game.
The Titans used grounders by Josh Fellhauer and Christian Colon break a 3-3 tie in the top of the fourth. Joel Weeks, aboard on one of his three hits on the night, led off the inning and was followed by Dustin Garneau getting plunked with a Jake Thompson fastball to set up a sacrifice situation for Joe Scott. Scott's bunt got past Thompson on the mound and went for an infield single to load the bases for Fellhauer and Colon.
Long Beach plated the games first run when Shane Petersen's routine two-out grounder to second, got under Joe Scott's glove scoring Jordan Casas (single) from second. It was the first of two costly errors on the night for Fullerton.
The Titans bounced right back scoring three times in the top of the second. Soctt avenged his error with a bases-loaded double sparking the rally. Dustin Garneau scored shortly thereafter from third on a Thompson wild pitch.
Brandon Godfrey led off the bottom of the second with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Jason Tweedy. Tweedy, however, ended up on first as Garneau was unable to grab the ball cleanly and finished without a play. It was the second costly error for Fullerton as Tweedy would later come around and score, tying the game at 3-3 on Middelsaedt's RBI-single later in the inning.
Clark and Weeks had three hits on the night to lead all players in the losing effort. Casas and Godfrey picked up three knocks for the 49ers to lead their squad.
Renken finished the night giving up five hits over six innings, while surrendering five runs, though only three were earned. The freshman struck out four.
After 55 games, the Titans' chance of winning the Big West Conference crown outright will come down to the regular-season finale. A win will earn them the crown all by themselves. A loss will see them share the crown with Long Beach.
On the mound Sunday for Cal State Fullerton will be Cory Arbiso, looking to win his 12th straight game. The right-hander is 11-2 on the year and will be faced by Long Beach's Vance Worley (6-3). First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Blair Field.
NOTES: A correction from yesterday's notes in the game story...Jeff Kaplan did not become the first player since Fullerton's Jason Windsor to win all eight Big West games...he did not get a victory in the opening weekend of conference play. He has won seven consecutive conference games, not eight, and has won 10 games without defeat. Cory Arbiso has a chance to match Windsor's efforts on Sunday.
Coming into the game Fullerton was 30-0 when leading after 6 innings, 32-0 when leading after seven and 34-0 whne leading after 8.
Christian Colon extended his season-best hitting streak to seven games, while Clark stretched his to six games.