April 2, 2011
Davis Calif. - Junior Nick Ramirez broke a scoreless tie in the top of the eight with a sacrifice fly and then homered in the Titan's six-run ninth, as No. 12 Cal State Fullerton shutout UC Davis 7-0 in Big West Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at the Dobbins Baseball Complex.
The Titans improve to 19-8 on the year and increase their winning streak to a season high seven games. Fullerton has now won the last nine meetings with Davis and jumps out to a 2-0 record in league play. With the victory, the Titans also clinch their sixth series win of the year in seven opportunities and looks for its fourth series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. UC Davis falls to 5-16, 0-2.
Reliever Raymond Hernandez (1-0) induced two key inning-ending double plays over 1.2 innings to earn the win. The righty, who also logged a save on Tuesday against UCLA, got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh with a 5-3 double play, and then with runners at the corners and the tying run on in bottom of the eighth, got a 6-4-3 two-ball that sent the game to the ninth with the Titans leading, 1-0.
Anthony Kupbens (2-3) held the Titans to just six hits over eight innings, but two of those hits set up Ramirez's RBI in the eighth. The southpaw walked four and struck out four in the hard-luck loss.
With the game scoreless in the eighth, pinch hitter Chad Wallach led off the inning with a single to left center. Austin Kingsolver pinch-ran for Wallach and moved to second on Anthony Trajano's bunt single. Ivory Tomas sacrificed the runners up 90 feet and Ramirez broke the tie with his fly ball to right.
Fullerton then exploded for six runs in the top of the ninth off Davis relievers David Popkins (3 R, 2 ER) and Tom Briner (3 ER). Michael Lorenzen opened the last frame by reaching base on a Scott Heylman throwing error and scored on Anthony Hutting's RBI-double to the right field wall. After a walk to Matt Orloff and a sacrifice bunt by Jared Deacon, the Aggie infield was drawn in to cut off the run, allowing a run to score on a routine pop up to deep short by Trajano that fell for a hit. Trajano stole second and scored on Thomas' chopped double down the left field line, just out of the third baseman Paul Politi's reach.
After a wild pitch moved Thomas to third, Richy Pedroza drove him home with a sac-fly to left. Ramirez capped the offensive outburst with a solo blast off Briner to right field, his third of the year.
Fullerton starter Noe Ramirez didn't figure in the decision, despite a good day on the mound. The right-hander scattered five hits over five innings and fanned six.
Ivory Thomas and Nick Ramirez each had two hits and two driven in for Fullerton, Popkins, Eric Johnson and Heylman each had two hits for the Aggies.
Tyler Pill (3-0, 2.15 ERA) will be on the mound in the series finale for the Titans. The Aggies will counter with lefty Dayne Quist (1-2, 5.93 ERA).
NOTES: The Titans have now won 11 of their last 12 games since a 0-4 stretch vs. LSU and Texas A&M from Mar. 11 to mar. 15... Saturday's shutout was the third of the year for Cal State Fullerton and second in a row following Friday's 14-0 blanking of the Aggies. It is the first set of back-to-back shutouts for Fullerton since May 28-29 of 2010 over Cal State Northridge... Fullerton has now outscored the Aggies 21-0 in the series and 67-13 over their last five ball games.