May 25, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Tyler Pill and Nick Ramirez homered and five Cal State Fullerton pitchers combined for a 3-hitter Tuesday night as No. 8-ranked Cal State Fullerton won an important non-conference game over No 7-ranked UCLA, 5-2.
The win was the Titans' second in two tries this season over UCLA and improved their record to 38-15 as well as their hopes for a national top eight post-season seed. The Bruins fell to 41-12, losing for the 38th time in the past 46 games to Fullerton. UCLA starter and loser Garett Claypool (8-3) pitched out of constant trouble but allowed only 2 runs and 3 hits in 6 innings in losing for the second time this year to the Titans.
Pill hit a 2-run home run in the first for a 2-0 lead and Nick Ramirez hit a 3-run shot in the seventh that made it 5-1. UCLA got a solo home run from Cody Regis, his third, to lead off the second and added an unearned run in the eighth.
Colin O'Connell started for Fullerton and had allowed only one hit through the first 10 outs but he was knocked from the game with one out in the fourth by a Regis line drive off his pitching hand that went for a single. Saturday starter Noe Ramirez was allowed plenty of time to warm up and he stranded two Bruins to end the inning.
Noe Ramirez (9-1) pitched 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings to earn the win. Kevin Rath pitched a perfect seventh but hit Steve Rodriguez to open the eighth. Saturday night starter Daniel Renken made his third relief appearance of the season, second against UCLA, and gave up a 2-out RBI single to Tyler Rahmatulla. A 9-6 force out from Casey Watkins to short helped Renken's cause. Nick Ramirez worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
The Titans scored in the first as Christian Colon was hit by a pitch and scored on Pill's seventh home run of the year. Colon's hitting streak was stopped at 14 games.
The Titans wasted five baserunners in the third and fourth innings. Lopez was picked off second to thwart a rally in the third and he flied out to center to end the fourth with the bases loaded. They also left two on in the first after Pill's homer.
UCLA got Niko Gallegos to third with one out in the fifth after he was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a ground out and stole third. But Noe Ramirez struck out Beau Amaral and Blair Dunlap to strand him and then pitched a perfect sixth before coming out in favor of Rath.
Matt Grace took over for Claypool in the seventh and was tagged for three runs. With one out, Lopez bunted safely and Pill was hit by a 2-2 pitch. Nick Ramirez hit the first pitch he saw into the netting beyond the right-centerfield fence for his tenth home run.
Big West champion Fullerton hosts Cal State Northridge in a 3-game conference series to end the regular season. UCLA, two games behind Arizona State in the Pac-10 race, hosts Washington State while the Sun Devils travel to Stanford in a pair of 3-game series.
The Titans have reconfigured their weekend rotation in preparation for Regional action. Dylan Floro (6-0, 3.23 ERA) will work Friday night's 7 p.m. game, Noe Ramirez (9-1, 2.74 ERA) will throw Saturday's 6 p.m. game, and Daniel Renken (10-2, 3.96 ERA) will toe the rubber Sunday at 1 p.m.