April 30, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Brandon Tripp and Justin Turner each homered and drove in three as No. 1 Cal State Fullerton took the rubber-match versus UC Riverside, 11-3 for the second straight day, in a Big West Conference series at Goodwin Field Sunday afternoon.
The Titans won their 11th series in 13 opportunities and improve to 33-11 overall, and 10-2 in league, while the Highlanders fall to 22-17, 4-5.
Dustin Miller (9-1) became the Titans' second nine-game winner as he tossed a solid seven innings, allowing five scattered hits before handing the ball to the bullpen. Miller surrendered all three Riverside runs to score, though a pair of runs in the sixth would be unearned after an Evan McArthur throwing error extended the inning.
Riverside starter Taylor Bills allowed seven earned runs over six innings of work to drop his record to 4-3. Bills walked five and stuck out just one in the losing effort.
Turner and Tripp would lead the way offensively with a pair of hits each, with Tripp's first, a two-run home run to center that got the Titans on the board in the second inning. He would later add an RBI single in the Titans' two-run sixth. Turner followed a seventh-inning single with his first-ever home run at Goodwin Field, a three-run shot to greet Riverside reliever Adam Reifer in the bottom of the eighth. That home run, capped a four- run eighth, putting the game well out of reach.
Riverside posted a lone run in the top of the third as Aaron Grant lifted a ball deep enough to Danny Dorn in left field to score Kyle Barratt from third. Barrett had singled and advanced around to third base one of Jaime Pedroza's, team-leading two hits.
In the sixth, Evan McArthur made a great sliding grab to save a Brian Steinmeyer double down the third base line, but when he came up, his throw pulled Brett Pill off the bag allowing the UCR third baseman aboard with an error. The throwing miscue would have ended the inning, but as fate would have it two batters later, D.J. Hollingsworth would launch his third home run of the year to right-center, getting the Highlanders as close as they would get at 4-3.
The Titans would bounce back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the sixth, and another again in the seventh to extend their lead to 7-4 for Titan relievers Ryan Paul and Vinnie Pestano to work with. The lefty-righty combination would toss a perfec eighth and ninth to secure the victory. Pestano would record a strikeout of Hollinsworth for the second out of the ninth.
Fullerton again will go without a midweek game, and travel to UC Santa Barbara for a three-game series with the Gouchos next weekend. Friday's game will begin at 2 p.m, while Saturday's and Sunday's start times shift to 1 p.m.