First Inning Homers Power Titans to 6-1 Win Over No. 3 UCLA
April 6, 2010
Los Angeles - Cal State Fullerton held the Bruins to just five hits and used three home runs in the top of the first inning to upend No. 3 UCLA, 6-1, Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium in non-conference baseball action.
The Titans, winners of 37 of the last 45 games against the Bruins, improve to 16-11 on the year. UCLA drops just its second game of the year, falling to 23-2.
The Titans powered across five runs in in their half of the first against Bruins' starter Garett Claypool, touching the righty for three long balls. Claypool took the loss and fell to 3-1.
Designated hitter Carlos Lopez's fourth home run of the year got the Titans on the board, 2-0, scoring Christian Colon from third after a leadoff double and a sacrifice. Two batters later, Corey Jones left the yard, belting Claypool's 2-1 offering out to right. The solo shot was his fourth of the year.
Billy Marcoe extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double that split the left-center field gap. He came home on Nick Ramirez's mammoth blast off the top of the batting cages in right to extend the lead to 5-0.
Through three innings Rath allowed just two base runners - a walk in the second and a Blair Dunlap double in the third - and got some defensive help from Joey Siddons at third. Siddons snared a Niko Gallego line drive that would have driven home a run in the second, and made a diving grab of a shot down the line that would have resulted in a run in the third.
UCLA threatened to score with two outs in the fourth after Rath walked two and hit a batter to load the bases. But the Titan lefty induced an inning-ending grounder off the bat of Chris Giovinazzo.
The Bruins broke through to erase the shutout bid in the fifth, and in doing so knocked Rath from the game. Steve Rodriguez doubled to left to lead off the inning, went to third on a passed ball and scored as Rath walked Cody Keefer on a wild pitch.
Right hander Dylan Floro came on in relief, and after surrendering a hit-and-run single and a stolen base to Tyler Rahmatulla, struck out Brett Krill and Cody Regis to end the threat.
Rath worked 4.1 innings, gave up a run on two hits, and walked four on 80 pitches.
Tyler Pill ended Claypool's night as he drew a walk to lead off the sixth. The right hander gave up five runs on five extra-base hits and walked four without a strikeout. Over his final four innings of work, the righty didn't allow a hit.
After 6-foot-8 reliever Mitch Beacom couldn't grab the handle on Jones' sacrifice bunt, he retired the next two hitters, but Siddons connected on an 0-2 pitch for a single down the right field line to score Pill from second to give the Titans a 6-1 lead. Erik Goeddel came on to face pinch hitter Walker Moore and struck him out swinging to close out the frame.
The Bruins' pitching held the Titans to just two hits over the final eight innings, but the damage had been done. Fullerton finished with seven hits on the night, two off the bat of Lopez.
Daniel Renken and Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, with Ramirez fanning three of the four hitters he faced.
Dunlap led the Bruins offensively with a pair of doubles.
Up next for Fullerton is a three-game Big West Conference series with UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark this weekend, Apr. 9-11. The Titans will throw Noe Ramirez, Daniel Renken and Tyler Pill in that order, with games times scheduled for 6 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday's game will be televised by ESPNU.