Fullerton Regional Preview

Cal State Fullerton went into last weekend needing only one win to clinch their second straight Big West title and it took a little longer than expected last weekend to clinch the conference championship but the Titans eventually did take care of business at Cal State Northridge.

Fullerton came back from their weekend off in the Big West schedule and extended their winning streak to five games with a 6-4 win against San Diego.  Michael Lorenzen drove in two runs with a two out single in the fourth inning to give the Titans the lead and Fullerton scored four more runs in the seventh inning to give them a five run lead with Tyler Pill finishing off the scoring with a two run single.  The Toreros rallied to score three runs in the ninth and Nick Ramirez was summoned over from 1B to finish things off for his Big West leading fifteenth save.

Fullerton drove up to Northridge and didn't play well in losing the opener of the series 5-4 last Friday.  Vincent Roberts held the Titans to only two hits before being taken out in the seventh and Fullerton only had five hits on the day.  Fullerton trailed 2-0 going into the seventh and scored once only to see the Matadors score twice in the seventh to increase the lead.  Fullerton came back with a two runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 4-3 only to have Northridge score again.  The Titans tried to come back once more in the ninth and scored once to cut the lead to 5-4 but couldn't get the tying run across.  Fullerton's bugaboo this season reared its ugly head again as the Titans committed two errors and there were a couple of more plays that were charitably ruled hits.

Fullerton finally clinched the Big West conference championship on Saturday with a 6-0 win.  Tyler Pill threw seven shutout innings and allowed only five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.  Ryan Ackland finished things off by allowing only one hit in two innings.  The Titans jumped out to a lead on a two run double in the first inning by Nick Ramirez and scratched out a run in the second but were held down until breaking out for three runs in the seventh to put the game away with Carlos Lopez and Greg Velasquez having RBI singles in the inning.  The first seven batters in the lineup all had hits for the Titans.

Fullerton wrapped up the regular season and the series with an 11-6 win.  The Titans had their hitting shoes on as they rapped out seventeen hits and four hitters had three hits - Lorenzen, Jared Deacon , Richy Pedroza and Pill, who also had four RBI and hit his first HR of the season.  Christian Coronado threw five effective innings in his first start for the win and Ramirez came in late when Northridge started to rally to finish things off for his sixteenth save as he moved into second on Fullerton's single season save list and tied the school career save record that he now shares with former Titan standout Chad Cordero.

Post-season play starts this weekend with Fullerton hosting a regional for the eighth time in nine seasons.  The first game of the regional will be played at 4:00 on Friday with the second seeded Stanford Cardinal playing the third seeded Kansas State Wildcats.  The second game will be played at 8:00 on Friday with Fullerton playing the fourth seeded Illinois Fighting Illini.



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