April 23, 2011
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Nick Ramirez belted a pair of home runs and drove in four and Tyler Pill faced just four over the minimum for seven innings as No. 8 Cal State Fullerton salvaged the third game of the weekend series with Cal Poly with a 9-3 victory at Baggett Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Titans improve to 28-11, 9-3 and regain a 1-game lead over the Mustangs in Big West Conference play. Cal Poly falls to 18-17, 8-4, and sees its winning streak halted at seven games.
After Cal Poly scored a run with a pair of singles sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt in the third, the Titans scored nine unanswered runs from the fourth to the seventh innings to help lift Pill (5-0) to victory. On the day, the junior allow just one run on three hits while striking out four, dropping his ERA to a minuscule 2.10 through 64 innings.
Chase Johnson (1-3) surrendered 5 straight hits that gave the Titans a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning and took the loss. The right-hander worked 3.2 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits.
Anthony Trajano led off the fourth with an infield single just out of the reach of second baseman Denver Chavez, and then Pill drove in Trajano with a triple to center. Ramirez then cashed in on Johnson's 1-0 offering, sending it out of the park to right for his fifth home run of the year. Casey Watkins and Carlos Lopez also singled in the inning, but nothing came of their hits.
Ramirez drove home a run in the fifth with a run-scoring ground out to second with the bases loaded.
Three more came across in the sixth for Fullerton. Blake Barber doubled down the left field line with one out and Jared Deacon drove him home with a single. Greg Velazquez followed with his first career base hit off reliever Joey Wagman. A throwing error by Wagman moved Deacon to third, and a single by Trajano scored the Titans' sixth run. After a pitching change, the Titans made it 7-1 when Frankie Reed uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Velazquez.
Ramirez's second home runs of the game and sixth of the season came leading off the seventh against Reed. It was the second time in Ramirez's career he has had two home runs in a game. The last time was May 30 of last year against Cal State Northridge. Casey Watkins collected his third hit of the afternoon following Ramirez, sending a double to the gap in left-center. He moved to third on a ground out and scored on a Barber sac-fly to cap the Titans' scoring.
Cal Poly picked up a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth off Raymond Hernandez. Matt Jensen walked and motored to third on a Mitch Haniger double into the left field corner. After a strikeout, pinch-hitter Jono Grayson's sacrifice fly scored Jensen and moved Haniger to third, but when the relay throw by Velazquez got by Barber at third, the ball rolled into the Cal Poly dugout and allowed Haniger to score. The last run was unearned for Hernandez who finished with four strikeouts in two innings of work.
Evan Busby had two of the Mustangs' five hits on the day. Ramirez and Pill each had two and Watkins led all players with three hits for the Titans. Fullerton had 15 hits in all.
The Titans next opponent will be the University of San Diego on Tuesday in San Diego. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium.