March 25, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Back-up catcher Kip Masuda dropped the ball as Blake Davis slid beneath him with the winning run as No. 4 Cal State Fullerton downed cross-town rivals Long Beach State, 2-1, in eleven innings in front of 3,232 fans at Goodwin Field Friday night.
The non-conference meeting was the first of six between the two squads with Cal State Fullerton improving to 18-7 on the season. Long Beach dropped its fifth game in a row and fell to 12-13, the first time they have been below .500 this late in the season since 1988.
It was a 1-1 tie going into the bottom of the eleventh and Davis, the Titan shortstop, came to the plate, once again with the opportunity to extend his hitting streak against 49er reliever Vance Worley. He sliced a looping fly ball down the left field line that dropped in front of Shane Peterson, who slipped and fell, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
Titan first baseman Brett Pill came up with a productive ground ball to second base to advance Davis to third, setting up David Cooper's at bat with one out. The freshman took a Worley (1-5) offering and grounded it to short with Davis breaking for home. Shortstop Danny Espinosa fielded it cleanly and threw a strike to the plate, but Masuda was unable to handle it as Davis brought home the 2-1 victory for the Titans.
Vinnie Pestano, the last of the Titan arms to visit the mound, tossed 1 1/3 innings, striking out two 49ers to pick up his first win of 2006. The righty dropped his team-leading ERA to 0.46 with another scoreless outing.
Prior to the eleventh inning, the game was a typical Fullerton-Long Beach pairing with staff aces going head-to-head on the mound. Both starters pitched well enough to win as each of them gave up just one earned run apiece.
Long Beach starter Jared Hughes toyed with a no-hitter for 4 1/3 before Titan third baseman Evan McArthur broke it up with a single to center field. The only run Hughes gave up over his 9 innings of work was a sixth inning solo home run by Brett Pill to tie the game at one. Hughes struck out five and allowed just four hits in the no-decision.
Wes Roemer started for the Titans and threw eight innings of three-hit ball giving up his only run in the top half of the fifth. Brandon Godfrey doubled to left-center and was sacrificed over to third and then scored on a grounder to second by Robert Perry. Most impressive, the sophomore extended his walk-less streak to 60.2 innings, currently the longest streak in the nation.
Worley was the hard-luck loser allowing just one hit, the double to Davis, while striking out one in the final 1 1/3.
Long Beach's Shane Peterson was the only player collecting two hits, as the 49ers out-hit the Titans 6-5.
The two teams with meet again tomorrow night at 6 p.m. for the second game of this three-game series. Lauren Gagnier will go for the Titans with the 49ers countering with Andrew Carpenter.
NOTES : George Horton, Titan head coach, skippered his 600th game on Friday night improving his al-time record to 420-179-1, good for a career .701 winnign percentage...