Titans Win Opener

June 1, 2012

Box Score / Photo Gallery

Eugene, OR - Koby Gauna pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief and Ivory Thomas drove in three runs without the benefit of a hit Friday afternoon to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 9-5 victory over Indiana State in the opening game of the NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament at University of Oregon.

The Titans (36-19) advance to play host Oregon, a 6-5 winner over Austin Peay, in a 6 p.m. game on Saturday. The Sycamores (41-18) will play Austin Peay at 2 p.m. in an elimination game.

Thomas broke a 5-5 tie in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to center field after the Titans' saw their 5-1 lead slip away in fourth and sixth innings. ISU reliever Tyler Pazik surrendered a leadoff single to Anthony Trajano and hit Jared Deacon to open the inning. Richy Pedroza bunted the runners into scoring position and both runners moved up 90 feet on Thomas' deep fly ball.

The Titans added 3 insurance runs in the eighth. Thomas got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Carlos Lopez and Michael Lorenzen followed with RBI singles to make it easier for Gauna (5-3), who allowed only one baserunner after entering the game with the score 5-5 and a man on third with two out in the top of the sixth.

Four Sycamore hits had knotted the game in the sixth off Titan starter Grahamm Wiest. Kyle Burnam doubled and Jeremy Lucas singled with one out. With Lucas in motion from first on the pitch, Rob Ort's ground ball resulted in just one out instead of two, and cut the Titans' lead to 5-3. Jon Hedges singled home Ort and Lucas Hileman's hit dropped just inside the rightfield line for a triple to bring home Hedges with the tying run at 5-5.

Wiest was tagged for 7 hits and 5 earned runs in 5.2 innings despite getting double plays in the third and fourth innings.

Fullerton maintained its record of winning at least one game in all 34 NCAA Regional appearances.

Fullerton had Wiest in good shape after three innings after building up a 5-1 lead.

Thomas singled off Sycamore starter Dakota Bacus' glove with one out in the first and went to second when the pitcher's attempt to throw him out went wild at first. Lopez and Lorenzen walked to load the bases and Thomas came home on Anthony Hutting's ground ball to third. Titan third baseman Matt Chapman made it 2-0 with a single to right center to score Lopez from third.

Fullerton scored another in the second without an official at bat. Anthony Trajano was hit by a pitch to open the frame and moved to second on a balk charged to Bacus. Jared Deacon sacrificed him to third and Pedroza walked. Thomas then dropped down a successful safety squeeze bunt to bring home the run and reached base that scored Trajano.

Wiest had retired the first six men he faced, but a lead-off double by Ryan Walterhouse broke the string of retired batters and set up the first Sycamore run. Koby Kraemer promptly singled to center to cut the Titan lead to 3-1.

Bacus continued to struggle with his control and walked his fourth batter with one-out in the third. Chapman dropped down a bunt single and J.D. Davis followed with a sharp single to left field to bring home Hutting, who had walked to make it 4-1. After a pop out, Jared Deacon contributed with a bullet that ricocheted off both Bacus and the second base umpire for a hit and a run, thus ending the pitcher's afternoon. The Sycamores' ace right-hander worked just 2.2 innings and gave up five runs on five hits and four walks.

Indiana State got only one run out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fourth. Wiest walked two and Rob Orth singled. Hedges hit into a 5-4-3 double play that scored Burnam and Hileman grounded to first.

The Titans' Nos. 8 and 9 hitters -- Trajano and Deacon -- combined to reach base six times plus a sacrifice in 8 plate appearances. Thomas reached base four times plus the sacrifice fly.

Tonight's winners' bracket game will match Ducks' head coach and former Titan player, assistant and head coach George Horton against his alma mater and former assistant, Rick Vanderhook.