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COLLEGE ROUNDUP : Titans Stagger at First, Then KO San Diego

March 31, 1993|SCOTT MILLER

It is a Cal State Fullerton baseball team that is still evolving, and after the rampaging Titans squeezed out an 8-7 victory at the University of San Diego on Tuesday afternoon for their 12th consecutive victory, Coach Augie Garrido figured his team had reached the stage of . . .

Boxers.

"If this were boxing, I'd say we're pretty doggone good counter-punchers," Garrido said.

Boxing or no, it's certainly accurate. The No. 22 Toreros, ranked in the Collegiate Baseball top 30 for the first time in their NCAA Division I history, threw three big innings at No. 4 Fullerton. The Titans not only refused to blink, they stared straight back--longer and harder.

San Diego (22-8) took a 3-1 lead in the second, only to have the Titans (20-7) tie the score in their next at bat. Then the Toreros scored an unearned run in the fourth to tie the score , 4-4, only to have the Titans get two in the fifth. Then the Toreros scored two in the seventh to tie the score, 6-6, only to watch Fullerton push two more across in the eighth.

"There were lots of mistakes on the basepaths, defensively and with the pitching staff," Garrido said. "For our guys, it was responsiveness and team attitude."

Nobody responded better than second baseman Jeremy Carr, Fullerton's lead-off man, who celebrated his 22nd birthday by going four for five with three RBIs, two stolen bases and three runs scored. He started the game by driving a pitch over the 309-foot sign in left field, then doubled in the third and singled in the fifth and eighth.

He also led the team in taking the most dugout razzing.

"The guys were just saying, 'Hope you have a birthday everyday,' " Carr said.

D.C. Olsen (three for four), freshman Ted Silva (4-1 on the season after taking over in the seventh and retiring eight of 10 Toreros) and Jim Betzsold (who extended his hitting streak to 11 games) also had a big day.

The Titans, who already have played 14 games against nationally ranked teams, travel to Nevada this weekend before continuing the road swing with a game at defending NCAA champion Pepperdine and three more at Nevada Las Vegas.

"I think the difficult schedule we played early shows," Garrido said. "They've been through adversity and failed. They found out who the enemy is.

"They looked in the mirror and saw themselves."

In another nonconference baseball game:

Chapman 9, San Diego State 3--Corey Giuliano (7-1) pitched his sixth complete game in nine starts for visiting Chapman (16-15). Giuliano pitched an eight-hitter with four strikeouts.

Buster Nietzker had a hit, drove in a run and scored two, Trevor Rush walked three times and scored three runs and Ben Mendoza had two hits and scored two runs for Chapman.

Kevin Cook, Chris Briones, and Octavio Medina each had a hit and an RBI for the Panthers.

In the Cal State Stanislaus golf Tournament:

UC Irvine finished ninth--Kevin Yamaguchi shot a final-round 77 to finished the three-round tournament with a team-best 226 for UC Irvine.

Mark Christensen had shot a pair of 74s for UC Irvine Monday but struggled to an 84 Tuesday.

Cal State Stanislaus won the tournament with a tournament-record 879. It was three shots better than Pacific's 882 last year.

In women's nonconference tennis:

UC Irvine 6, Brown 3--Krista Kuechler won at No. 2 singles and teamed up with Michelle Manley for a victory at No. 1 doubles for UC Irvine (5-10). Brown fell to 3-6.

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