March 27, 2009
Riverside, Calif. - Michael Hur hit a 3-run home run and lefthander Paul Bargas stymied Cal State Fullerton's offense Friday night as UC Riverside beat the No. 1-ranked Titans, 3-1, in the teams' Big West Conference opener.
UCR improved to 16-4 overall with its ninth home win in 10 games vs. Fullerton since 2003. Fullerton fell to 16-4 despite a complete-game 6-hitter by Daniel Renken (4-1), who lost his first game.
Bargas (3-1) scattered 9 hits (8 singles) and didn't hit or walk a batter until Khris Davis drew a leadoff walk in the ninth. All-American Joe Kelly relieved and got the final three outs for his fourth save.
Davis was only the second Titan leadoff hitter to reach base and Bargas had the bases empty with two out in seven of the first eight innings. Nick Ramirez' double play grounder after a leadoff single in the fourth by Jared Clark loomed large for UCR when Davis and Dustin Garneau followed with singles. A passed ball moved up both runners but Joe Scott became Bargas' first of two strikeout victims.
Fullerton left eight runners on base, five of them in scoring position. Its previous low run total was 3 in a 3-2 win over Stanford.
Renken retired 14 men in a row after Carl Uhl's leadoff single in the first inning. Daniel Pellegrino snapped the streak in the fifth with a two-out double over Khris Davis' head in right before Renken got Brian McConkey on a ground ball to third.
But with one out in the sixth, Uhl beat out a slow grounder to short, stole second and went to third on a line-drive single to right by Trevor Hairgroves. Hur then lined a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall for his third homer of the year.
Renken walked only one and struck out three.
"We got outdueled by Bargas," said CSF Coach Dave Serrano.
"He kept a very good offense at bay all night. He didn't give us a lot of good chances.
"Daniel Renken took a big step forward despite the loss. He made one bad pitch and I'll take the blame for it. We went outside and he stepped into it. We should have gone inside."
Fullerton's run came in the first inning. Josh Fellhauer sliced a two-out double down the left-field line and came home when Clark punched a single through the hole on the right side.