Titans Outlast Aztecs for Midweek Win

Feb. 24, 2009

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San Diego, Calif. - Christian Colon and Josh Fellhauer scored the decisive runs without benefit of a base-hit as No. 7-ranked Cal State Fullerton pulled out an 8-6 non-conference baseball win Tuesday night at San Diego State.

Kyle Mertins (1-0) pitched two scoreless relief innings to get the win and Michael Morrison pitched a perfect ninth to save it and raise Fullerton's record to 2-2 and drop the Aztecs to 2-2,

Colon was walked by loser Kegan Sharp (0-1) to lead off the seventh inning of a 6-6 tie. Chase Thomas relieved and Colon stole second, went to third on Fellhauer's ground ball to second and scored on a wild pitch with Jared Clark at the plate for a 7-6 lead. In the ninth, Fellhauer walked with one out, went to third on a throwing error by pitcher Andrew Leary and scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Matt Fahey.

Five Fullerton pitchers combined to walk 8 Aztecs and hit 3 more but they struck out 13 and allowed only 7 hits. SDSU took a 4-2 lead with 4 unearned runs without a hit in the second off starter Kevin Rath. Tyler Pill dropped a fly ball that should have ended the inning allowing two runs to score. Reliever Noe Ramirez walked a third run home with a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch made it a 4-2 game.

Clark went 2-for-2 and reached bases five times. Nick Ramirez had an RBI single and an RBI ground out to raise his team-leading total to 8 RBI.

Fullerton hosts No. 14-ranked Stanford in a 3-game weekend series beginning Friday.

Fullerton scored two unearned runs in the top of the first off starter Ryan O'Sullivan thanks to a booted grounder by shortstop Easton Gust off the bat of Colon. After a Fellhauer walk, Clark gapped a double off the wall and then freshman Nick Ramirez grounded to first to bring home Fellhauer.

Pill's two-out dropped fly ball in left field opened up the flood gates for San Diego State as the Aztecs used the muffed catch and starter Rath's wildness to score four times in the bottom of the second inning without a hit. Rath walked four and hit a batter in the inning and was eventually relieved by Noe Ramirez, who came in to get T.J. Thomas, the ninth batter of the inning, to ground out to third.

Fullerton came back to tie the game with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, one courtesy of an O'Sullivan balk, the other an RBI-single by Nick Ramirez, his eighth of the season.

Walks again plagued the Titans in the top of the third as leadoff hitter Cory Vaughn parlayed the free pass into a stolen base and a run when Josh Chasse doubled him in to make the game 5-4 in favor of the Aztecs.

Fullerton manufactured a run in the fourth to tie the game at five. Pill led the frame off with a bloop single to center then gave way to pinch runner Joey Siddons. Siddons advanced to second on a Dustin Garneau sacrifice bunt and scored on a Joe Scott line-drive single to center.

Noe Ramirez, who tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, had to work to get the third out of the fifth after allowing a double, a single and a hit batsman, but got Matt Parker to ground into a force out to end the inning.

A first-and-third double steal by Joe Scott (2nd) and Khris Davis (home) gave the Titans a brief 6-5 lead, but a Gary Brown throwing error on an athletic attempt to throw out Pat Colwell on a ball hit to his left opened the door for another unearned run. Travis Kelly, the Titans' third pitcher of the night, surrendered a pair of Aztec hits and a scoring ground ball by Thomas.

Colon led off the seventh by drawing a walk off Sharp and promptly stole second to stay out of the double play. Fellhauer's grounder to second pushed Colon to third and a wild pitch that almost hit Clark, again gave the Titans the lead as Colon crossed home with the Titans' seventh run of the game.

Mertins replaced Kelly after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh and struck out a pair of Aztecs to preserve the one-run lead.

Fullerton added an insurance run in the top of the ninth without recording a hit a Fahey laid down a perfect safety squeeze to bring home Fellhauer from third. Fellhauer was aboard after getting hit with one out, and then advanced to third on a throwing error by the pitcher Leary attempting to keep Fellhauer close at first.

Morrison started the bottom of the ninth by going 3-0 to the first batter he faced, but ended up striking out two and getting Erik Castro to pop out for the final out of the game to record his first save since his freshman year.