Late Titan Rally Falls Short
May 18, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Shon Roe drove in four runs during a 10-run fifth inning as Loyola Marymount came from behind to cool off No. 9-ranked Cal State Fullerton, 11-10, Tuesday night in non-conference action.
The Lions improved to 22-26 and completed a 2-0 season sweep of the Titans (34-15), who saw a 7-game winning streak ended with only their second loss in 18 games.
Reliever Xavier Esquivel (2-2) got credit for the win despite giving up 3 runs in 3.1 innings. Starter Aaron Griffin, who beat the Titans, 4-2, on March 23, went 4 innings and left trailing, 5-1.
CSF starter and loser Colin O'Connell (0-1) went beyond four innings for the first time in his career but couldn't finish the fifth, where he held a 5-2 lead with two outs and a man on first after Coe's sacrifice fly. The next five batters reached base before he was relieved by Kyle Mertins, who didn't get the third out until 5 more runs - all unearned -- had scored.
With one down, O'Connell hit Evan Simonitsch and Jonathan Johnson bounced a single to right to send Simonitsch to third, from where he scored on Roe's fly ball. Ryan Hawthorne singled and Matt Lowenstein drove in two runs with a double to right center. A walk to Matt Koch was followed by RBI singles by Brad Bauer and Jason Barmasse for a 6-5 lead and the end of O'Connell's night. Mertins relieved and got Alex Guthrie to bounce to first but Nikc Ramirez had the ball bounce off his chest for an error and Bauer scored on unearned run. Two hit batters made it 8-5 before Roe cleared the bases with a double to right center to made it 11-5.
The Titans' first run came in the first inning, in which they now have scored in seven of their last eight games. Richie Pedroza and Tyler Pill walked and Ramirez singled up the middle. LMU's Koch tied it with a solo shot off the batter's eye in the top of the second but Fullerton countered quickly. With one out, Casey Watkins doubled to right center and on the next pitch Austin Kingsolver singled to left .
O'Connell survived a pair of hits in the fourth and the Titans tacked on three more runs in the bottom half. Corey Jones led off with a bloop double. Griffin fanned the next two hitters but walked Christian Colon and Pedroza punched an RBI single to left. A walk to Carlos Lopez loaded the bases and Pill lined a single to right for two runs.
Fullerton's sixth run came in the sixth when Kingsolver doubled and came around on a fly ball and Pedroza's RBI grounder to second. The Titans closed to within two runs with a 3-run eighth. Jones led off with a single and was forced by pinch-hitter Anthony Hutting. Kingsolver walked and the Lions went to closer Chris Eusebio, with 5 saves. He balked the runners up a base before Colon hit a blooper to left that fell for a double, scoring Hutting. After Pedroza popped out, Lopez lined a 2-run single to left. Pill lined out to short and Eusebio survived a 2-hit, one-run ninth, striking out Kingsolver with the tying run on second base to end the game.
David Hurlbut pitched the final 3.1 innings for the Titans in his longest collegiate outing. He bailed Mertins out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth before tossing three hitless shutout innings with 5 strikeouts.
The Titans next play a non-conference series this weekend against Santa Clara. Game times are adjusted for commencement exercises - 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.