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Kotsay, Jones Lead Titans to Victory


Cal State Fullerton's 1995 College World Series championship banner was unveiled Friday night at the home opener, then the Titans went on a hitting spree reminiscent of the team that won it.

Mark Kotsay gave the 2,083 at Titan Field a reminder of his dramatic series title game performance with two home runs in Fullerton's 17-2 victory over Fresno State in the first of a three-game set.

The crowd was the second largest since the field opened in 1992.

Shortstop Jack Jones also had a big night with the first grand slam of his college career in the eighth inning and a total of six runs batted in. It was his second consecutive game with four hits.

Kotsay had two home runs when Fullerton beat USC, 11-5, for the championship last year in Omaha, Neb., and two other times last season.

Brian Loyd, who had been hitless in 11 at-bats in the first three games of the season, had two hits, including a three-run triple. Jeremy Giambi and Tony Martinez also had two hits and two RBIs.

The Titans (3-1) had 16 hits, including nine for extra bases. Fresno State is 3-3.

Kotsay said he was surprised that his first homer cleared the fence at the 400-foot mark.

"Dead center can be a graveyard here," Kotsay said. "I didn't think I could get it out. It was a good pitch . . . a changeup. The other home run was also on a changeup. I feel like I'm starting to get in a groove and everyone else is too. They're not able to pitch around me because everyone else is hitting well."

Jones has had nine hits in 17 at-bats this season.

"I'm seeing the ball real well," Jones said. "My rhythm is good, and I'm recognizing the pitches real early. I'm just up there having fun right now."

Junior Kirk Irvine, the starter, picked up the victory. Irvine (1-1)went six innings, giving up four hits and one run. He struck out four and walked three. Scott Hild, Todd Singelyn and Luis Estrella each worked one inning. Starter Mark Panatella (1-1) took the loss, giving up nine hits and eight earned runs in 5 2/3 nnings.

"We did a good job offensively, but we still have plenty of things to work on," Coach Augie Garrido said. "Everyone is working to get in their rhythm now."

Brent Billingsley (1-0), who pitched a eight shutout innings against Stanford, is the scheduled Titan starter for tonight's 7 o'clock game against Brad Tucker (0-1).

In Big West Conference women's basketball:

New Mexico State 73, Long Beach State 56--Anita Maxwell had 37 points and 18 rebounds for New Mexico State. Akia Hardy scored 17 points for Long Beach (11-10, 6-6).

In Golden State Athletic Conference men's basketball:

Azusa Pacific 90, Southern California College 72--Eric Walker scored 15 points for visiting SCC, which trailed, 41-37, at halftime.

In Golden State Athletic Conference women's basketball:

Azusa Pacific 60, Southern California College 48--Angela Minor scored 15 points for SCC (8-14, 1-6), which played its third consecutive game without leading scorer Heather Woodruff (sprained ankle).

In nonconference women's softball:

Cal State Fullerton 0-5, Cal State Northridge 5-1--Monica Bagalayos was three for four with a triple and two RBIs as the Titans (1-1) split a double-header to open their season.

In Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men's volleyball:

Long Beach State 3, Stanford 0--The 49ers, ranked third in the nation, defeated fifth-ranked Stanford, 15-5, 15-11, 17-15. Martin Wagner had 18 kills and seven blocks for visiting Long Beach (6-0, 3-0). Matt Fuerbringer, formerly of Estancia High, had 22 kills for Stanford (4-1, 3-1).

UC Irvine 3, UC San Diego 0--Evan Alexander had 18 kills for Irvine (5-5, 1-5), which won its first conference match, 15-10, 15-5, 15-9.

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