June 3, 2012

CBI Live: #1 Oregon 8, #4 Austin Peay 1

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Back For Seconds

By Taylor Gelbrich



EUGENE, Ore. – No. 4 Austin Peay squared off against No. 2 Cal State Fullerton as both teams were vying to stay alive and get a chance for revenge against top-seeded Oregon in the final of the Eugene Regional.


Austin Peay has been the underdog all season and all regional. Even head coach Gary McClure said they don't get respect.


The Governors (40-23) gave the ball to Casey Delgado, a 5-10, 170-pound, right-handed junior whose season numbers consisted of an 8-4 record with a 6.13 ERA and a .296 opponent batting average.


Those aren't really numbers you want with your pitcher going against a baseball powerhouse and Big West champion, but Delgado probably threw the best game of his career.


Delgado (9-4) tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout with three walks and four strikeouts in Austin Peay's 3-0 win over the Titans (36-21). Austin Peay will be back in a regional final for the second straight year in a row.


"He threw strikes,” said Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook. “He threw the fastball for a strike and he threw the breaking ball for a strike when he needed to. He had at one point, probably nine groundouts through 12 hitters. We didn't hit a ball in the air."


"He just pounded the strike zone,” said Titan shortstop Anthony Trajano. “He worked down in the strike zone and kept us off-balance."


Fullerton never got the bats going against Delgado, but did have its only chance in the fourth.


Richy Pedroza led off with a double and was immediately moved to third on an Ivory Thomas sacrifice bunt. Fullerton sent to the plate their No. 3 hitter, Carlos Lopez, and he connected with a curveball down and in that he hit on the ground to the second baseman. Jordan Hankins elected to throw home to try to preserve the scoreless tie and just barely nabbed Pedroza at the plate.


The Titans never threatened again for the rest of the game.


Fullerton elected to go with usual designated hitter J.D Davis for the start, only his fifth of the year. Davis gave up just four hits over six innings in his no-decision.


Austin Peay was finally able to break through in the top of the eighth. Jon Clinard led off with a walk, bringing in Jose Cardona from the pen. APSU was able to execute a great hit-and-run behind the bat of Hankins, which gave the Governors runners on the corners with nobody out.


The next pitch from Cardona was wild and got away from catcher Casey Watkins as the Governors took the 1-0 lead. Hankins was able to move over to third on a Reed Harper flyout to left and on the very next pitch Rolando Guatier extended the Governors' lead to two with a base hit up the middle to score Hankins.


"Their guys came through when they had to and we didn't," Vanderhook said. "We didn't have many scoring opportunities, one, and we had our best guy up and we ground out on the first pitch."


Guatier took second on another wild pitch and the Governors were in scoring position yet again. Dimitri DeLaFuente seemed to get the inning-ending popup from Tyler Childress in the middle of the infield. A charging Matt Chapman came all the way from third to take it, only to trip over the mound and have the ball fall for a base hit. Guatier scored from second as Austin Peay took a big 3-0 lead over Fullerton and never looked back.