CBB News Sources
Irvine, Calif. – Christian Colon had three hits including the go-ahead single in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon as No. 25 Cal State Fullerton overcame a 4-0 deficit for a 6-4 Big West Conference victory at No. 5 UC Irvine.
Fullerton won the long-awaited series, 2-1, with its ninth win in 11 games to improve to 18-10 overall and 4-2 in the Big West. UCI fell to 20-5 and 3-3.
Cory Arbiso went 7 innings to get the win and improve to 5-2. Travis Kelly retired all six men he faced for his first collegiate save.
Fullerton won the game with a 4-run seventh inning that started innocently and was aided by UCI’s inability to make a big play. With two out and Chris Jones at first base, the Titans ran the rightfielder and he barely beat the throw to steal second base, from where he scored on Dustin Garneau’s bloop single to right. Garneau went to second when rightfielder Sean Madigan threw high to the plate.
Garneau stole third without a throw and scored easily as Gary Brown hit a ground ball down the line that eluded third baseman Josh Tavelli for an RBI double that made it 4-3. Daniel Bibona, who had shut out the Titans on 2 hits through the first five innings, gave way to Tom Callahan, whose first pitch became an RBI single to centerfield by Josh Fellhauer that tied the game at 4-4.
Christian Bergman relieved Callahan and was greeted by Colon, who hit a ground ball that second baseman Tyler Hoechlin backed up on. Colon beat the throw to first for a single which earned him an RBI when Fellhauer, who had stolen second, came all the way home.
Fullerton added an insurance run in the eighth. Corey Jones singled, went to third on Joel Weeks’ single and scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Dustin Garneau.
UCI took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. A walk to Brock Bardeen and a two-out double off the glove of Brown by Madigan put runners on second and third and Tavelli drove them home with a ground-ball single to left. UCI got an unearned run in the next inning when Jess Cusick doubled off the wall in centerfield to score Ben Orloff, who reached on Colon’s throwing error.
UCI made it 4-0 in the fifth when two singles and two walks forced home a run. But Arbiso struck out Madigan to end the inning and the Anteaters would get only one more baserunner in the game.
Bibona sturck out six in the first three innings and didn’t allow a run until the sixth. Fellhauer singled, stole second and came home on Colon’s single to centerfield.