June 18, 2007
OMAHA, NE - UC Irvine's Bryan Petersen broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the 13th inning, singling home Cody Cipriano with the game-winning run with two outs to give the Anteaters their first-ever College World Series win by the score of 5-4 over Cal State Fullerton in the longest game in tournament history on Monday evening in Omaha, Neb.
UCI's Taylor Holiday led off the bottom of the 13th inning being hit by a pitch for the third time in the game, prompting Cal State Fullerton Head Coach George Horton to come out and argue the call before eventually being ejected.
After a sacrifice by Ben Orloff to put Holiday into scoring position, Cipriano was intentionally walked to put a pair on for Matt Morris, who singled through the left side. However, freshman Josh Fellhauer came up firing, throwing out Holiday at the plate to keep the Titans alive.
Now, with runners on second and third and Dustin Birosak on in relief, Peterson took a 1-1 pitch right back through the box, plating Cipriano with the winning run as Fullerton was eliminated from the College World Series without a win for the first time since 1990.
The Titans finish their season with a 38-25 overall record following the five-hour, 40-minute marathon, while the Anteaters, despite six errors for the game, improved to 46-16-1 and will carry the Big West Conference torch into Tuesday's game against the loser of the Arizona State-Oregon State match-up.
The previous record for longest game in College World Series history in terms of time of game was five hours even in 1981 as Oklahoma State defeated Arizona State, 11-10, in 13 innings.
Reliever Bryan Harris (2-3) suffered the loss for the Titans in relief, charged with one run allowed on three hits in a career-high tying five innings of work. Starter Jeff Kaplan earned the no decision, allowing four runs on 10 hits in six innings while striking out three.
Adam Jorgenson also allowed just one hit in 1 2/3 innings of relief for the Titans as the team's second pitcher of the day.
UC Irvine reliever Dylan Axelrod (6-4) earned the win in relief for the Anteaters, allowing just one hit and striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings of work, entering with the go-ahead runs on base for the Titans in the ninth and only one out.
Axelrod struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and stranded the go-ahead run on third in the top of the 13th after a pair of errors threatened to give Fullerton the lead.
The Titans jumped out to the early lead as junior Matt Wallach, who finished 2-for-4, led-off the second inning with his fifth home run of the season, lining a 1-0 offering from starter Wes Etheridge over the wall in right for the 1-0 advantage.
UCI then threatened with a big inning in the fourth, but came away with only one run to tie the game. Two infield hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Anteaters as catcher Aaron Lowenstein was hit by a pitch with one out to drive home Matt Morris.
Kaplan then worked out of the jam with no further damage, striking out Tyler Vaughn and inducing Taylor Holiday to foul out to Nick Mahin in right field to end the inning.
The Titans broke through for a pair of runs in the fifth with a little help from the Anteaters' defense. Fellhauer reached on a one-out single to left and moved all the way to third when Etheridge's pickoff throw got away from Holiday at first and the ensuing throw down to second sailed into centerfield.
Mahin then followed with a single to left to score Fellhauer and Wallach followed three batters later with a single to right to score John Curtis, who singled earlier, to make it 3-1.
UC Irvine then put runners in scoring position again in its half of the fifth and may have taken the lead if not for Clark Hardman in centerfield.
A pair of hits by Morris and Petersen put runners on the corners for Sean Madigan, who lifted a fly ball into the gap in left center where Hardman laid out and made a game-saving back-handed catch to end the inning.
However, the Anteaters tied things up with one swing of the bat in the sixth as Lowenstein stroked a one-out single, moved to second on Kaplan's second balk of the day, and scored when Holiday launched a full-count pitch over the wall in right centerfield for his fifth round-tripper of the year to make it 3-3.
The Titans took a short-lived 4-3 lead in the seventh as Mahin drew a walk to lead things off and Fullerton loaded the bases against reliever Tom Calahan, who walked a pair before hitting Corey Jones with a pitch to drive Mahin home.
UCI wasted no time in getting the run back as Cipriano led off the bottom of the inning with his school-record 13th home run of the year on the 14th pitch of the at-bat to tie the game.
Mahin, Curtis and Joe Scott joined Wallach in the two-hit club while Morris was 4-for-7 to lead the Anteaters' offense.
NOTES: Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine each stranded 16 runners on base for the game - eight in scoring position for the Titans and 10 for the Anteaters... the two staffs combined to hit eight batters on the day - four of those by the Titans' Harris... the middle of the Anteaters' lineup (3-6) set the table for the offense, combining for 11 of the team's 15 hits, going 11-for-25 (.440) with three runs scored and two RBI... Fullerton's was equally as effective, combining for seven of the team's 11 hits... the 5:40 time of game narrowly missed the Titans' longest game this season as they played 5:43 in a 14-inning affair at Long Beach State on March 25 (Fullerton lost that game, 4-3)... the Titans fell to 0-6 all-time in extra-inning games in the College World Series with Monday's loss...