May 12, 2010
Malibu, Calif. - Richie Pedroza's 2-run eighth-inning single tied the game and Christian Colon's 2-run knock drove home the game-winners as Cal State Fullerton rallied from a 6-2 deficit to beat Pepperdine, 10-7, Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The Titans battled back for their 12th come-from-behind victory of the year and improve to 31-14 on the year. Fullerton has now won 13 of its last 14. Pepperdine drops its first game in its last five to fall to 18-25.
Fullerton rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth off two Pepperdine hurlers, sticking the first of the two relievers, Brian McIlhenny (0-1), with the loss. All three batters he faced reached base safely and came around to score on two-run singles by both Pedroza and Colon. In all, five of the Titans' 15 hits came in the eighth.
David Hurlbut (2-0) was the beneficiary of the Titan rally and picked up his 2nd win of the year. Nick Ramirez, who went 2-for-4 and scored three times, also pitched two scoreless innings to notch his 7th save of the season.
Colin Rooney's three-run double in the bottom of the fifth erased a 2-1 Titan lead and a beautiful 4-inning start by Colin O'Connell. Kyle Mertins, on in relief of O'Connell, loaded the bases with a a Pepperdine single, a hit batter and a walk, before Rooney's two-out hit split the gap in left center and cleared the bases.
The Waves went on to bat around in the inning and scored two more times on a Floyd Given double and a Ryan Heroy single off Derrick Dingeman to jump out to a 6-2 lead.
Fullerton battled back for two in the top of the sixth off Wave starter Keven Inman. Nick Ramirez singled with one out and went to second as centerfielder Brian Humphries misplayed the bounce. Geno Escalante drove home Ramirez with his first career hit, a chopper over the third baseman Rooney, and then came around to score on Casey Watkins' triple to right center.
O'Connell had a 2-1 lead when he left the game and had struck out a career high 7 batters. The only blemish to his line was a solo home run by Heroy in the bottom of the second. The sophomore, making his first career start, allowed just two hits and faced just two over the minimum before Coach Dave Serrano went to his bullpen, sticking to his "staff day" schedule.
Fullerton scored a pair of runs off Pepperdine starter Inman in the top of the first. Colon doubled to lead off the game and was sacrificed to third by Gary Brown. On the bunt, Brown reached safely as Inman had trouble picking up the ball for the first Wave error of the game. Inman then balked Colon home and Brown to second for the first Titans' run and then Tyler Pill doubled home Brown to make it 2-0.
Fullerton added two insurance runs in the ninth. Austin Kingsolver singled and went to third on Ramirez' hit to right. Zach Tanida laid down a safety squeeze to score Kingsolver and Ramirez stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
Pepperdine threatened in the bottom of the ninth. Zach Vincej hit a solo home run and a single and an error by Pedroza brought Heroy to the plate representing the tying run. But Ramirez made him his fourth strikeout victim to end the game.
Fullerton returns to Big West Conference play with a 3-game weekend series at Long Beach State.