April 4, 2008
Irvine, Calif. - Erik Komatsu and Josh Fellhauer combined for seven hits, five RBI and six runs as No. 25 Cal State Fullerton upset No. 5 UC Irvine, 12-5, Friday night at Anteater Ballpark in Big West Conference baseball action.
A record crowd of 3,176 was on hand to see Fullerton improve to 17-9 overall and 3-1 in league action with its eighth win in nine games. Irvine fell to 19-4, 2-2 in losing to its former Head Coach Dave Serrano in the first meeting since he left UCI for CSF after a successful 3-year run.
Jeff Kaplan continued his success against top-five teams, as he improved to 4-1 after holding UC Irvine to four runs on seven hits through 7.2 innings of work. Casey Stephenson's eighth-inning solo homer was the last hit Kaplan would surrender before handing the ball to Jason Dovel.
Kaplan is now 2-0 against ranked opponents in three starts. The right-hander earned a win over No. 3 UCLA on March 4 (6 IP, 2 H, 0R, 5 K) and pitched well at No. 1 Arizona on Mar. 14 (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 4 K).
Irvine's All-American ace Scott Gorgen (5-2) suffered the loss and was lifted after going six complete innings, surrendering four earned runs on six hits including home runs by Fellhauer and Komatsu in a 3-run CSF third.
With the departure of Gorgen and a 4-3 lead, the Titans got to the Anteaters' pen and proceeded to score five times off three different arms. With one out, four straight Titan singles and a walk set up the big blow, a two-out Corey Jones bases-clearing triple off Noel Avison.
Kaplan held the Anteater offense in check for five innings, allowing just one runner to advance to second base. But in the sixth, UCI rallied for three runs after Kaplan walked Ollie Linton and hit Ben Orloff to open the frame. With two outs, second baseman Ryan Fischer lofted a ball that landed just inside the right field chalk and went all the way to the wall for a triple, scoring Linton and Orloff. Francis Larson followed with a base hit past a diving Christian Colon to cut the Titan lead to 4-3.
Fullerton scored four runs early off Irvine starter Gorgen with one in the first and three in the third. Fullerton produced a quick tally as Josh Fellhauer led off the game with a chopper up the middle for a single, and was then bunted to second by Colon. Fellhauer promptly came around to score as Komatsu singled him home on the first of four hits the outfielder would produce on the night.
In the third it was the Fellhauer and Komatsu show again as they hit identical towering home runs inside the right field foul pole off Gorgen . Fellhauer's was a two-run shot, and Komatsu's a solo job to make it 4-0.
Fullerton added three unearned runs in the ninth off Crosby Slaught, the fifth UCI hurler.
Joel Weeks had a two-out, two-run single and the final run came home on a throwing error by catcher Aaron Lowenstein.
Brian Wilson hit the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth and gave way to Ryan Ackland, who got a double-play ball on his first pitch. Linton tripled over left fielder Gary Brown's head for the game's final run before Orloff grounded out to end the 3:34 contest.
The teams play the second game of the series Saturday at 5 p.m. Daniel Renken (3-1, 3.27 ERA) is scheduled for Fullerton against Bryce Stowell (4-1, 2.36 ERA) in a matchup of righthanders.