Titans Split a Soggy Twin Bill at Home

Feb. 19, 2011

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Fullerton, Calif. - A Richy Pedroza bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Cal State Fullerton to a slim 2-1 non-conference victory over Long Beach State Saturday night at soggy Goodwin Field in the night-cap of a day-night double header.

The Titans, who lost the day game with the Tar Heels of North Carolina, 4-3, improved to 1-1 on the year with the win over the 49ers. Long Beach drops to 0-1. The early game endured a 27-minute rain delay, while the Titans' and 49ers played through rain for portions of the night game.

Noe Ramirez (1-0) earned the win by going 7.0 strong innings before handing the ball over to Nick Ramirez for a six-out save, his first of the season. Noe Ramirez allowed a first-inning run that kept the 49ers in the lead until the seventh, but faced the minimum for 4.1 innings following a Matt Hibbert single to lead off the third. Noe struck out five without a walk, scattering just six hits.

Long Beach ace Drew Gagnon (0-1) held the Titans to just two hits over 6.0 innings of work before the Titans rallied for a pair of crucial runs in the seventh. Tyler Pill doubled off the right-hander to lead off the inning and was tripled home a few pitches later by Joe Terry to tie the game at 1-1. After a strikeout, Gagnon hit Jared Deacon to put runners at the corners and Matt Orloff loaded the bases with a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt that first baseman Ino Patron misplayed. Pedroza drove home the game-winner with a high fly ball into the rainy sky in deep right field scoring Terry.

Long Beach got on the board in the first with a Mike Marjama single to center that scored Matt Duffy from second. Duffy had singled and moved to second as Austin Kingsolver relayed his throw to Orloff who fired to Deacon at the plate to cut down Brennan Metzger trying to score. Metzger was hit by Noe Ramirez to lead off the game.

Long Beach and Fullerton will meet on Sunday at 1 p.m. and again on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Blair Field in Long Beach. Probable pitchers for Sunday's affair will be Jake Floethe for Fullerton and Matt Johnson for Long Beach.

In the first game of the day, Ben Bunting's RBI-single in the top of the 11th inning pushed across the winning run as North Carolina (2-0) upset the Titans, 4-3.

Greg Holt, one of six Tar Heel pitchers on the day, earned the win with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. He gave up just one hit (Carlos Lopez double) and struck out 1 to improve to 2-0. Cody Penny earned his first save of the year with an inning of perfect relief.

Dylan Floro (0-1) suffered the tough-luck loss, tossing 4.1 innings in relief of starter Tyler Pill, who left losing 3-2 after 6.0 innings of work.

Pill and the Titans struggled to get a rhythm in the top of the first inning as two hits (Levi Michael and Tom Zengel) and a wild pitch gave North Carolina an early 1-0 lead.

The Titans quickly evened things up in their half of the first when Joe Terry walked with the bases loaded off starter Patrick Johnson.

Neither team would score until the fifth despite numerous opportunities. The Titans wound up leaving 12 on base, 8 through the first five innings. The Tar Heels left 10.

In the fifth, North Carolina manufactured a run with a Bunting single, a Tommy Coyle sac bunt, a Michael groundout and an RBI-single from Zendel to give UNC a 2-1 lead.

Jacob Stallings extended the Tar Heel lead to 3-1 in the sixth when he hit a lined shot out of the park to left off PIll for his first home run of the year. It was also the first homer hit over the new Goodwin Field fence.

Pill handed the ball to Floro after 6.0 innings of work, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits with five strikeouts.

Fullerton cut the North Carolina lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth behind a single and a stolen base by Kingsolver and a two-out, RBI-single to center by Richy Pedroza that knocked Johnson (5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) from the game.

The Titans rallied to even the score at 3 apiece in the bottom of the ninth when Lopez doubled home Pedroza, who had walked to lead off the inning. Pinch-hitter Blake Barber had a chance to win it off Holt, but struck out looking to end the Titan threat and send the game into extra innings.

Floro issued a leadoff walk to Seth Baldwin, who would eventually come around to score the game-winner on Bunting's single to right of reliever Chris Devenski. Baldwin moved to second on a groundout, and went to third on a passed ball before trotting home easily with the game's final run.

Penny struck out Pedroza and Anthony Hutting and got Nick Ramirez to sky out to left for the final out in the bottom of the 11th to seal the victory.

UNC's Michael and Stallings and CSF's Lopez each had three hits to lead the way for their respective clubs. Hutting and Ramirez each had two hits each in the Titans' nine-hit effort.

Cal State Fullerton and North Carolina have now met three times. UNC has walked away with victories in all three, and have needed extra innings in two of them.