May 1, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Sophomore Michael Lorenzen pelted the outfield wall with two doubles and a triple and logged his 13th save of the season to lead 8th-ranked Cal State Fullerton to a 4-2 non-conference victory over visiting USC Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
With the win, the Titans even the season series with the Trojans and improve to 27-14 heading into a Big West Conference series at Pacific. Southern California drops to 22-18.
The Titans used seven pitchers on Tuesday after having the weekend off. Jose Cardona made his third appearance of the year and first since Mar. 6 at USC. He allowed a run on a single and a double in the second inning of his two-frame stint. James Roberts doubled home Dante Flores with the first run. Koby Gauna (4-3) earned the win with a 2.1 inning, 2-hit effort.
The Titans scored a pair of runs for him in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Brandon Garcia (3-5) surrendered the third walk of the night to Carlos Lopez and second consecutive double to Lorenzen to open the fifth inning. He was replaced by Bobby Wheatley who promptly served up a run-scoring groundout to Anthony Hutting to tie the game, and a softly hit misplayed short-hopper to third baseman Kevin Swick off the bat of J.D. Davis that scored Lorenzen with the go-ahead run. Both runs were charged to the losing pitcher Garcia.
The Titans utilized two more of the 12 walks issued by the Trojan pitching staff in the sixth. Richy Pedroza and Ivory Thomas received free passes to open up the frame and came around to score on Lorenzen's triple off the rightfield wall.
In addition to the 12 walks, two Titan batters were hit by pitches and the team (Lorenzen, Pedroza and Davis) combined for six hits. Fourteen of those men were left on in the three-hour, 20-minute game.
USC tacked on a run off typical Friday night starter Dylan Floro in the eighth. With two on and two out, pinch hitter Sean Spear delivered a single to center to cut the Titan lead to 4-2, but Lorenzen came in from center to close things out relatively quietly in the ninth. He got the needed three outs around a hit batter and touched 98 miles per hour on the radar gun for the final pitch of the game to strike out Alex Sherrod.
Fullerton heads to Stockton in first place by percentage points at 9-3 in Big West play. Second place Long Beach State (11-4) will take a weekend off league action and play a non-conference series with Loyola Marymount.