49ers Avoid Sweep with Big Inning
March 18, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Matt Duffy's two RBI and a six-run sixth inning by Long Beach State (6-12) was too much for No. 15 Cal State Fullerton (12-7) to overcome as the 49ers salvaged a game in the three-game non-conference series, winning 7-2 Sunday afternoon at a blustery Goodwin Field.
Koby Gauna (2-1) suffered his first loss of the year as the first four men he faced in the sixth reached and scored. Long Beach got to Gauna beginning his second inning of work with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Jeff McNeil then hit a chopper to second that Derek Legg couldn't handle for an RBI-single to tie the game at 2-2.
Grahamm Wiest relieved Gauna and walked Duffy, the first batter he faced to bring home the go-ahead run. Juan Avila had an infield single and Ino Paton singled to center - the first ball of the inning into the outfield - for two more runs. A passed ball and an RBI grounder by Jonathan Kim made it 7-2 and put the 49ers in the driver's seat for the first time in the series.
The sixth inning was the biggest inning by an opponent off Titan pitching this year.
Edgar Gomez (1-0) gave up a pair of hits in 1.2 innings and got the win for Long Beach. He walked three in the fifth and the sixth, and gave up hits to Ivory Thomas and Richy Pedroza to open the seventh, but nothing came of it for Fullerton. Jon Maciel and Kyle Friedrichs shut the Titans down for the final three innings.
Long Beach needed just three pitches to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first off Titan starter J.D. Davis. McNiel opened the game with a single to right and went all the way to third when Ivory Thomas misplayed the ball. He scored a pitch later on a single by Duffy. Davis labored through 4 innings but allowed just a run on five hits.
Greg Velazquez tied the game a t 1-1 in the fourth with a single to drive home Carlos Lopez who had doubled for the second time in the game. Thomas gave the Titans a short-lived 2-1 lead with a one-out, RBI-double off the rightfield wall off 49er starter Ryan Strufing. Thomas was the last batter he faced in the fifth.
Strufing worked 4.1 innings and allowed both Fullerton runs on six hits. Thomas and Lopez accounted for one half the Titans' eight hits on the afternoon. Long Beach knocked out 12 hits led by Richard Prigatano who collected three on the afternoon.
The Titans will host Oral Robrts next weekend at Goodwin Field, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Game times will be at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.