May 20, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - Brett Pill's solo home run broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning and he scored an insurance run in the eighth Saturday night to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 3-1 Big West Conference victory over Cal Poly SLO.
Lauren Gagnier went 6.1 innings to improve his record to 11-4 as he and three relievers stranded 12 Mustang runners. No. 2-ranked Fullerton improved to 38-13 overall and 14-3 in the Big West Conference. Cal Poly fell to 27-25 and 8-9. Gary Daley went the distance for the Mustangs and struck out nine with no walks but fell to 6-8.
Cal Poly left the bases loaded three times in the game. They loaded them up with no outs in the second but Gagnier got three outs. In the sixth, they loaded them with two outs but Gilbert Gil struck out. In the seventh, reliever John Estes intentionally walked Jimmy Van Ostrandt to load the bases with two out before getting pinch hitter Adam Buschini to ground out to third.
Adam Jorgenson pitched a scoreless eighth and got two outs in the ninth before Josh Lansford doubled. Ryan Paul, forced into a closer's role by an injury to All-American candidate Vinnie Pestano, got Bryan Kepner to ground to third for the final out and his second save in as many nights.
Fullerton took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Brandon Tripp tripled and came home when second baseman Gil's relay bounced away from third for an error. The Mustangs tied it in the fourth when Van Ostrandt was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a balk and scored on a single up the middle by Corey Barthel.
Pill hit his fifth home run of the year over the left field wall with one out in the sixth. After the Titans failed to get Tripp home from third with only one out in the seventh, Pill singled with two out in the eighth, stole second and came home on a single to left by Danny Dorn.
Fullerton retains its 3-game lead in the Big West over Long Beach State with four games to play. The 49ers won in extra inning earlier in the day at UC Riverside.
Cal Poly and Fullerton conclude their series Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Titans' regular season home finale.