March 11, 2007
Greenville, NC - Despite getting three hits from both Chris Jones and Josh Fellhauer, No. 7 Cal State Fullerton fell for the third straight day to East Carolina, who completed the sweep with a 12-5 win at Clark-LeClair Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Fullerton, which lost its first series in a year on Saturday, was swept for the first time since the opening series of the 2006 series versus Stanford. The Titans fall to 12-8 on the year. East Carolina improved to 11-6 with the sweep.
Sean Urena (3-1), a week removed from one-hitting nationally-ranked Rice, was not sharp on his 20th birthday, unable to escape the third inning. A dropped pop fly by third baseman Billy Pinkerton opened the floodgates for ECU in the second inning as it scored eight times off Urena who charged with the loss. Urena allowed six hits in the Pirates' eight-run frame including a big two-run single by Ryan Wood and a bases-clearing triple by Ryan Tousley. Tousley and ECU first baseman Steven Bats collected two hits apiece in the second, with both Tousley's hits going for extra bases.
Fullerton got on the board first in the top half of the second with its first run in 14 innings off the Pirate arms, and it did it in typical Titan fashion. Jones, with his first single of the day, led off the inning, and was immediately sacrificed to second by designated hitter Jon Wilhite. Number seven hitter Pinkerton promply chopped a ball to short, to bringing home the Titans' first run sinche Jones' home run on Friday night.
ECU starter Josh Dowty, the beneficiary of a big second inning, got a no decision on the day coming up an out short of qualifying for the win. His replacement, Josh Ruhlman, did however, improving to 1-0. Dowty worked out of a jam in the third, and a small one in the fourth, then surrendered an RBI-single to Jake Vasquez as the Titans cut the Pirate lead to 8-2. Ruhlman inherited the bases-loaded with two outs and quickly escaped inducing an inning-ending groundout by Corey Jones.
The Titans tried to rally off Ruhlman in the seventh, drawing a pair of two out walks and a single with two outs in the inning. After a pitching change that brought on reliever Brett Butts, pinch-hitter Nick Mahin drew the bases loaded walk to cut the lead to 8-3. Fellhauer followed with a two-run single to drive home Jones and Khris Davis but that would be as close as the Titans would get.
A spotlight shined on Justin Klipp Sunday afternoon as he came on in relief of Urena with two outs in the third. The senior right hander went on to retire the first 13 batters he faced before a eighth-inning leadoff double by Batts snapped the streak. Following the double, the Titans chose to go to reliever Nolan Bruyninckx. Bruynincks walked one, hit one and allowed a pair of singles as the Pirates added four insurance runs and put the game out of reach for closer. Shane Mathews, on in the ninth for the third straight day, shut set the Titans down in order notching two strikeouts.
Fullerton returns home following the three-game road trip to North Carolina for a pair of midweek games versus Pepperdine (Tuesday, Mar. 13) and San Diego (Wednesday, Mar. 14). Both games will begin at 6 p.m. at Goodwin Field.