March 31, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Anthony Trajano's four hits and Carlos Lopez's three RBI paced Cal State Fullerton in an 8-6 Big West Conference victory over Cal State Northridge Saturday night at Goodwin Field. Trajano and Lopez were part of the Titan core of 2 through 5 hitters that combined for 11 hits, 7 runs and five RBI on the evening.
The Titans (17-9, 2-0) win their third in a row and capture their sixth consecutive series victory of the year. Northridge (11-15, 0-2) falls to 8-35 against Fullerton since joining the Big West in 2001.
Converted catcher Dimitri DeLaFuente (1-0) logged his first collegiate victory after hurling a career-high 3.1 innings in relief of starter Kenny Mathews. DeLaFuente was called upon with two out in the fourth following a four-run surge by the Matadors off Mathews. Willie Kuhl relieved DeLaFuente in the ninth, and wild-pitched one of DeLaFuente's runners home, and Michael Lorenzen pitched the ninth and surrendered a triple that allowed Kuhl's runner (leadoff walk) to score before locking down his 10th save in as many tries.
The Titans took it to losing pitcher Alex Muren (5-2) from the get-go, scoring a pair of runs on three consecutive one-out hits by Trajano, Lorenzen and Lopez. The trio not only got the Titans on the board, but all three extended their own hitting streak to 6, 7 and 11 games, respectively. Lopez's two-run single to left was the big blow of the inning. Through the first five innings, the three hitters were a combined 8-for-9 with four RBI and five runs scored.
Muren allowed all eight of Fullerton's runs, but sloppy defense by the Matadors helped out his ERA a bit by making just five of those runs earned. Three errors in the second and third innings helped Fullerton to three runs as they jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead. Ivory Thomas, aboard on a throwing error, stole second and third and scored on Chad Wallach's groundout in the second. In the third, Lorenzen drove home a run with a bullet to center field, went to second on a wild pitch and scored following a bunt single by Lopez and an errant throw by third baseman Brett Balkan.
Mathews didn't help himself out in the fourth as he walked Adam Barry and hit both Miles Williams and Marty Bowen to load the bases with one out. A two-run double by Nate Ring a squeeze bunt by Kyle Attl and a single by Balkan quickly made it a one run game at 5-4 in the fourth.
Fullerton scored a pair of insurance runs they would need in the fifth. Trajano and Lorenzen singled to open the frame off Muren and then went to second and third when catcher Alexis Mercado was charged with a passed ball. An RBI-goundout by Lopez and a chopper up the middle by Matt Chapman gave the Titans a 7-4 lead after five. Chapman's single in the fifth was the Titans' 42 consecutive single dating back to Tuesday's game in Tempe, Ariz., and was the last in the string that was broken the next inning when Trajano doubled down the left field line.
Fullerton concluded their scoring in the seventh with a sharp single to right-center by Thomas that scored Chapman from second. Chapman had singled and stolen second base with one out.
Northirdge tacked on single runs in the eighth and ninth and brought the tying run to the plate twice against Lorenzen in their final at bat.
Trajano led all players with four hits, Lorenzen had three, Lopez and Chapman had two apiece to account for 11 of the Titans' 14 hits on the night. Bowen was the only Matador with multiple hits with two.
The series finale will be held on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Fullerton's Grahamm Wiest (1-2, 3.10 ERA) will be facing Northridge's Jerry Keel (1-1, 1.62 ERA).