March 25, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Brett Pill's one-out single that drove in two in the bottom of the fifth lifted No. 4 Cal State Fullerton to an eventual 7-4 non-conference baseball win over Long Beach State Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
Long Beach lost its sixth straight game and its fourth straight series and fell to two games below .500 at 12-14. Cal State Fullerton, winners of 10 of its last 11, improved to 19-7 to capture its sixth series victory of the year and its 100th all-time Div. I victory against the 49ers.
With the 49ers leading 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Evan McArthur reached base following an errant throw by 49er catcher Tito Cruz after a dropped third strike to lead off the frame. LBSU Head Coach Mike Weathers would argue, for what seemed an eternity, that McArthur was running inside the base path, and was eventually ejected by home plate umpire Dwayne Finley. The Titans would go on to score twice off losing pitcher Andrew Carpenter (3-2) on Pill's bases-loaded single to center to take the lead at 5-4.
Lauren Gagnier, despite battling through a four-run third inning, picked up his team-leading sixth win of the year, going seven complete innings, while striking out five. The 49er runs came on four consecutive hits with one out in the third. Three of the four went for extra bases, with the big blow a two-run home run to left center field by third baseman Evan Longoria. Gagnier would end up retiring seven of the last eight hitters he would face before Ryan Paul and Vinnie Pestano closed it out.
Paul struck out all three hitters he faced in the eighth while Pestano fanned two in a scoreless ninth to pick up his ninth save of the year.
Fullerton jumped out early, scoring after the first two batters of the game with leadoff man Justin Turner tripling and shortstop Blake Davis promptly singling him home. Davis extended his hitting streak to a team-high 17 games with the line drive to center.
The Titans tacked on a pair of runs in the second with just one hit as Carpenter surrendered a single to John Curtis, walked Jared Clark and hit Brandon Tripp to load the bases for McArthur. The Titan third baseman grounded to short forcing in Curtis followed by a squeeze bunt by Clark Hardman to put the Titans up 3-0 after two. Hardman would later drive in the Titans' final run on a squeeze that ended up going for a base hit, driving in Tripp in the bottom of the eighth.
Turner, Davis, Pill and Tripp all collected a pair of hits, while Pill McArthur and Hardman all drove in two.
Long Beach's Shane Peterson led the 49ers with two hits, while Longoria's blast provided him with a team-high two RBI.
Fullerton will look for its third consecutive series sweep Sunday with a 1 p.m. game at Goodwin Field. Dustin Miller will be on the mound looking for his sixth win.