May 24, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Michael Lorenzen had two key singles and Nick Ramirez passed former Titan All-American Chad Cordero by saving 9th-ranked Cal State Fullerton's 6-4 non-conference victory Tuesday night over the University of San Diego.
The win was the fifth in a row and ninth in 10 games for the Titans (38-14) who avenged an April 26, 12-8 loss at USD (22-28), which saw its 7-game winning streak ended.
Ramirez got the final 3 outs after USD erased much of a 6-1 deficit in the top of the ninth. It was his 15th save this season, moving ahead of Cordero (14) on the CSF single-season list behind only Scott Wright's 22 in 1984. Ramirez' career total of 32 saves is now second only to Cordero's mark of 33.
Jake Floethe (6-3), the third of seven Titan pitchers, allowed 1 run in 2.2 innings and got the victory. Lorenzen's 2-out, 2-run single in the fourth gave Fullerton the lead for good at 2-0. His single helped set up a 4-run seventh that proved decisive against hard-luck loser Paul Sewald (2-4), who allowed only 4 hits and 2 earned runs in 6.1 innings.
Ivory Thomas opened the fourth by reaching on a throwing error by shortstop Julian Duran. Richy Pedroza followed with a single off the glove of second baseman Bryan Haar that left runners at second and third after a play on Thomas at third. Sewald got Tyler Pill on a pop up and struck out Ramirez, but, after intentionally walking Carlos Lopez, gave up a two-run single to right to Lorenzen.
USD scored in the seventh. Kris Bryant singled on the infield to stop a streak of 14 consecutive outs. Zack Kometani walked and Corey LeVier hit the first pitch from reliever Raymond Hernandez into right field for an RBI single.
USD and reliever Paul Paez were one strike away from getting out of a bases-loaded situation in the seventh. But Ivory Thomas beat out a chopper to short to make it a 3-1 game. Pedroza walked to force in a run, make it 4-1 and chase Paez. Tyler Pill then hit Jack Shannon's first pitch to center for a 2-run single. Starter Sewald had walked Lopez and given up an infield hit to Lorenzen before Paez intentionally walked pinch-hitter Chad Wallach to load the bases.
USD scored three times in the ninth off Dylan Floro. Haar and Scott Schauer singled and came home on a triple by Jon Hotta. Enter Ramirez, who retired Duran on a run-scoring ground ball and gave up a bunt single to Kevin Muno before striking out pinch-hitter Tony Strazzara and Bryant.
Fullerton concludes the regular season with a 3-game series at Cal State Northridge. Any combination of one Fullerton win or one UC Irvine loss (vs. Long Beach State) clinches a co-championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. A combination of two gives Fullerton the title outright.