May 25, 2008
Long Beach, Calif. - No. 6 Cal State Fullerton will have to settle for a Co-Big West Conference Championship as they dropped Sunday afternoon's contest and the weekend series to No. 25 Long Beach State by a score of 12-3 at Blair Field.
Cory Arbiso (11-3) lasted just 2.2 innings on Sunday and suffered his first loss since March 1 as Long Beach scored six times on six hits, with a majority of those runs coming in the 49er's five-run third. Vance Worley improved to 7-3 on the year as he tossed a complete game eight-hitter in under 125 pitches. The 49er right struck out six and walked just one.
The Titans and 49ers both finish the regular season with identical 37-19 overall records and 16-8 marks in league action. With the win, Long Beach State earned the Big West Conference's automatic berth by virtue of the series win over Fullerton. The Titans, however, will make their 30th postseason appearance (17th in a row) as they were selected, like Long Beach, to host a Regional beginning May 30.
It was the first Big West series of the year that the Titans had dropped and their first in 10 weeks.
In the five-run third, Long Beach batted 11 hitters, with four collecting hits, three drawing walks and one lifting a sac-fly. Jason Corder's only hit of the day, a two-run double proved to be the game-winner, giving the 49er's a 3-1 lead. Corder's double was followed by a Shane Peterson double and a Danny Espinosa bunt single that stretched the 49er lead to 4-1. After Brandon Godfrey's sac-fly, Jason Tweedy tripled to the gap to give Worley a five-run lead going to the fourth.
Long Beach scored runs in all of its at bats except its first and last.
Seven of the eight Titan hits off Worley were singles. Josh Fellhauer provided most of the Titan offense with the only extra base hit on the afternoon for Fullerton. The centerfielder lifted a high fly in the fifth, that carried out of Blair Field for his 7th home run of the year.
Fullerton briefly held a 1-0 lead early in the game as Joel Weeks singled home Gary Brown in the second inning after Brown stole second. With the stolen base, Gary Brown set the freshman stolen base record with his 20th, surpassing Dante Powell who set the previous mark in 1992.
After Fellhauer's home run got the Titans within three, Long Beach proceeded to score five unanswered insurance runs over the last four Long Beach at bats. Tweedy hit his second home run of the year to lead off the fifth off Michael Morrison, knocking him from the game. Reliever Travis Kelly was greeted with four straight hits that capped the three-run frame.
Long Beach scored two more runs off Kelly and Brian Wilson in the sixth and seventh to earn their share of the title.
Brown was the lone Titan to collect two hits on the afternoon. Godfrey and Tweedy led all players with three each, while Jonathan Jones and Peterson supplied two apiece as well.
The Titans await Monday morning's announcement of the 64-team NCAA tournament Field and eight national seeds to see how the coming weekend will play out.