Jan. 27, 2007
Fullerton, Calif. - Despite a two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth by centerfielder Dennis Gerbasi off major league closer Chad Cordero, the 2007 Cal State Fullerton baseball team dropped the annual Pro-Alumni Game, 7-4, in front of approximately 600 fans in attendance at Goodwin Field Saturday afternoon.
The Titans welcomed over 60 alumni in the yearly two-day event that started with a golf tournament on Friday afternoon, and concluded with a pair of Alumni baseball games on Saturday.
The 2007 Titans trailed from the get-go after a two-run home run by former right fielder Sergio Pedroza with two outs in the first inning gave the Pro-Alumni a 2-0 lead. The Alumni then backed it up in the second, scoring five times off Titan starter Jeff Kaplan, capped by a Mike Rouse grand slam, extending their lead to 7-0. Rouse a major leaguer with the Cleveland Indians, made his big league debut last season with the Oakland A's.
Fullerton got on the board in the fifth inning when after a pair of singles by third baseman Bryan Harris and left fielder Josh Fellhauer, Joel Weeks doubled to the left-center gap bringing both teammates home to narrow the Alumni lead to 7-2.
The bottom of the ninth inning featured the 2007 Titans against 2005 MLB All-Star Chad Cordero, who trotted in like he had so many times before at Goodwin Field to close the game. This time, the `07 Titans would not lay down. Designated Hitter Billy Marcoe led off the inning with a 13-pitch at-bat before striking out looking.
Third baseman Billy Pinkerton then added a chink to Cordero's armor with a single to center. Matt Fahey then drew a walk to set up Gerbasi's bases clearing triple.
Despite the triple, Cordero prevailed, ending the game like he did so many times in his Titan career, by striking out Corey Jones to give the Alumni the 7-4 victory.
The Titans matched the Alumni with 9 total hits, senior catcher John Curtis provided the last of the three Fullerton extra base hits with a one out double in the fourth.
Kansas City Royal Shane Costa, and Boston Red Sox minor leaguer David Bacani each had a pair of hits and scored a run. Bacani earned the game's only stolen base.
Last year college win leader Lauren Gagnier came back in 2007 and pitched two sharp innings to start the games surrendering a pair of his while striking out two.
Major Leaguer Wes Littleton made a brief one inning stop with a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Earlier in the day, the "older" Titan Alumni played a three-inning exhibition, with 1985-86 Titan John Eccles earning the games MVP honor. His bottom of the third inning RBI- double brought home the game-winning run, giving his team a 3-2 victory. Eccles was 2-for-2, with a single in the first inning as well. Eccles' teammate Rick Oliver (1976 Titans) provided the punch earlier in the third, with a two-run double to tie the game at 2-2.
Jeff Nichols (1975-78) gave the opposition their two runs with a two-run double of his own.
Cal State Fullerton will start the 2007 baseball season next Friday night, Feb. 2, as they host the Stanford Cardinal at Goodwin Field starting at 7 p.m.