May 8, 2009
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Three Titans drove in two runs in support of Daniel Renken, who hurled his second complete game of the year and struck out 10 as No. 6 Cal State Fullerton defeated No. 12 Cal Poly, 8-4, in a Big West Conference showdown at Baggett Stadium Friday night.
The Titans won their sixth in a row, and 12th in their last 13 and improved to 35-12 overall and 13-6 in league play. They also improved to 45-8 in the all-time Div. I series. Cal Poly drops its fourth game in its last six and falls to 32-14, 10-6.
The Titans scored eight runs on 11 hits in support of Renken who improves to 7-2 on the year. His 10 strikeouts tied a career high, and is his second straight 10 strikeout performance.
D.J. Mauldin (4-4) worked 5.2 innings and allowed the first four Titan runs for the loss. Jared Eskew and Mark DeVincenzi were also tagged for a pair of runs each in 3.1 innings of combined relief.
Joey Siddons led all players with a 3-for-4 night, and he and Joe Scott and Jared Clark each had two RBI. Fullerton's Jeff Newman and Gary Brown, and Cal Poly's Luke Yoder each had two hits on the night.
Fullerton sent seven men to the plate in the first, with Gary Brown and Josh Fellhauer providing back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for Calrk. Clark sent a fly to center, deep enough to center to bring home the speedy Brown with the first run of the game. Dustin Garneau did reached on an error by third baseman J.J. Thompson with two outs to load the bases, but Mauldin got Newman to ground out to second to end the threat.
Renken struck out five and scattered just three hits through the first 3.2 innings, but left fielder Luke Yoder touched the Titan right-hander with his ninth home run of the year, a two-out shot to right-center to tie the game at 1-1.
The Titans scored in back-to-back innings in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-1 lead. In the fifth, Clark drove home his second run of the night, and 60th of the year, with his second sacrifice fly, scoring Brown who tripled to lead off the inning. In the sixth, Newman was hit by a pitch, then stole second and scored on Siddons' single back through the box. Siddons went from first to third on Christian Colon's single to right and later scored on a Brown fly ball to right, knocking Mauldin from the game.
Renken plunked the first two Cal Poly hitters in the bottom of the sixth and set the tone for a wacky inning that scored two Mustangs to cut the Titan lead to 4-3. With one out with runners at first and third, D.J. Gentile hit a hot shot off of Siddons' glove down at third base, sending the ball high in the air toward the shortstop Colon. Colon leaped in the air, and came down with the ball, and in the same motion threw to second for a force out, but Adam Melker scored on the play. Yoder, the next Mustang hitter, blistered a ball down the third base line that Siddons made an athletic diving play on, but came up throwing wildly for a two base error and another Mustang run. After a two-out walk, Renken struck out the No. 8 hitter for the final out.
Leading 4-3 in the seventh, Fullerton rallied for three more on back-to-back two-out hits by Scott and Siddons'. Scott's hit greeted new Mustang hurler DeVincenzi driving in two on the heels of a botched bases-loaded squeeze attempt. Scott stole second and then scored on Siddons' hit to right. Siddons was caught in a rundown on the play and tagged for the third out after Scott scored.
The Titans tacked on another run in the eighth with their fourth sacrifice fly of the night. Khris Davis sent a Devincenzi offering to center, bringing home Clark from third. Clark was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and then hustled all the way around to third on a wild pitch, catching Cal Poly catcher Jordan Hadlock off guard.
Thompson singled home Kyle Smith, who doubled, for Cal Poly's only run in the ninth.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Titans will send out Noe Ramirez (5-1, 2.80 ERA) to the mound, while Cal Poly is due to counter with Matt Leonard (5-1, 7.01 ERA).