May 30, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton senior catcher Dustin Garneau finished 5-for-5 with three runs scored, including the go-ahead run on a Joe Scott single in the sixth, and sophomore right-hander Daniel Renken settled down to strike out six in eight innings of work as the top- seeded Titans defeated third-seeded Gonzaga, 7-4, on Saturday night at Goodwin Field in game four of the 2009 NCAA Baseball Regionals in front of 2,255 fans.
Fullerton improved to 44-14 overall on the season with its sixth straight victory, needing just one more win on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. to clinch its ninth Super Regional berth. The Bulldogs fell to 36-17 overall on the year and will take on fourth-seeded Utah in an elimination game on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the right to meet the Titans later that night at 6 p.m.
Renken (10-2) allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits in eight innings, retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced (including a line-drive double play to end the sixth) before giving way to freshman Nick Ramirez, who earned his seventh save of the year by getting a double play ground ball and a ground out to third to nail down the victory after a lead-off walk in the ninth.
Steven Ames (8-2) suffered the loss for Gonzaga, allowing all seven runs on 11 hits in seven innings of work, walking four and striking out four. Cody Martin pitched the final two innings for the Bulldogs, allowing just four hits and striking out five while keeping his side within striking distance.
Garneau led off the pivotal sixth inning by reaching on a lead-off double and scored when Scott laced a single to center to break a 4-4 tie. Garneau would add an RBI single in the seventh and Gary Brown plated Jeff Newman on an infield hit in the eighth to give the Titans some breathing room as they finished with 15 hits on the night - giving them 39 combined in the first two games of the regional.
Gonzaga struck early off a shaky Renken, as Evan Wells and Drew Heid smacked back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the first to bring up Tyson Van Winkle, who poked a double down the left field line to score both runners and make it 2-0.
Fullerton responded with three runs in the second as Khris Davis led-off the inning with his 14th home run of the season and was followed by run scoring hits from Scott (RBI triple) and Joey Siddons (RBI single) to give the Titans a 3-2 lead.
An infield hit by Siddons scored Garneau in the fourth for the 4-2 Fullerton advantage, but the Bulldogs responded to tie the game back up with a pair of runs in the fifth as Anthony Synegal launched his eighth home run of the year, scoring Ryan Wiegand ahead of him, to make it a 4-4 contest.
Gonzaga continued to threaten in the inning, putting a pair on thanks to a walk and a hit batter, and a passed ball that moved both into scoring position. However, Renken settled down to strike out Ernesto Ortiz looking to end the threat. The Bulldogs left eight runners on base for the game - six of those in scoring position.
Brown, Scott, and Siddons all finished 2-for-4 for the Titans, who finished with double-digit hits for the fourth straight contest. Garneau became the third Fullerton player to notch five hits this season, joining teammates Jared Clark (March 13 at Oklahoma State) and Josh Fellhauer (April 11 at Cal State Northridge).
Heid finished 3-for-5 at the plate for Gonzaga to pace the Bulldogs' offense.