Andy Ruscitto hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning to lift Fullerton College to an 8-7 upset of Cerritos Thursday in a South Coast Conference baseball game at Fullerton.
The home run was Ruscitto's second of the game. The victory was Fullerton's second this season over Cerritos, the top-ranked team in the Southern California baseball poll. Fullerton, which was picked sixth in the conference, won the first meeting, 4-3, at Cerritos on March 3.
The victory moves Fullerton (7-2, 11-5-2) into a first-place tie with Cerritos (7-2, 15-3).
Ruscitto, a freshman first baseman from Valencia High School, leads the Hornets with five home runs this season. Fullerton has 10 overall.
Fullerton entered the ninth inning behind, 7-5. Reggie Brown singled to start the inning and scored on pinch-hitter Mike Baker's triple.
Baker was jammed by Tim Lockhart's pitch and hit a looping fly ball that left fielder Glenn Twardy and center fielder Rod Sherman went after. But the pair crossed and neither picked up the ball, allowing it to roll to the fence and Brown to score.
Lockhart then got Emmitt Cohick to hit a ground ball back to him. Then Lockhart hung a curve ball that Ruscitto hit over the right-field fence.
Craig Oden (2-0) got the victory and Lockhart (4-1) took the loss.
"I was looking fast(ball)," said Ruscitto, who was 2 for 4 with four RBIs. "But I just made the adjustment on the curve."
Craig Wilson hit a three-run home run in the first inning as Cerritos opened a 4-0 lead.
Fullerton loaded the bases in the first with two outs, but Lockhart appeared to be out of the jam when he got Scott Einhorn to hit a fly ball to right. But right fielder David Lozano had the ball go off his glove for a three-base error, allowing three runs to score.
Cerritos scored single runs in the third and seventh innings and led, 6-3, going into the bottom of the seventh.
With two out, Lockhart walked Cohick, and Ruscitto hit the ball off the top of the center-field fence. When the ball rolled away from Sherman, Ruscitto was able to beat the throw to the plate for an inside-the-park home run.
Ruscitto earlier had been hit by a pitch and struck out twice.