March 3, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - A six-run first inning was more than enough to get Wes Roemer his third win of the season as No. 10 Cal State Fullerton (11-4) upended No. 6 Rice (10-5) by a score of 10-3 in the first game of a big three-game series at Goodwin Field Friday night.
Five of the six Titan first-inning runs were unearned as Owl's pitcher Chris Kelley (0-1) was the unfortunate benefactor of two Brian Friday errors that ultimately handed the righty his first loss of the season. After the errors by the Rice shortstop, Chris Jones and Joel Weeks had back-to-back two-run singles off Kelly, giving the Titans' ace Roemer a six-run cushion after one. A Bryan Harris sacrifice fly boosted Fullerton's lead 7-0 in the third.
Roemer was solid, snapping a personal two-game losing streak with a six-inning performance in which he struck out 10 Owls to improve to 3-2 on the year. Rice designated hitter Jess Buenger had the big hit for Rice, a two run homer to right field in the top half of the third to cut the Titan lead to 7-2. Roemer allowed his third and final run in the top of the sixth inning on a Chad Lembeck run-scoring ground out, but that would be all for Roemer and the Owls scoring.
Nolan Bruynincx and Justin Klipp came on in relief of Roemer and tossed three scoreless innings to give the Titans their second straight win over the Owls dating back to last season's series finale in Houston.
Fullerton added three more insurance runs off relievers Kyle Gunderson and Mike Ojala in the last three frames. A double by Jake Vasquez drove home Clark Hardman with the eighth run of the night in the sixth, then two more came across in the seventh on a wild pitch then and RBI-double by Hardman to conclude the Titan assault.
Jones was the leader in hits on the night, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and was also hit twice by the Rice hurlers. He and Weeks shared the RBI lead with two as the Titans spoiled Rice's first time at Goodwin Field.
Rice first baseman Joe Savery put up a 3-for-4 night to lead the squad while three other Owls that tallied two hits apiece off the three Titan arms. Buenger paced the Owls with his two RBI.
Fullerton's Jeff Kaplan will head to the mound with a perfect 3-0 record on Saturday night and will face either Ryne Tacker (1-0) or Ryan Berry (2-0), both right handed pitchers for Rice. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Goodwin Field.
NOTES: Wes Roemer allowed two walks for just the sixth time in 35 career starts...It was the fifth time the righty has struck out 10-or-more opponents in his career...Both Rice and Cal State Fullerton finished tied for third in the nation in 2006 as both teams reached the College World Series semifinals in different brackets.