April 30, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Allen Riley drove in three runs and he and four other Tigers had two hits each to lead Pacific to an 8-7 Big West Conference victory over Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The win boosted the Tigers' overall record to 14-24 and their league mark to 6-8. The Titans fall to 29-13, 10-4 while clinging to a one-game lead over second-place Cal Poly -- which lost to Long Beach -- and UC Irvine -- which remained idle while playing a non-conference series this weekend
With the help of a three defensive errors from Titan centerfielder Ivory Thomas, the Tigers staked Marcus Pointer (4-5) to a 5-0 lead after the first half inning and never looked back. Pointer worked the first 7.2 innings before handing the ball to Chris Larsen, who locked down his fifth save of the season. Pointer gave up 6 runs on 10 hits while striking out two. Larsen allowed just one run, a ninth-inning solo home run to Nick Ramirez ( his seventh of the season), one of five batters he faced.
Tyler Pill (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season with a 6.0-inning five strikeout effort. Just three of the seven runs he allowed were earned. Two of them came in the first inning and the third was a solo home run by Brett Christopher in the third inning. Pill struck out five and walked two.
After a walk and a pair of singles by Matthew Carvutto and Brian Martin loaded the bases, Allen Riley singled to center bringing home two runs. But on the play, the centerfielder Thomas had trouble picking up the ball, and then lost it again trying to throw the ball, resulting in two errors on the same play, allowing Martin to score from first and Riley to move into scoring position.
After a strikeout and Pill's second walk of the inning to Brett Christopher, Jason Taasaas lifted a ball to right center that would have been the third out of the inning, but the ball was dropped by Thomas resulting in two more unearned run and a commanding 5-0 lead for Pacific.
Fullerton would chip away with two runs in the second and fourth sandwiched around Christopher's first home run of the year in the third to make it 6-4.
In the second Nick Ramirez singled and Carlos Lopez reached on an error by shortstop Josh Simms. Greg Velazquez followed with a sharp single to left that loaded the bases. Anthony Hutting brought home the first Titan run with a walk, and then Jared Deacon drove home the second with a fielder's choice grounder.
In the fourth, Lopez singled to right and then came home on Velazquez's first career home run to left.
Pacific extended to 7-4 in the sixth with another unearned run off Pill and then 8-4 in the seventh off reliever Jake Floethe. In the sixth, Christopher singled, stole second and went to third when Deacon's throw went wide of the base and into center field and a safety squeeze by Simms brought him home. In the seventh, Floethe walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches and he came around to score after a groundout and a walk, on a Riley single to left.
Pill, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, drove home a run in the seventh with a sac-fly to center, scoring Keegan Dale who had doubled to make it 8-5. The next inning the Titans inched closer with an RBI single from Jared Deacon and a pinch-hit single from Casey Watkins, but a close call at first that didn't go in the Titans' favor ended the rally in the eighth.
Fullerton's Velazquez finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
The first pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. with Dylan Floro (4-2, 2.75 ERA) set to start for Cal State Fullerton. He will face Pacific's Jake Hummel (4-3, 4.36 ERA).