Fullerton Routs Northridge in Regular Season Finale
May 30, 2010
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Fullerton, Calif. - Daniel Renken pitched a solid 7 innings and Nick Ramirez hit a pair of home runs to pace a 19-hit assault as Cal State Fullerton completed a sweep of a 3-game Big West Conference series Sunday, wrapping up the regular season with a come-from-behind 15-4 victory over Cal State Northridge.
Renken matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and allowed only 5 hits to improve to 11-2 and complete a cycle of beating every Big West opponent. The win was Fullerton's seventh in a row and 23rd in 25 games to improve to 41-15 and 21-3 for the Big West title and the second best conference winning percentage in the program's 36-year Div. I history. The Matadors completed their first winning season since 2002 at 29-27, 9-15.
Starter Ryan Juarez (3-7) took the loss for CSUN, allowing 5 runs in three plus innings.
Northridge scored three times in the third to snap a string of 20 scoreless innings in the series. After Renken was perfect through two innings, he was tagged for consecutive singles by Dominic Piazza, Justin DeMarco and Ridge Carpenter for one run. Drew Muren sacrificed and TS Reed doubled down the left-field line for a pair of RBI.
Fullerton matched those runs in the bottom half with the start of 15 unanswered runs. Anthony Hutting doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double to left center by Richie Pedroza. Ramirez followed with his 12th home run to right center.
The Titans took the lead for good in the fourth when they got a leadoff double from Watkins, who scored on Christian Colon's two-out single off the glove of shortstop Reed. Ramirez led off the fifth with a towering drive over the center-field fence for No. 13 and the end of Juarez' afternoon. Paul Tremblin relieved and was tagged for four more runs as the Titans unleashed "little ball." He walked Pill and Billy Marcoe around a fly ball out. They pulled a double steal and Pill scored on Watkins' line-drive single to center. Watkins then stole second and both he and Marcoe scored as Joey Siddons singled to left through a drawn-in infield and left fielder Nate Ring misplayed the ball for an error. Jimmy Jolicoeur replaced Juarez and was tagged for a two-out RBI double by Colon.
The Titans added four unearned runs in the sixth. After Ramirez just missed the fair pole in right for a third home run, he was safe on an error by Ryan Pineda at second. Jones, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 19 games, singled off the glove of first baseman D'Anna. After Zach Tanida fouled out for what should have ended the inning, the Titans got singles from Watkins and Siddons and a 2-run double from Hutting to make it 13-3.
Jones tripled in a pair of runs in the seventh off Bryan Longpre, the fourth of five Matador pitchers.
Northridge got its fourth run in the eighth off reliever Kyle Mertins on singles by Reed, D'Anna and C. J. Belanger.
Fullerton is one of 16 NCAA Regional sites next weekend. The balance of the 4-team field will be announced Monday at 9:30 a.m. PDT on ESPN.