June 8, 2010
FULLERTON, CA - Junior Christian Colon finished 3-for-4 with three RBI while sophomore Nick Ramirez slugged a go-ahead two-run home run in the fifth inning to lift host and top-seeded Cal State Fullerton to a 9-5 victory over Minnesota on Monday night and clinch a berth in next weekend's NCAA Super Regional.
The Titans (45-16 overall) finished 4-1 in regional play, winning four consecutive elimination games to clinch their eighth consecutive regional title after losing their opener to the Golden Gophers last Friday night. Fullerton will travel to Southern California rival UCLA for the best-of-three super regional round beginning on Friday night (June 11) at 7:30 p.m.
All three games from Jackie Robinson Stadium will be televised on ESPN2 with a 4 p.m. start time for game two on Saturday (June 12) and a 7 p.m. start time for the "if necessary" game three on Sunday (June 13).
Regional Most Outstanding Player Corey Jones also homered (his ninth) and drove in three to extend his hitting streak to 24 consecutive games - the third-longest streak in the history of the program. Billy Marcoe and Joey Siddons also finished with two hits as part of a 12-hit Titans attack.
Junior Raymond Hernandez (1-0) earned the victory in relief in only his second career Division I appearance, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out three in three innings of work. Austin Lubinsky (1-3) suffered the loss for Minnesota, charged with six runs (four earned) on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Trailing by two after three innings, the Titans' offense found its groove loading the bases on a walk, error, and infield hit with just one out. Lubinsky then got Walker Moore swinging for the second out to bring up Colon, who lined the first pitch he saw to centerfield to tie the game at 4-4.
Ramirez then dealt the big blow in the fifth with two outs. Sophomore Tyler Pill was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count to bring up the slugger, who lined his 16th home run of the season over the wall in right, giving Fullerton the lead for good at 6-4.
The Titans, who totaled 42 hits in their last three games after amassing just nine in their first two regional contests combined, added two more in the sixth on an RBI double by Colon and a sacrifice fly by Jones and closed out the scoring with an RBI triple by Richie Pedroza in the eighth.
Michael Kvasnicka finished 3-for-5 with two RBI for Minnesota.
FULLERTON REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
C - Kyle Knudson, Minnesota
1B - Nick Ramirez, Cal State Fullerton
2B - Corey Jones, Cal State Fullerton
SS - Christian Colon, Cal State Fulleton
3B - Kenny Diekroeger, Stanford
OF - Stephen Piscotty, Stanford
OF - Michael Kvasnicka, Minnesota
OF - Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
DH - Carlos Lopez, Cal State Fullerton
P - Seth Rosin, Minnesota
P - Colin O'Connell, Cal State Fullerton
Most Outstanding Player - Corey Jones, Cal State Fullerton