Highlanders Walk Away with an Upset
May 19, 2012
Fullerton, Calif. - Centerfielder Phil Holinsworth belted a pair of two-run home runs and scored three times to lead UC Riverside to a 6-3 upset of No. 8 Cal State Fullerton Saturday night in a Big West Conference game at Goodwin Field.
The win for the Highlanders was the first over the Titans since 2009 and snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Fullerton program. It was also their 20th win of the season, upping their record to 20-28 overall and 8-12 in league action. The Titans lost a chance to gain ground atop the conference standings as second place Long Beach lost to last place Pacific, 5-3. Fullerton drops to 33-17, 15-5, and holds tightly to a 2-game lead in the Big West with four to play.
Trevor Frank (2-8) picked up just his second win of the season with the quality start that saw him hold the Titans to three runs (2 earned) on eight hits over 7.1 innings. The righty struck out two and walked two before handing over the ball to Ben Doucette, who logged his 5th save of the year.
The Fullerton pitching staff, which came into the night leading the nation in fewest walks per nine innings, walked 10 Highlanders, six of which came to lead-off hitters.
Titan starter Kenny Mathews (5-2) dropped his second consecutive start after facing just one man into the second inning. Eddie Young singled and Holinsworth homered to left just two batters into the game. After the home run, Mathews gave up a double and two walks and was done for the night.
Dimitri DeLaFuente relived Mathews and had trouble himself with his 1-plus inning. He got out of the second, but then issued two walks around a Vince Gonzalez double and he, too, was lifted swiftly. Two of his runners scored in the third to give the Highlanders a 4-0 lead after two and a half.
Fullerton chipped away with a run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Lopez, and two more in the fifth. Back-to-back doubles by Matt Orloff and Richy Pedroza scored the Titans' second run of the night, and a grounder and another sac-fly by Lopez got them as close as they would get at 4-3.
Willie Kuhl worked four innings of one-hit relief of DeLaFuente. He did, however, walk four while striking out seven. The only hit off the freshman righty came in the third by Nick Vilter to drive home the fourth run of the game (charged to DeLaFuente). Kuhl worked into the seventh, but was replaced by Dave Birosak after walking the lead-off hitter. UCR wouldn't get another hit until Holingsworth's second two-run home run in the eighth off Koby Gauna. Gauna was touched for two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
The rubber game of the three-game set will be tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Grahamm Wiest will toe the rubber for the Titans on Senior Night.