Pill's Two-Run Triple Caps Titan 9th Inning Comeback
May 7, 2006
Santa Barbara, Calif - Brett Pill drove in 2 runs with a clutch 2-out triple in the top of the 9th inning to cap a 3-run Titan rally and give No. 4-ranked Cal State Fullerton (35-12, 12-3) a 7-5 victory over UC Santa Barbara (20-23, 6-9) in the Sunday matinee finale between the two Big West Conference foes at Ceasar-Uyesaka Stadium.
The Titan rally in the ninth started with a one-out single to right from junior Evan MacArthur. Freshman pinch-hitter Matt Fahey drew a full count walk, then was lifted for a pinch runner in senior Joe Turgeon. Senior Justin Turner then singled through the right side, his second hit of the game, driving in MacArthur from second and tying the game at 5-5. Turgeon would get to 3rd on the throw to the plate, setting up a squeeze situation for junior Blake Davis. Davis' bunt was fielded by Gaucho closer Justin Segal in time to get Turgeon at the plate for the 2nd out of the inning. Then on a 2-2 pitch, junior first baseman Brett Pill connected on his third hit of the day, roping a triple to the deepest part of the ballpark, plating Turgeon and Davis with the go ahead runs, making the final tally 7-5.
Titans closer Vinnie Pestano picked up his second win of the season taking him to 2-1, and helping pace the Titans to their 12th series win of the year. Segal got tagged for the loss, dropping him to 5-3 on the year.
Sunday starter Dustin Miller had a decent outing for the Titans, going 5.1 innings and giving up 3 runs on 5 hits before being lifted in the 6th for junior reliever Ryan Paul. When Miller left the game, the Titans were ahead, 4-2, making him eligible for his 10th win of the season, but the bullpen wouldn't hold the lead. Paul gave up an RBI single to Gauchos' first baseman Robbie Blauer then walked pinch-hitter Clayton Shank before coaxing the second pinch-hitter of the inning, Austin Hogans, into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning, the second of the game twisted by the Titans defense.
Paul would face just one more batter on the day, plunking UCSB's Shane Carlson to lead off the bottom of the 7th. Pestano came on to try and preserve the lead, but surrendered a double to Mario Lewis, putting the runners at 2nd and 3rd. The side-armer then struck out Chris McMurray and Alden Carrithers before relinquishing the lead on an RBI single to right field off the bat of Chris Valaika, his third hit and third RBI of the day. A fantastic throw to the plate from Brandon Tripp in right field gunned down Lewis to keep the score tied at 4-4.
Fullerton went 3 up and 3 down in the top of the 8th, then allowed UCSB to take its first lead of the game at 5-4 in the bottom of the frame on a manufactured run. Matt Emerick doubled for his only hit of the game to leadoff the inning, Robbie Blauer laid down a sacrifice bunt to get him to 3rd, and pinch hitter Brian Lee hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Gauchos the slim advantage.
The Titan offense pounded out 13 hits on the afternoon, three by Junior shortstop Blake Davis, including a monstrous home run to right center field to leadoff the 6th inning, making it 2-0 Cal State Fullerton. The blast was Davis' second of the series and 3rd of the year, helping to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Sophomore Clark Hardman had a 2 RBI double in the same frame to make it 4-0. Junior Evan MacArthur was the only other Titan to collect multiple hits on the day, a pair of singles, with the latter allowing him to score the tying run in the 9th.
Fullerton will play a midweek contest with USC on Wednesday night at Goodwin Field, before having their first weekend off of the season. First pitch against the Trojans is scheduled for 6:00 pm. Join the Voice of the Titans Justin Alderson for all of the action as he calls the game live on the internet at fullertontitans.com.