March 26, 2011
Honolulu, Hawaii - The tandem effort of of Noe Ramirez and Nick Ramirez from the mound propelled No. 13 Cal State Fullerton to a 3-0, 2-hit shutout of the University of Hawaii Friday night in non-conference baseball action at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Titans, winners in five of their last six games, improved to 13-8 on the year while logging their first shutout of the season. The Titan win also snapped Hawaii's five-game winning streak, dropping the Rainbows to 11-10.
Fullerton now leads the all-time series with Hawaii, 5-4. This is Fullerton' first trip to Hawaii since 1982, and the win comes a day shy of 29 years since their last win on the Island (Mar. 26, 1982).
Noe Ramirez (4-2) allowed just two hits, both of which came in the fourth inning. The Titan right-hander fanned eight and faced just three over the minimum through seven innings before running into a bit of trouble in the eighth.
Nick Ramirez earned his fourth save of the year, and 22nd of his career with a perfect ninth, tying former Titans Adam Jorgenson and Kirk Saarloos (currently a Titan assistant coach) for fit all-time in the Fullerton career record books.
Loser Matt Sisto absorbed the loss despite holding the Titans to just five hits on the night. The righty walked three and struck out four and fell to 1-3 on the year. Randy Yard pitched two perfect innings in relief.
An error and two walks loaded the bases for the Rainbows with two out in the eighth, with Noe Ramirez facing Hawaii's biggest bat in Kolton Wong. The Titan hurler set Wong down swinging on a nasty slider in the dirt. But on the swing, the ball got away from the Titans' catcher Jared Deacon, and Wong then intentionally swung his bat at the loose ball to knock it further away from Deacon.
After a brief meeting of the minds between the three umpires, Wong was ruled out for striking out then interfering and the game stayed 3-0. Had it played out the other way, Hawaii would have had the bases load with a run across on the strikeout/wild pitch.
Michael Lorenzen got the Titans on the board in the top of the fourth, providing a run-scoring groundout to bring home Anthony Trajano who was aboard on an error. A batter later, Blake Barber tripled home Nick Ramirez, aboard on a walk, to make it 2-0 in Fullerton's favor.
In the fifth, the Titans added their third run in Traditional Titan fashion. Deacon walked to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second by Matt Orloff. Ivory Thomas was hit by a pitch, the second of three Titan hit batters on the night, and Trajano delivered a run-scoring single to left.
Both Barber and Trajano had two hits apiece, while Thomas added the fifth hit for Fullerton.
Zack Swasey and Michael Blake had the hits for Hawaii.
The two teams will square off in a double-header on Saturday with the action beginning at 6:05 p.m. PT. The first game is scheduled for seven innings with the night-cap coming as a full nine inning affair. Should game one go more than seven innings, game two will become a seven inning game.
Right-hander Tyler Pill (2-0, 2.05 ERA) will be on the mound in game one for Fullerton. He will face Hawaii righty Conner Little (2-0, 3.13 ERA). Right handed pitcher Dylan Floro (2-2, 3.10 ERA) will be making his second start of the year in the second game. Hawaii will counter with southpaw Jarrett Arakawa (1-1, 4.13 ERA).
NOTES: Fullerton was playing without the services of eight of their normal travel party due to a violation of team rules. Anthony Trajano (normally a second baseman) played shortstop and Blake Barber (normally a reserve infielder, right-handed bat off the bench) played third, and both made outstanding defensive plays to take base hits away from Hawaii. Matt Orloff got the start at second base.