Mike Noel hit a one-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to give Fresno State a 7-6 victory over Cal State Fullerton Saturday night in a Big West Conference baseball game at Fresno.
Fullerton had a 6-5 lead after the top of the ninth and Dave Staton’s two-run home run. It was the “farthest ball hit in my life,” said Staton, who went two for three with a double and the homer.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Fresno State’s Tim Lockhart walked, and Chris Gonzalez and Tom Goodwin both singled, loading the bases for Noel. Noel singled, scoring Lockhart and Gonzalez.
Fresno State’s Bobby Jones (5-4) allowed two hits and struck out four in 2 2/3 innings for the victory. Fullerton’s James Popoff (0-1) pitched eight innings, giving up four hits and striking out 10.
Fresno State (40-17, 15-4) scored three runs in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1, a lead the Bulldogs did not relinquish until Staton’s home run.
Fullerton (30-26, 10-10) is tied for third in the Big West with UNLV. Fullerton must win today in its 1 p.m. game at Fresno, and Long Beach has to beat UNLV for Fullerton to claim sole possession of third--a position that would give Fullerton consideration for a NCAA Regional tournament playoff berth.
In another Big West Conference game:
UC Irvine 8, Pacific 3--Chris Gallego went four for five with two RBIs to lead Irvine (19-35-1, 5-15) at Pacific.
Jeff Haack (2-7) gave up nine hits and struck out three in seven innings for the victory. Mark Trounter went four for five with a double and an RBI for Pacific (15-40, 4-15).
In a nonconference softball doubleheader:
Cal State Fullerton 7-6, U.S. International 2-2--In the first game, Carey Hess went two for four with a double and triple to lead Fullerton in San Diego. The Titans scored five runs in the second inning, and Ann Van Dortrecht (19-7) earned the victory.
In Game 2, the Titans scored three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, and Anjie Bryant (25-5) earned the victory.
Fullerton finished its regular season at 47-13 and must await the seedings of the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. regional tournament, to be played May 19-20. USIU finished 15-37.