May 10, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - A bases-loaded wild pitch by USC's Steve Martlaro brought home the winning run as the No. 3 Cal State Fullerton Titans downed the Trojans, 7-6, in a non-conference baseball game at Goodwin Field Wednesday night.
Fullerton improved to 4-2 in midweek affairs and 36-12 overall while Southern California, losers of nine of its last eleven, falls to 24-23.
The mound will need some work after the 3:40 affair that saw seven pitchers from each team toe the rubber with USC's Paul Koss (0-6) and CSF's Ryan Paul (1-0) earning the decisions. Cory Arbiso picked up his first collegiate save by getting Trojan right fielder Daniel Perales to ground out to first baseman Brett Pill for the final out.
It looked as if the Titans would run away with the game after they scored four unanswered runs in the second and third innings. Cory Vanderhook and Eric Echevarria would come home on an RBI-ground out by Justin Turner and an RBI-double by Blake Davis in the second, then a two-run home run by Vanderhook, his first of the year, would make it 4-0.
Left-handed senior Dave Pherrin got the start for the Titans on a night the team was honoring the departing upperclassmen. Pherrin tossed three scoreless innings, striking out two and was in line to pick up his first decision of the year, but relievers Adam Jorgenson and John Estes surrendered back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth to foil the win for the southpaw.
Jorgenson worked a perfect fourth before allowing three runs on three hits including a big two-run single by Cyle Hankerd that reduced the Titan lead to 4-3 in the fifth inning.
Estes came on in the sixth and worked just 2/3 of an inning, unable to fare any better than Jorgenson. The senior lefty was touched for three runs on four hits, unable to escape the inning. Darin Viera (double), Johnny Bowdin (single) and Matt Cusick (single) each drove in a run off Estes before Justin Klipp was called upon to record the final out. The Trojans took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
The Titans scraped out another run in typical Fullerton fashion with a pinch-hit single by Clark Hardman to lead off the bottom of the sixth. He moved to second on a walk to Joe Turgeon, then to third on a sacrifice by Justin Turner. Davis, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games with his double in the second, lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Hardman to make it a one-run game at 6-5.
David Cooper led off the eighth inning for the Titans with a pinch-hit single and was replaced by pinch runner Joe Scott. Scott stole second and scored the tying run as Turner knocked in his second runner of the game with a single to right. When the right fielder tossed the ball into the infield after the hit, he missed his cut off man, allowing Turner into scoring position at second base.
Davis followed with what was almost the game- winning hit, but he hit it too hard to center fielder Spencer Pabst, who threw out Turner at the plate. Brett Pill followed Davis with a two-out walk and Danny Dorn, facing newly-inserted relief pitcher Kevin Zelany, did the same to load the bases. The Trojans brought on Martlaro who would then let the deciding 0-2 pitch sail way inside to Evan McArthur, bringing home the winning run.
Vinnie Pestano came on for his 14th save of the season, but with two outs he felt a twinge in his right elbow, leaving the game, to be replaced by Arbiso.
The Titans will enjoy a weekend off as they head into their bye in Big West Conference play, and will resume on May 16th at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium with another midweek affair.
NOTES: Justin Turner picked up his 300th career hit with a leadoff double in the first...Titans celebrated Senior Night honoring eight seniors who will be departing after the completion of the season. Dave Pherrin, Joe Turgeon, Eric Echevarria, John Estes, Justin Turner, Cory Vanderhook, Dustin Miller and Danny Dorn were all honored prior to the game and all but Miller participated in the game... Echevarria, the team's bullpen catcher, got his first career start and walked and scored his first collegiate run in the second inning...Davis' 17-game hitting streak, matches his season high, and is also the longest by any Titan this season.