Wildcats Win Opener, 8-3
March 14, 2008
Tucson, Ariz. - Bryce Ortega's two-run single in the bottom of the 8th inning broke a 3-3 tie and propelled top-ranked Arizona to an 8-3 win over No. 20 Cal State Fullerton in a non-conference game at Sancet Stadium in Tucson Friday night.
The Wildcats, who won their 11th consecutive game, improved to 11-1 on the season while the Titans dropped the second straight and fell to 8-6.
Fullerton was limited to just two hits by Wildcat All-American ace Preston Guilmet through the first seven innings before breaking through in the eighth. Corey Jones was hit by a pitch with one out and Joel Weeks followed with a single to right field. That set the stage for back-to-back pinch-hit RBI singles by Jon Wilhite and Matthew Fahey. Fahey's hit drove in Weeks with the tying run and Wilhite plated the go-ahead run when Wildcats left fielder Hunter Pace overran the ball.
But the Wildcats got to the Titans' pen in the eighth for six runs. The tying run scored when Brian Wilson overthrew third base on a bunt by Mike Weldon. Ortega broke the tie with his two-run single later in the frame before pinch-hitter Rafael Valenzuela cleared the bases with a triple to right-center field.
The Wildcats' rally made a winner out of Jason Stoffel, who hurled 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Fullerton's Jason Dovel (1-1) suffered his first setback of the year. Titan starter Jeff Kaplan pitched well through 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He helped his own cause by inducing three inning-ending double-plays.
Fullerton will try to even the series on Saturday, when freshman Daniel Renken takes on Arizona's David Coulon in a 6 p.m. contest.