May 6, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - Four ninth inning runs by UC Santa Barbara (21-22, 9-6) helped lift the Gauchos to a 7-6 Big West Conference victory and a series win over Cal State Fullerton (28-18, 8-7) Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
Bryan Harris (1-2) was tagged with his second loss of the season as his wild pitch that brought home Patrick Rose with the decisive run in the final frame. Kyle Brown, who faced just two batters in the game, picked up the win and improved to 2-1. Steve Morelock picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Entering the ninth, Cal State Fullerton held a 6-3 lead and reliever Michael Morrison had the ball for his second inning of work looking for his second save of the year. But Mario Lewis and Matt Valaika each singled to lead off the inning off the Titan right-hander. Southpaw Paul Canedo came on to face pinch-hitter Steve Domecus who also singled and drove in Lewis to narrow the Titan lead to 6-4.
A batter later, Nolan Bruyninckx became the Titans' third pitcher of the inning and walked leadoff hitter Chris Fox on four straight pitches to load the bases. Harris then came on and got Rose to hit into a fielder's choice to cut the lead to 6-5. Robbie Blauer then sacrificed the tying run home with a deep fly ball to left field.
After Harris hit Mike Zuanich, catcher John Curtis was charged with a passes ball that moved both Rose and Zuanich into scoring position. Harris then struck out Cody Dee for the likely third out of the inning, but the breaking ball bounced away from Curtis allowing Dee to reach first, but more importantly the go-ahead run to score.
It was the first loss for Cal State Fullerton when leading after eight innings this season in 25 opportunities.
UCSB got on the board first on Sunday as two singles, a grounder and a sac-fly by Zaunich gave the Gaucho's the early 1-0 lead off Starter Adam Jorgenson. Jorgenson was an out away from being eligible for the win, but was relieved after 4.2 innings of work. The junior surrendered three runs and scattered six hits in his third start of the year.
Fullerotn pushed back with a pair of runs in the third, and four runs in their half of the fourth off Gaoucho starter Jeff Braun. Clark Hardman provided two RBI while Chris Davis, Billy Pinkerton and Joe Scott each added one to the mix. Braun worked five innings allowing five earned runs, on seven hits while issuing a pair of walks.
The 6-1 Titan lead tightened in the fifth as Valaika led off the inning with a solo home run to left, his fifth of the year. Shane Carlson then singled, move to third on a double by Rose, then scored on Blauer's first sacrifice-fly of the day.
THe Titans spoiled Hardman's 4-for-5, two-RBI effort at the plate, as he led the team in both categories. Valaika had three hits to lead UCSB, while Blauer's two runs batted in tied Hardman and paced the Gauchos in that department.
Up next for Cal State Fullerton is Loyola Marymount on Tuesday at 6 p.m. from Goodwin Field before heading to Kansas, to hook up with Wichita State over the weekend.