March 20, 2009
Fullerton, Calif. - Christian Colon had three hits and reached base five times and Kevin Rath pitched a solid 4.2 innings of middle relief Friday night to lead No. 4-ranked Cal State Fullerton to a 10-6 non-conference baseball victory over Oral Roberts.
The Titans improved to 15-3 while the Golden Eagles lost for the second time in two nights to fall to 7-4.
Khris Davis homered and doubled to power the Titans' 9-hit attack, which built a 10-1 lead. Colon had two singles and a double, walked and was hit by a pitch.
Rath, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada, pitched a career high 4.2 innings to get his first decision of the year. He struck out a career-high 9 and didn't walk anyone until a pair of bases on balls cost him four runs in the ORU eighth.
Oral Roberts took its first lead of the series in the top of the first. Tyler Garewal drew a walk, moved to second on a ground ball and scored on a single to center by Seth Furmanek. A double play got starter Kyle Witten out of trouble in the second and he stranded a runner in the third. But he walked the leadoff man in the fourth and Rath relieved with great success. A strikeout and a 3-6-1 double play ended the fourth and he fanned the side in the fifth. Another double play ended the ORU sixth.
For the second night in a row, the Titans rolled a 4-spot in the bottom of the first inning, which starter Jameson Dunn (1-2) didn't survive. Gary Brown was hit by the first pitch and scored from first on Colon's double down the right-field line. Josh Fellhauer singled to center to send Colon to third before Jared Clark walked to load the bases. Colon scored on a passed ball before Dunn walked Nick Ramirez to reload the bases. After Davis struck out, Dustin Garneau walked to force in the third run. After Joe Scott bunted into a force play, Jeff Newman beat out an infield hit to shortstop scoring Ramirez.
The Titans added single runs in the next four innings. They got a run without a hit in the second as Colon was hit by a pitch and moved around the bases on a wild pitch, a passed ball and a ground ball by Clark. Davis led off the third with his seventh home run of the year and led off the fifth with a double, coming home on a two-out double by Gary Brown. In the fourth, Colon had singled and gone all the way to third when rightfielder P. J. Segueira let the ball get by him. Colon scored on a ground ball by Fellhauer.
After a scoreless sixth, the Titans got two more in the seventh. Reliever Mark Serrano struck out three but Newman reached first on a wild pitch. Brown was hit by a pitch and Colon and Fellhauer followed with RBI singles.
ORU scored four runs after Rath got the first two hitters in the eighth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases and Rath gave up a two-run single to Johnny Roberts that knocked him out of the game. Kyle Price greeted reliever Kyle Mertins with the Golden Eagles' first extra-base hit of the series, a two-run double off the centerfield wall.
Michael Morrison surrendered a leadoff home run to Robert Barbosa in the ninth but then struck out the side to give the Titans 13 strikeouts for the second night in a row and end the game.
The series concludes with a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.