April 20, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, Calif - From watching the first four batters, you knew it was going to be a long day.
Cal State Fullerton (26-12, 9-2 BWC) scored six runs in the first inning with the first four batters getting base hits, helping them to a 12-6 win over UC Santa Barbara (16-23, 3-8 BWC) in Big West Conference action, Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyeska Stadium.
Gaucho starter Sean Thompson (Redondo Beach, Calif.) was roughed up for nine runs, eight earned, in 5.1 innings of work. The junior lefty falls to 2-2 on the season. Three relievers, Rob More (Torrance, Calif.), Mike Sutherland (Torrance, Calif.) and Alex McRobbie (San Anselmo, Calif.), gave up one earned run in 3.2 innings of combined relief.
Darric Merrell (6-2) gave up six runs on ten hits in six-plus innings of work to earn the win for the Titans. Jeff Housman held the Gauchos scoreless for the final three innings to earn his first save of the year.
Cal State Fullerton hit for the cycle in the first inning as they sent ten batters to the plate, with six getting base hits. The inning was highlighted by center fielder Chris Stringfellow's two-run homer over the left-center fence.
The Gauchos fought their way back into the game scoring a run in the second and two in the fourth to make it a 6-3 game, but the Titans would score again in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to pull away.
The 7-8-9 hitters for UCSB went a combined 7-for-12 with designated hitter, Matt Wilkerson (Trabuco Hills, Calif.) going 3-for-4 with two RBI and center fielder R.J. Smith (Redondo Beach, Calif.) going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Second baseman Chris Malec (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) also had two hits, going 2-for-5 with a run scored.
The Gauchos and Titans will wrap-up the three-game series tomorrow, at 1:00 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Gauchos will most likely go with Matt Moran (1-1, 6.56) against Jordan DeJong (6-2, 3.69).