Cal State Fullerton’s season ended last year with UCLA celebrating on the Titans’ home field, having earned a College World Series berth after sweeping the Fullerton Super Regional. Before the game, the Titans’ coaching staff told the players to remember the crushing feeling they had watching the Bruins’ joy.
The Titan players responded, grinding out a 4-3 win over UCLA (18-13) thanks to a three-run fifth inning.
“They dogpiled on our field last year, so it was nice to get a W over them,” junior third baseman Matt Chapman said. “It’s just another game, but it definitely had a little bit of redemption in it.” Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — Arizona State forced UCLA starter James Kaprielian to throw 41 pitches in the first inning, scoring two runs on an error after loading the bases with no outs. But head coach Tim Esmay thought the Sun Devils (13-11, 3-4) could have easily put together a five- or six-run inning in the situation.
In the next frame, Arizona State added a run on a solo homer by Colby Woodmansee that appeared to get an extra boost over the left field wall when it bounced out of the glove of a leaping Ty Moore. But that would be the extent of the Sun Devils’ offense as Kaprielian settled in and got stronger as the game progressed, leading UCLA to a 7-3 victory Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay talks about the Sun Devils not fully capitalizing on early opportunities when they had Kaprielian on the ropes. He also discusses starter Brett Lilek’s short outing and bouncing back the rest of the weekend: Continue reading
Long Beach State took a 3-2 victory to even its annual non-conference series with rival Cal State Fullerton with the assistance of a Titan blunder on a routine fly ball to centerfield Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Dirtbags chased Fullerton starter Phil Bickford in the sixth inning after tying the game, 2-2, on an Ino Patron RBI single to plate Garrett Hampson. Reliever Willie Kuhl entered and induced a routine fly to centerfield.
I took my first trip up to the Central Coast of California to get another look at Cal Poly southpaw Matt Imhof against a Pac-12 lineup (the Mustangs’ third series against Pac-12 competition). Behind three hits from Mark Mathias, Cal Poly took a 4-1 victory over California at Baggett Stadium Friday night.
Imhof didn’t dazzle (despite striking out the side in the first), but he was still very good, striking out nine and allowing only one run on three hits and four walks in 7.2 innings. He only got stronger as the game progressed — four of the final five outs he recorded were strikeouts.
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — “A win is a win…I’ll leave it at that. A win is a win.”
That’s how Cal State Northridge first-year head coach Greg Moore summed up the Matadors’ 1-0 victory over Stony Brook. The Wednesday afternoon affair at Matador Field featured only eight combined hits and a walk-off walk.
On Long Beach Little League Day at Blair Field, there was some Little League defense early on as the two teams combined for six errors on the day. The game’s first two runs were unearned and a Long Beach State mental error helped set up the eventual game-winning run.
Indiana scored first in the fourth inning. Kyle Schwarber had been thrown out at the plate after he got a bad read at second base, initially breaking back on a Sam Travis line drive to right field. But Travis was able to score from second base on a ball hit in the deep 6-hole. Garrett Hampson ranged over to glove the ball and fired to first, but Ino Patron inexplicably muffed the catch at first base.
Another miscue by Schwarber allowed the Dirtbags to even it up in the sixth inning. Richard Prigatano led off with a single to right field, but Schwarber allowed the ball to scoot by him and Prigatano sauntered into third. He scored one batter later when Patron lined a single to even it up.
Make sure to check out CBD photographer David Cohen’s photo gallery at the bottom.
NORTHRIDGE, Calif — Cal State Northridge entered the week with the nation’s best fielding percentage, fielding at a .987 clip, but that might not be the case when next week’s rankings are released. The Matadors (7-11) committed three errors Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field, including a pair by third baseman Nicolas Osuna in the first inning that helped San Diego State baseball rush out to an early lead that would never be tested.
The Aztecs (12-4) handily won 12-0, jumping out to a 4-0 lead before Northridge ever got an opportunity to swing the sticks in the first inning. Tim Zier knocked a two-run homer over the left field wall after Greg Allen walked to lead off the game. A pair of singles and a pair of Osuna errors assisted San Diego State with another pair of runs.
When San Francisco beat Cal State Fullerton in a 19-inning contest earlier this year, the game lasted 4 hours, 55 minutes. On Wednesday night at Page Stadium, Loyola Marymount and Cal State Northridge battled for a full 45 minutes longer, despite only needing 13 innings to decide a victor.
But on the 453rd pitch of the night, LMU cleanup hitter Tanner Donnels sharply chopped a ball to first base. William Colantono bobbled the ball and fired home late, allowing David Fletcher to slide in with the winning run to give the LMU Lions a 12-11 win in the bottom of the 13th.
“The first pitch I saw, I just tried to take a good swing to it,” Donnels said. “I barreled it up pretty good and I was lucky enough that the first baseman bobbled it a little bit and we got the win.”
IRVINE, Calif. — UC Irvine wanted an insurance run.
Leading 3-2, the Anteaters got a leadoff walk from Grant Palmer to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Head coach Mike Gillespie had Chris Rabago sacrifice Palmer to second base to set up preseason All-Americans Taylor Sparks and Connor Spencer, who combined for 159 hits and 85 RBI in 55 games last season.
All Sparks or Spencer needed was to knock a base hit. But instead, Sparks racked up his seventh strikeout in four games and Spencer grounded out to end the inning — and continued the Sparks/Spencer First Hit Watch that is now a combined 31 at bats deep. Two All-Americans now 0-for-31.
Last weekend I attended the Texas vs. Texas State fall scrimmage. Texas had played the previous day against Lamar and lost a rain-shortened scrimmage. Texas State, a new member of the Sun Belt conference, travelled 30 miles north to Austin to take on the Longhorns.
Fall games are a little different than the regular season in that the coaches are really trying to see all of the guys play in a game situation, so I saw a Texas lineup that featured 3 designated hitters and a Texas State pitching rotation that featured 12 pitchers in 12 innings. Continue reading