Titan Bats on Fire, Beat Aggies, 23-7

April 2, 2010

Box Score

Fullerton, Calif. - Nick Ramirez had a grand slam and six RBI and six Titans had three or more hits Friday night as Cal State Fullerton's offense exploded for the second straight night to defeat UC Davis 23-7 in Big West Conference play at Goodwin Field.

The 23 runs for Fullerton was a season high and they did it by pounding out a season-high 25 hits to improve to 14-11 overall and 2-0 in league action. The Titans, who scored 20 runs in the series opener, have now had back-to-back 20-run games and the most runs in back-to-back games since 1980, when the Titans did it in three consecutive ballgames (30 runs on 4/26/80 vs. Pepperdine, 20 runs on 4/27/80 vs. Cal State LA, and 26 runs on 5/2/80 against Long Beach State).

UC Davis drops to 12-11, 0-2.

After Davis jumped on the board for a lone run in the top of the first, The Titans responded by batting around in their half of the first and second innings, spotting winning pitcher Daniel Renken (3-2) with a 12-1 lead after two. Renken worked seven innings for the first time in seven starts this year, and struck out five without a walk. Kevin Rath relieved Renken in the eighth and ninth and struck out five of the six men he faced to close out the game.

Davis starter Anthony Kupbens (3-3) took a hard hit for the team. He worked 4.2 innings and gave up 16 earned runs on 15 Titan hits. He also walked four and struck out two. Sean Watson worked the next 2.1 innings and was touched for seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits before handing the ball to Matthew Lewis for the final inning. Lewis retired the side quietly picking up a strikeout.

Gary Brown, Carlos Lopez and Tyler Pill had consecutive doubles following a Christian Colon walk to lead off the inning to give the Titans a quick 3-1 lead. After a wild pitch, Corey Jones drove in a run with a groundout, Billy Marcoe singled then scored on a Nick Ramirez triple. Then Walker Moore dropped a one-out squeeze bunt down for the sixth Titan run of the inning.

In the second, the Titans didn't let up, scoring six more times, four off the bat of Ramirez, who blasted a grand slam home run into the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum beyond the right field wall. It was the first grand slam of his career, and the first for a Titan since Jared Clark did it on Feb. 27 of last year against Stanford. The home run was one of six Titan hits off Kupbens in the frame. Marcoe's RBI-single that preceded the long-ball figured to be the game-winning hit.

Renken gave up runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but each time the Titans matched or beat the Aggies production in their half of the inning. A double, a fly out and an RBI-gropundout by Paul Politi gave the Aggies their second run of the night in the fourth. In the fifth, two doubles, two single and an error by Walker Moore in left opened the door for three Aggie runs. Politi (single), Joseph Medeiros (single) and Scott Heylman (RBI-double) each had hits to open up the sixth against Renken with the first two coming around to score. After that, Renken and Rath combined to set down the last 12 Aggies to come to the plate.

The Titans countered with a run in the fourth, and four in both the fifth and sixth to open the game up to 21-7. Ramirez knocked in his sixth run of the game with a single and was just a double away from hitting for the cycle in the fourth, driving in Marcoe who had doubled a batter prior. In the fifth, Colon belted his eighth home run of the year to left with one out. Corey Jones had an RBI double, and Marcoe picked up two RBI with a single to right-center. In the sixth, pinch-hitter Casey Watkins cleared the bases with his first career hit and RBIs, a double into the right field corner scoring Brown, Lopez and Pill. On the play, Watkins moved to third on a throwing error on a relay and promptly scored on a Jones single to right.

Fullerton scored two unanswered run in the seventh. Three one-out singles loaded the bases and pinch hitters Ivory Thomas (single) and Anthony Hutting (groundout to first) picked up RBI to conclude the scoring.

Ramirez was 3-for-6 with six RBI, Jones was 3-for-5 with four RBI, Marcoe was 4-for-5 with three RBI and Watkins was 1-for-2 with 3 RBI to lead the team. Colon, Brown, Jones, Marcoe, Ramirez and Moore each had three-or-more hits for Fullerton.

Heylman had three hits for UC Davis, he was flanked by Justin Shafer and Scott Lyman with two hits apiece. The trio contributed seven of the Aggies 12 hits on the night. David Popkins led the way for UC Davis with a pair of RBI.

The Titans have scored 43 runs on 43 hits in the first two games of the series and are hitting .512 as a team. UC Davis is hitting .308 and has tallied 11 runs on 24 hits.

Head Coach Dave Serrano announced following the game, that Kyle Mertins will get the start on Saturday instead of Tyler Pill. Mertins is 3-1 on the year with a 1.99 ERA.