April 25, 2008
Fullerton, Calif. - Erik Komatsu went 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead No. 15 Cal State Fullerton to a 5-3 win over Big West foe UC Davis Friday night in a conference game at Goodwin Field.
The first-place Titans helped themselves out with the win over second-place Davis and take advantage of Cal Poly's win over second-place UC Santa Barbara as well. There is now a four-way tie for second place in conference with the Titans leading by 2.5 games. Fullerton improves to 25-14 overall and 10-3 in Big West action. UC Davis falls to 25-14, 6-4.
Jeff Kaplan improved to 7-1 with his eight-inning performance Friday night, surrendering just two runs while striking out eight. The only bump in the road for Kaplan was a two-run home run off the bat of Aggie third baseman Ty Kelly in the fifth inning. It was Kelly's fourth round-tripper of the season, and it brought home Ryan Royster who doubled a batter earlier.
Fullerton plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third off Davis starter and eventual losing pitcher Eddie Gamboa (6-2). Gary Brown led off the frame with a sharp single to left and was followed by a sacrifice attempt by Josh Fellhauer that rolled fair all the way down the line untouched for a single. Christian Colon continued the small-ball and sacrificed Brown and Fellhauer up 90 feet, to set up a sacrifice fly by Komatsu, and an RBI single to left-center by Corey Jones.
After Kelly's long-ball tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, Fullerton came right back with two more off Gamboa, courtesy of Komastu's single that brought home Brown, who singled, and Fellhauer, aboard on an error. The two-run knock gave Fullerton a 4-2 lead.
Fullerton picked up its fifth run of the night just ahead of the third out of the eighth inning off new reliever Andy Suiter. With one out and Komatsu on third (single, sac, stolen base) and Jared Clark at first (intentional walk), pinch hitter Khris Davis struck out with Clark getting caught in a rundown between first and second. Komatsu scurried home without a throw before Clark was tagged out retreating to first base.
Gamboa suffered the loss despite holding the nationally ranked Titans to four runs (three earned) on eight hits over seven innings of work. The righty struck out five and did not issue a walk. Suiter gave up one run on one hit, walked one and struck out one in his lone inning of work.
Kaplan, who tossed over 120 pitches on the night, gave way to Adam Jorgenson in the bottom of the ninth. Jorgenson got two quick outs before Kelly doubled for his third hit of the night to extend Davis' inning. A Jorgenson breaking ball got that away from catcher Dustin Garneau allowed Kelly to move to third and a second wild pitch on a swinging third strike scored Kelly and allowed the hitter Jake Jeffries to get to first safely. Jorgenson induced the game-ending fly-out to center three hours and eight minutes after the first pitch and notched his fifth save of the year. Jorgenson finished with two strikeouts.
The Titans and Aggies will return to the field Saturday night at 6.pm. for game two of the three-game set at Goodwin Field. Freshman right-hander Daniel Renken looks for his fifth win of the year as he faces righty Brad McAtee.