Long Beach Rallies to Beat Titans, 10-6
May 26, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - No. 22 Long Beach State (36-18, 14-6) scored seven times over the final two innings in a 10-6 come-from-behind Big West Conference victory over Cal State Fullerton (33-22, 10-10) Saturday night at Goodwin Field. Travis Howell had four hits on the night including a game-tying double in the eighth inning for Long Beach.
The 49ers caught and went ahead of the Titans, scoring four times in the top of the eighth inning off reliever Adam Jorgenson (3-1), who was tagged with his first career loss. An RBI-single by Brandon Godfrey, Howell's double and a two-run single by Jason Tweedy all came with two outs, giving the 49ers all they would need to take the second game of the series.
Andrew Leibel was in line for the loss for the first seven innings but ended up being the beneficiary of the Long Beach offensive explosion improving to 8-3 on the year. Leibel surrendered five earned runs on seven hits over seven innings of work, walking five and striking out six.
Jeff Kaplan worked seven innings of seven-hit ball allowing just three runs (two earned) in his fourth no-decision in 16 starts.
Three straight singles by Robert Perry, Godfrey and Howell and a sacrifice fly by Chris Nelson gave Long Beach a 3-0 lead after their first two at bats off Kaplan. But Fullerton chipped away and caught the 49ers in the fourth. Evan McArthur had a scoring fly ball in the second and Cory Jones drove home two with a double into the right field corner in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3.
In the fifth, John Curtis blasted his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall increasing the Titan lead to 5-2. It was a two-run shot, and just his second-career Goodwin Field homer. Kaplan worked two more scoreless innings and left after seven with the lead.
Long Beach scored three more times off Dustin Birosak in the ninth to increase their lead to 10-5. Birosak surrendered three runs on three hits and a walk before handing the ball to Justin Klipp who retired the final two batters in the ninth.
The rubber match of the three-game set will conclude tomorrow at 1 p.m. Bryan Harris is likely to start for Cal State Fullerton on Senior Day with the 49ers countering with either Shane Peterson or Omar Arif.
NOTES: UC Riverside beat UC Irvine 4-2 Friday to earn the Big West Conference automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs. NCAA Regional site announcements will be announced on ESPNews between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoonthe 2007 Regional field will be announced Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN and ncaasports.com