June 1, 2012

CBI Live: #1 Oregon 6, #4 Austin Peay 5

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Fullerton Foils Indiana State

By Taylor Gelbrich



EUGENE, Ore. – Cal State Fullerton took all the free passes that Indiana State had to offer on its ride to a 9-5 victory Friday in the opener of the Eugene Regional.


The Titans, known for their West Coast style of baseball, took advantage of all the free base runners to fuel their small-ball offense: The Sycamores handed the Titans five walks, four hit-by-pitches and two errors.


“Extremely disappointed in our performance today,” Indiana State coach Rick Heller said. “Probably the worst game we have played the whole season, more free bases than we have given all season, poor execution.”


The Sycamores battled and fought all game but weren’t able to overcome the errors and walks. They used six different pitchers throughout the game.


Ivory Thomas had only one hit for the Titans (36-19), but scored twice and drove in three.


Fullerton’s Grahamm Wiest looked to be cruising to another win after being given an early 5-1 lead but started to give ground to ISU (41-18) in the middle innings. He finished with five runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings of work. Koby Gauna (5-3) picked up the win after throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit ball for the Titans.


On the other side of the diamond, ISU starter Dakota Bacus, just didn’t have his stuff. He allowed five runs on five hits and issued four walks in 2.2 innings, a far cry from his season stats of a 2.37 ERA and 7-4 record. Reliever Tyler Pazik (0-1) took the loss with one run on one hit in 2.2 innings of work.


“Basically everything didn’t work out,” Bacus said. “In the bullpen I felt great, I looked good and came out and basically just laid it in.”


Fullerton got right to things in the first. After a Richy Pedroza groundout, the Titans loaded the bases with a base hit and back-to-back walks. With a full count, Anthony Hutting hit a fielder's choice to give the Titans their first run of the game. Matt Chapman followed up with an RBI single to right-center for a 2-0 lead.


Fullerton added another run to its lead in the second, taking full advantage of more free passes by Bacus. Anthony Trajano led off with a hit-by-pitch and moved to second on a balk, which led to a sacrifice bunt. With runners on first and third, the Titans made it 3-0 on a safety squeeze by Thomas.


Indiana State responded in the third. Ryan Walterhouse looked fooled on the breaking ball, but kept his hands back and drove a ball down the left-field line for a leadoff double. Koby Kraemer laced a ball up the middle for an RBI single to cut the Fullerton lead to 3-1. Wiest pitched out of the inning with a double-play ball and an inning-ending ground out.


Fullerton scored for the third straight inning and chased Bacus. Fullerton used a walk and three base hits in the inning to pad its lead to 5-1 after three.


The Sycamores wouldn’t go away that easy. ISU started off the fourth inning with three straight base runners on two walks and a base hit, but Wiest was able to limit the damage to a run by inducing a double play with the bases loaded.


Indiana State came back with a vengeance in the sixth. The Sycamores used two base hits, a double, and a triple to tie the game at 5. The offensive resurgence resulted in an exit by Wiest.


But Fullerton answered back in the bottom of the sixth. After a lead off base hit and a hit-by-pitch, Fullerton regained the lead 6-5 on a sacrifice fly from Thomas. The Titans used two hit-by-pitches and five base hits to increase their lead to 9-5 in the eighth.


The Titans will face the winner of the Oregon and Austin Peay.


When Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook (pictured above), who assisted Oregon coach George Horton with the Titans, was asked if he was rooting for or against his mentor, he said, “I have to root for Oregon. I don’t care who we played tomorrow, but it’s you know its Coach, I’m not going to root against him just because I don’t want to play him. I want him to win just as he wanted us to win.”


(photo by Matt Brown)