May 16, 2006
San Diego, Calif. - Jordan Swayden's three-run double off of losing pitcher Ryan Paul (1-1) in the bottom of the eighth, lifted San Diego State to a 9-8 upset over No. 2 Cal State Fullerton Tuesday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. It was the Aztecs' first win against the Titans in 12 tries dating back to 1984.
Fullerton, playing their first game since last Wednesday, drops to 36-13 overall heading into this weekend's Big West Conference series against Cal Poly at Goodwin Field. With the win, San Diego State improves to 22-34 to conclude its regular season schedule on a high note.
A sixth inning, two-run single by Danny Dorn broke a 6-6 tie in the sixth inning and looked as if it would hold as reliever John Estes tossed two perfect innings, but a walk, a single and a throwing error on a bunt by Paul would set up Swayden's big blow.
Paul on in relief of Justin Klipp pitched just 1/3 of an inning, surrendering the winning run, pinch-hitter Chris Anderson, who reached when Paul's throw of his sacrifice bunt attempt went wild down the first base line. Anderson then scored all the way from first on the two-bagger hit just inside the left field foul line.
After a wild pitch and a hit batter, Head Coach George Horton had seen enough and called down to the bullpen to get Saturday night starter Lauren Gagnier to stop the bleeding. Gagnier, in his first relief appearance since last year's Regionals, struck out the two hitters he faced to end the inning.
Klipp was charged with the other two runs in the Aztec eighth, allowing a walk and a single before being lifted for Paul. The Titan right-hander struggled with control Tuesday night, walking three in just one inning of work while allowing a pair of earned runs to score.
The Titan posted back-to-back three-run innings in the first and second off of SDSU starter Will Miller. Despite two costly errors that cost the Aztec pitcher three runs, Fullerton knocked 6 of their 12 hits in the first two innings, including two by both Justin (single and a double) Turner and Dorn (two singles).
It looked as if Titan starter Dave Pherrin would handle the Aztecs in his second-career start, striking out four over the first two innings of work, with the only blemish being a solo home run to right fielder Curt Mendoza that cut the lead to 6-1 after two. But a walk and three hits in the third, including Mendoza's second round-tripper, would get the Aztecs within one in the third at 6-5.
Jared Clark, on the mound for the first time for the Titans since the third week of the season, gave up the tying run in the fourth, his only inning of work. The sophomore surrendered three straight hits to lead off the frame, before retiring the next three he face to end the inning.
San Diego State's reliever Ben Coon was brilliant for 3 1/3 innings, holding the Titans to just one hit before the Titans' scored their pair of runs in the sixth to tie.
Fullerton would threaten to tie one last time in the ninth off reliever Adam Simon. Brandon Tripp singled to lead off the Titan ninth inning and was sacrificed to second by Clark Hardman. Evan McArthur then struck out, ending his 10-game hitting streak before David Cooper, the Titans' best pinch hitter also struck out with the tying run at second to end the game. Simon notched his seventh save of the season.
Dorn, Tripp, Justin Turner and Swyden each had three hits to lead all players, while Dorn's 5 RBI topped Swayden's 4 in the losing effort.
Fullerton will return home to face Cal Poly starting Friday night at Goodwin Field in the first of a three-game series with the Big West Conference foes from the North. Game times are 7 p.m. (Fri.), 6 p.m. (Sat.) and 1 p.m. (Sun.).
Notes: Titan shortstop Blake Davis extended his hitting streak to a season-high 18-games with an RBI single to left in the sixth inning...The six-run deficit was the largest lead the Titans have lost this season and the nine runs allowed tied the most runs they have surrendered in an entire game this year...This was the first game for the Titans without the use of closer Vinnie Pestano (13 saves) who strained his forearm muscles in last Wednesday's game. The right-hander Saw Dr. Lewis Yokum Tuesday for confirmation of MRI results gained on Saturday. Details will be released as they become available.