NCAA BASEBALL : Powell’s Hitting Keeps Cal State Fullerton Alive
Cal State Fullerton’s Dante Powell gave the fans at the NCAA Midwest I Regional baseball playoffs at Stillwater, Okla., something to remember him by Monday afternoon.
Powell was six for six, scored three runs, drove in two more and stole three bases in the Titans’ 12-5 victory over Memphis State that gave his team its second chance at top-ranked Oklahoma State Monday night.
“Powell is an absolutely fantastic player,” Memphis Coach Jeff Hopkins said. “We threw everything at him, including the kitchen sink, and we still couldn’t get him out. Fullerton puts a lot of pressure on you with their running game and Powell is a big part of that.”
Titan Coach Augie Garrido said Powell, who hit his ninth home run in the sixth inning, “was brilliant--he really made things go.”
Garrido, stretched thin for rested pitchers, decided to start Tony Fetchel, a senior right-hander who had pitched only nine innings previously this season and had given up seven runs. He yielded four runs before being replaced by Dan Ricabal in the fifth. Ricabal gave up only four hits and one run in the last five innings.
Kyle Manship started for Memphis (52-11) and took the loss, giving up 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Titans (44-14) totaled 18 hits.
“Fetchel set us up with four innings that were important to us,” Garrido said. “It was (pitching coach) George Horton’s decision to start him, and I think it was a good call.” The move enabled Fullerton to conserve pitching strength for the title game later.
In addition to Powell’s big day, catcher Bret Hemphill had three hits, drove in three runs and scored two, and Adam Millan was two for five with three RBIs.
“The team responded well at the point in the game when we had only a one-run lead,” Garrido said. “We put either one run or two on the board in every inning after that.”