Feb. 27, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - In his first collegiate start, Billy Pinkerton went 3-for-3 and drove in three as No. 10 Cal State Fullerton (10-4) defeated San Diego State (8-7) in a non-conference midweek match-up at Goodwin Field Tuesday night.
Aztec starter Nate Solow (1-1) lasted three innings on the predetermined "staff day" and surrendered a bulk of the Titan runs. Fullerton scored four times in the second and two more times in the third off the SDSU southpaw, jumping out to a 6-1 lead after three innings. Solow allowed five hits including a pair of key two-run knocks by Dustin Garneau (double in the second) and Pinkerton (single in the third) and was tagged with his first loss of the season.
Michael Morrison was the Titans' first pitcher of the night and he too tossed three innings, allowing a run on two hits while striking out four. Morrison, the loser of last Tuesday's game at San Diego State, evened his record at 1-1 earning his first collegiate win. A dazzling diving grab by freshman second baseman Corey Jones turned into an inning-ending double play with one out and the bases full of Aztecs, helping Morrison escape the third inning with just the one run coming across after walking the bases full.
The Titans extended their lead to 9-2 after plating three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Pinkerton, Jones, and Hardman each dove in a run with a single, while nine Titans came to the plate against relievers Mark Triolo and Brandon Pullen. All three runs were charged to Triolo on in relief of Solow.
After a run in the fourth cut the Titan lead to 6-2, San Diego State erupted for four more off Ryan Ackland who had retired the side in order in his second inning of work. Ackland went on to surrender five runs on five hits in his 2 1/3 innings of work striking out three along the way. In the four-run Aztec fifth, Ackland was greeted by a leadoff double by Romero, who would later score on an errant pick off throw for the first run of the inning. Aztec catcher, Frank Lonigro doubled home the second run, scoring Pat Colwell all the way from first. Colwell was aboard after getting plunked with an Ackland fastball. Brian Lucas followed Lonigro with an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch by Paul Canedo, on in place of Ackland.
Canedo was charged with another run in the top of the seventh as the Titan lead shrank to 9-7. Lonigro again the culprit, slapped a single to center off Nolan Bruyninckx the Titans fourth arm of the night. The Titan righty worked out of the jam, giving up just the one hit, before retiring the side.Bruynincks also set the Aztecs down in order in the eighth inning for just the second time of the night. He finished as the only Titan arm to go unscathed, striking out three in 1 2/3 inning pitched.
Junior Adam Jorgenson inherited a 9-7 lead in the top of the ninth, eventually picking up his third save of the year. Romero led of the ninth with his second double of the night, but was later retired with one out trying to advance to third on a come-backer by Colwell. Lonigro was next and he promptly drove a double down the left field line, scoring Colwell from first to bring the Aztecs within one. But a grounder to shortstop by Brian Lucas would end the game securing the Titans' season split with the Aztecs.
The Titans started three freshman position players Tuesday night, and all three were a combined 7-for-9 with 4 RBI. Pinkerton, Khris Davis, and Jones all made their first career starts on the field. Davis went 3-for-4 and stole a base.
The Titans head into this weekend's match-up against No. 6 Rice, which visits Goodwin Field for the first time. The Titan pitching rotation will remain the same, as Wes Roemer (2-2) will handle Friday night, Jeff Kaplan (3-0) Saturday and Sean Urena (2-0) on Sunday.
Notes: Fullerton's John Curtis, getting the night off from catching, came on as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning with a 16-game hitting streak on the line and struck out looking. It was the first time since June 18, 2006 versus Georgia Tech at the College World Series that Curtis did not reach base safely.