April 7, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - Ollie Linton was 4-for-5 and drove in three runs to lead No. 23 UC Irvine to a series victory over No. 12 Cal State Fullerton Saturday afternoon by a score of 12-6. With the win Irvine improves to 22-8-1 and boosts their Big West Conference record to 4-2, while Fullerton falls to 19-12, 4-2.
An eight run top of the second inning would be more than enough for the Anteaters to earn their first series victory over the Titans in 27 years. Sean Urena was tagged with the loss, lasting just an inning and a third and dropping his record to 4-4 on the year. THe freshman surrendered five runs (2 earned) on five hits and left with the bases full of Anteaters.
Adam Jorgenson followed Urena but didn't fair any better over the next four innings allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits. Of the three batters he faced in the second, three singled and one was issued a walk.
The Titans scraped back, scoring a run in the bottom of the first and then two in the second on Nick Mahin's third home run of the year off starter Christian Bergman. The Irvine starter lasted just three innings and gave up three runs on five hits on 59 pitches. Gary Nakashima earned the victory tossing three innings without relinquishing the lead, and improved to 1-0.
Fullerton mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh, as the first four hitters of the inning singled cutting Irvine's lead at the time to 11-6. John Curtis had a two-run single and Evan McArthur had a sacrifice fly to left but that would be all the Titans could muster. For the second time in three games, closer Dylan Axelrod tied down his the save, his third of the year, by tossing three scoreless innings to close out the game. Axelrod surrendered just two harmless hits, a John Curtis single and a Bryan Harris double and struck out one to secure the victory.
UC Irvine tacked on another insurance run in the top of the eighth to pick up their twelfth run of the game on a Bryan Petersen home run off Justin Klipp.
Nick Mahin making his first start in the outfield since Mar. 4 at Rice, went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI in right field for Fullerton. Clark Hardman also tacked on three hits to add to the Titans' 11-hit offensive output. Curtis drove in three RBI to match UCI's Linton.
Matt Morris and Sean Madigan each drove in two runs apiece for UC Irvine. Madigan joined Linton as two of five Anteaters with two-or-more hits on the afternoon.
Saturday marked the first time since 2002 that Cal State Fullerton lost a Big West Conference series at home. The Titans last dropped a series to No. 23 Cal State Northridge five season ago, when the Matadors swept them in all three games at Goodwin Field.
The Titans will return to the field Tueday evening in a 6:00 affair with No. 25 USC at Goodwin Field.