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Titans' Pitching Gives Way in Ninth in 11-10 Loss to Stanford


FULLERTON — Cal State Fullerton seemed well on its way to its second victory in two games Saturday afternoon against Stanford, the nation's No. 1-ranked college baseball team.

The Titans, ranked 15th, went into the ninth inning with a three-run lead, but Stanford (3-1) rallied to win, 11-10. Fullerton (2-1) won the opener of the three-game series between the teams Friday night, 11-9. The rubber game is scheduled for 1 p.m. today.

"What has shown up for both sides so far is mostly the inconsistency of the pitching," Titan Coach Augie Garrido said.

Mark Chavez, expected to be the top Titan relief pitcher this season, was on the mound in the ninth, but Stanford shredded him for four consecutive hits, including a two-run homer by catcher A.J. Hinch. Chavez had retired Stanford in order in the ninth Friday to preserve the victory.

Cale Carter opened the inning with a double and scored on Hinch's home run. Chris Clark followed with a base hit, and reserve outfielder Chris Draft drilled a triple down the right-field line, driving in Clark with the tying run. Draft came home with what turned out to be the winning run on Troy Kent's sacrifice fly.

"Chavez threw well enough to get it done, but you have to take your hat off to Stanford," said Titan associate head Coach George Horton, who handles pitchers. "Stanford hit some good pitches in the ninth."

The Titans had a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth with one out after Mike Lamb singled and moved to second on C.J. Ankrum's sacrifice, but pinch-hitter Ruben Hernandez was out on a fly ball to center and Mark Kotsay, who had four consecutive hits earlier in the game, lined out to right.

Stanford Coach Mark Marquess said he has been surprised by the hitting in the first two games. "Normally pitching is more dominant at this stage of the season, but the conditions were good for hitting again today. The ball carried."

Stanford scored four unearned runs in the first inning off Titan starter Tim Dixon. He walked in the first run, and Kent doubled in three runs before he was thrown out at third trying to stretch a double.

The Titans got two of them back in the first. D.C. Olsen's two-out single drove in Kotsay, who had doubled, and Joe Fraser, who walked.

Fullerton knocked out Cardinal starter Todd Bartels in the third. Brian Loyd singled, Olsen walked and both scored on hits by Lamb and Ankrum. Kotsay's two-out single scored Lamb and Ankrum, giving the Titans a 6-4 lead.

The Titans added another run in the fifth, when Tony Miranda singled and eventually scored on Lamb's sacrifice fly. Fullerton made it 9-4 in the sixth on Jeremy Giambi's two-run homer that hit the top of the screen at the 385-foot mark.

The Titans went with a new pitcher in the top of the seventh, although Dixon held Stanford scoreless for five consecutive innings. Tom Dillon was nailed for two runs in the inning. Stanford added another run in the eighth on Brian Dallimore's double. Fullerton's final run came in the eighth on Olsen's double off the center-field wall.

Fullerton had 14 hits, Stanford 13. Stanford left 10 runners on base and Fullerton stranded nine.

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