No. 10 Fullerton Denies Pacific Series Win, 6-4, In Game Three
May 1, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - The Pacific Tigers were turned away by No. 10 Cal State Fullerton in the deciding game of the three-game Big West series Sunday as RF Carlos Lopez hit a two-run home run in the eighth to give the Titans a 6-4 win at Goodwin Field. Sophomore 3B Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) went four-for-four at the plate as the Tigers out-hit Fullerton 8-6 in the ballgame.
Lopez snapped a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth with his second home run of the season, to provide the winning margin as Fullerton improves to 30-13 overall and 11-4 in the Big West.
Senior DH/RHP Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) took the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season, while 1B/LHP Nick Ramirez (1-0) tallied the win for the Titans. Tigers starter RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) and Titans starter RHP Dylan Floro each took no decisions after allowing four earned runs.
Pacific, which had scored in the top of the first inning in six-straight games on the seven-game road trip, got on the board first in the third inning.
Junior SS Josh Simms (La Mesa, Calif.) was hit by pitch with one out and then stole second base. After moving to third on a groundout, Torchio singled through the left side of the infield for a 1-0 lead.
Fullerton answered in the bottom of the third, as CF Ivory Thomas, back in the lineup after committing three first-inning errors Saturday night, was hit by pitch with one out. The next batter, 3B Anthony Trajano leaned into a pitch on the inside corner and was grazed for a second hit-by-pitch. DH Tyler Pill followed with an single to tie the game at 1-1, and 1B/LHP Nick Ramirez added an RBI fielder's choice to give the Titans the lead.
The Tigers came right back with a run in the top of the fourth, as senior 1B Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) singling to right to open the frame. Junior RF Allen Riley (Fresno, Calif.) added a second through the hole on the right side as Martin went to third with no one out. Riley alertly went to second on a pitch in the dirt, and junior LF Daniel Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) hit a comebacker to Floro. Floro looked the runners back and saw Riley caught off second base, but as Floro made the throw to the shortstop, Martin raced home with the tying run.
Fullerton surged ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, opening the inning with a pair of walks. Hummel pounced off the mound and made a diving grab on a bunt attempt by C Jared Deacon and then struck out SS Keegan Dale for the second out. But Thomas walked to load the bases, and Trajano singled up the middle to plate two runs. Freshman C Jason Taasaas threw down to third to pick off Thomas to end the inning to keep the Tigers down two.
In the top of the fifth, Simms led off with a single to center to run his hit-streak to 13 straight games, and with one out, Torchio singled through the right side. Simms went first to third on the play and scored as Carvutto lined a single to center to pull Pacific within one at 4-3 and send Torchio to third. Martin followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the ballgame at 4-4.
Hummel faced the minimum six over the next two innings and departed after six innings with just three hits allowed. He struck out four, but walked five and was charged with three hit batsman.
Floro gave up Torchio's fourth hit of the game in the seventh, and was done for the afternoon after stranding him there. He allowed eight hits with three strikeouts while walking none, with on hit batsman.
Ramrirez took the mound for Fullerton in the top of the eighth, not allowing a hit in the frame.
In the eighth, Ramirez hit a fly ball behind third base, which landed for a single on miscommunication between Torchio and Simms. Lopez followed with his second home run of the year on a 2-2 pitch from Carvutto to snap the tie.
Ramirez retired Pacific in order in the ninth to cap the series with for Fullerton. The Tigers, which picked up an 8-7 win on Saturday after the team ranked No. 10 by Baseball America, fall to 3-5 on the year against ranked teams.
Pacific picked up three stolen bases in the ballgame as Simms picked up his third of the season, Torchio his fourth and Johnston his 10th steal in 12 attempts.
Torchio four-hit day was the second of the season for the sophomore, who went four-for-five in a win at No. 13 Cal on April 5. Martin finished the day one-for-three, with Carvutto and Riley each posting one-for-four games. Simms scored a pair of runs with a one-for-three afternoon.
The Tigers are back in action on Friday, as they return home for the first time since April 17, to face UC Davis. The Tigers and Aggies will open the three-game Big West series with a 6 p.m. first pitch at Klein Family Field, followed by a 6 p.m. Saturday start. The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.