March 23, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Matt Champan and Michael Lorenzen each had three hits and an RBI and Kenny Mathews struck out a season-high 11 batters as No. 13 Cal State Fullerton defeated visiting Oral Roberts, 5-3, to earn its fifth consecutive weekend series victory Friday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (14-7) used an 11-hit attack to support Mathews (3-0) who allowed just one run over 5.2 innings of work. The southpaw allowed six hits and walked three before eventually succumbing to an escalating pitch count in the sixth. Lorenzen locked down his eighth save of the year with a 1.2 inning effort. The Golden Eagles' (9-12) Mike Torrance (1-4) was touched for the loss after giving up three runs on six hits over 5.2 innings of work.
Mathews labored through the first inning allowing his only run without the ball leaving the infield. He hit leadoff hitter Brandon King to open the game. King eventually came around to score after the Eagles loaded the bases on a fielder's choice and a walk. Kevin Cho drove in the only run of the inning with a two-out infield single to the hole at short. Mathews had the bases loaded with no out, and got out with just one run across and three strikeouts.
Fullerton tied the game in their half of the third inning after back-to-back singles by Carlos Lopez and Greg Velazquez put runners at the corners. Anthony Trajano's safety squeeze scored Lopez and made 1-1. They took the lead for good in the fourth, when a walk and a balk put Derek Legg at second for Lorenzen, who singled back up the middle to drive in the eventual game-winner.
Casey Watkins' sharp single to right in the sixth off reliever Dan Martony drove home the Titans third and final run off of Torrance. Matt Chapman led off the inning with one of three Titan doubles in the game and Ivory Thomas was hit by the lefty. Derek Legg nearly chopped a ball over third baseman Jose Trevino on a slash swing, but Trevenio made a nice play by plucking the ball out of the air, stepping on the bag and doubling up Legg at first. Thomas moved to second on the play and scored on Watkins' ball hit the other way.
Fullerton added two more in the seventh, one courtesy of a wild pitch with runners at second and third, the other off the bat of Chapman who drove home Trajano (double) with a ball lined into right.
Titan reliever Dimitri DeLaFuente had allowed just one run in nine appearances heading into Friday night's ball game, but saw two get on and score in the top of the eighth. DeLaFuente had gone 1.1 scoreless innings, but he hit Tim ZuFall and surrendered a single to Tyler Coker to open the frame. Tyler Peitzmeier walked King to load the bases and struck out Cam Schiller before handing off to Lorenzen looking for his first save that needed more than three outs.
Trevino, Lorenzen's first batter, singled to drive home one and a groundout by Jared Schlehuber brought home the other to make it 5-3.
Lorenzen had to face the tying run at the plate twice in the ninth after a one-out single and a stolen base by Nate Goro, but he got a ground out and a strikeout to secure the series win.
The finale of the series will be on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Grahamm Wiest (1-1, 2.92 ERA) will be on the mound for Fullerton in his first start since the opening weekend. Oral Roberts will counter with Alex Gonzalez (1-1, 2.00 ERA).