Titans Finally Solve Stanford


David Bacani drilled a single up the middle to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night to give Cal State Fullerton a 5-4 victory over Stanford in the first of a three-game series.

Stanford (2-3), which swept a three-game series from Fullerton last season at Stanford, had won six consecutive games from the Titans before Bacani’s hit stopped the streak.

The Titans (1-1), ranked 15th in the nation by Baseball America, scored three runs in the ninth to overcome a 4-2 deficit.


The first run in the ninth came across after a walk to Aaron Rifkin, a double by Brett Kay and a sacrifice fly by Shawn Norris.

Robert Guzman doubled to center, scoring Kay with the tying run. Cardinal relief pitcher John Hudgins hit Shane Costa to load the bases before Bacani’s winning hit off reliever Ryan McCally.

Jeremy Guthrie, a sophomore right-hander, held the Titans to five hits and one unearned run in the first six innings.

Fullerton starter Jon Smith, a combined 18-4 in three previous seasons, wasn’t sharp in his first start of the season. Smith gave up four runs--two unearned--on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. He threw 65 pitches, 35 in the first inning.

Freshman Darric Merrell replaced Smith to get the final out in the fourth and retired nine consecutive batters before pinch-hitter Sam Fuld beat out a bunt with two out in the seventh. Merrell gave up three hits and no runs in 4 1/3 innings. Freshman closer Chad Cordero picked up the victory.

The leadoff batter reached base against Smith in each of the first four innings.

Stanford, ranked 14th, picked up an unearned run in the first after Smith walked leadoff batter Chris O’Riordan and, with two outs, walked Jason Cooper on a full-count wild pitch that sent O’Riordan to third. The run scored on a two-out error by Norris at third.


The Titans tied it in the bottom of the first. Bacani singled to center and went to third when the ball got away. Bacani scored on Jason Corapci’s high bouncer to short that went for an infield hit.

The Cardinal got to Smith for three runs in the fourth. Hits by Jason VanMeetren and Scott Dragicevich started the inning, Arik VanZandt singled in the first run with two outs, and two more came across on O’Riordan’s line drive over first base.

The Titans scored in the seventh on a walk to Bacani and hits by Rifkin and Kay.

The two nationally ranked teams meet again today at 1 p.m. in the second game of the series.