Weekend Wrap-up: Rebel Sweep

The heart of Cal State Fullerton's lineup - Shane Costa, Kyle Boyer and Richie Burgos -- combined for seven hits and drove in eight runs on Sunday, leading the Titans to a 13-1 victory and a three-game sweep of UNLV.

Jordan DeJong (2-0) breezed through five shutout, three-hit innings for the victory.

Burgos slugged a three-run, two-out double to highlight a six-run Fullerton (6-3) fourth inning. The Titans collected six hits and two walks that frame but almost came away empty, due to 2-5 pickoff of Nick Fitzgerald with the bases loaded and none out.

When Chris Stringfellow grounded out, UNLV reliever Doug Thornton was on the verge of escape. But Jason Corapci and Costa walked, Boyer reached on an infield hit and the Burgos hit his double deep into right-center field. Mike Martinez capped the inning with an RBI single.

Jason Reuss (Canyon HS in Anaheim and Orange Coast College), UNLV's the senior right fielder and son of former Dodgers and Angels pitcher Jerry Reuss, hit a solo home run in the sixth.

The Titans won Saturday, 16-1, and on Friday, 12-2. The Rebels fell to 4-5 after starting well with weekend series wins over California and Nevada.

Now here's TitanCentral.com's analysis of Weekend No. 3 ...

BIG MOVE ON THE MOUND: Two weekends of solid bullpen work earned DeJong a starting rotation spot he might not relinquish.

The Titans had hoped to use DeJong in a valuable set up role to Chad ``Chief'' Cordero. But consecutive losses hung on juco transfer Jeff Housman forced a move by Coach George Horton, who turned to the much-traveled DeJong (two seasons at Fullerton, one at Tennessee, before coming back for a second tour) and the senior responded.

Wes Littleton (2-1) hurled his second consecutive commanding game, giving up one run and four hits in eight innings on Friday night. Amazingly, Littleton struck out eight and walked none, following a four -strikeout, one-walk effort against Fresno State.

Reliable Darric Merrell (2-0) pitched six innings on Saturday and gave up four hits.

It's still early, but the Titans seemed to have hit their weekend pitching stride: Littleton, Merrell and DeJong.

BIG MOVE ON THE FIELD: As had been rumored all week on this website, Horton yanked shortstop/leadoff man David Munoz from the starting lineup in favor of Justin Smyres.

The results were mixed.

The good: Smyres, giving valuable production from the bottom of the order, went 6 for 13 and Stringfellow didn't miss a beat adjusting to his new role as leadoff hitter.

The not so good: Smyres made three errors (two throws and a kick) on Sunday after flawless fielding games on Friday and Saturday.

Fullerton made six more errors this weekend, bringing the season total to a staggering - and totally unacceptable -- 21.

BIG BATS: The free-swinging Stringfellow drew just 18 walks (in 206 official at-bats( last season and seemed an unlikely candidate for the leadoff spot.

But against UNLV, String walked four times in going 2 for 9 with seven runs scored. A leadoff hitter is born?

Costa (8 for 10), Boyer (4 for 11, 6 RBI), Fitzgerald (6 for 11), Corpaci (4 for 10, 5 RBI) led the aggressive Fullerton attack.