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Titans Beat Stanford in Ninth Inning

Baseball: Cardinal comes back from three-run deficit to tie score, but Fullerton's Ankrum drives in winner in 6-5 victory.

February 01, 1997|LON EUBANKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FULLERTON — Cal State Fullerton got some sweet revenge against Stanford pitcher Kyle Peterson Friday night.

Peterson, who was 24-6 with a 3.29 earned-run average over the last two seasons, held the Titans hitless through 7 2/3 innings in the 1996 season opener on the way to a 5-0 Stanford victory.

This time the Titans got to Peterson for five hits--three of them for extra bases--and four runs in the fourth inning for a three-run lead, but it took a game-winning base hit by C.J. Ankrum in the bottom of the ninth to give the Titans a 6-5 victory in the opener of a three-game series.

Fullerton's first victory in its second game of the season and the first for George Horton as Fullerton coach came in front of 1,886 at Titan Field against a team ranked No. 1 nationally in Baseball America's preseason poll. The series continues at 7 tonight.

Ankrum's game-winning hit scored Steve Chatham from second base with two out. Jerome Alviso opened the inning with a single, but two consecutive force outs at second and a throwing error by Cardinal shortstop Josh Hochgesang left Chatham at second.

"That was a great last at-bat by Ankrum," said Horton. "That was really a tough battle between him and the Stanford pitcher [Tony Cogan]." Ankrum had gone into the ninth zero for four at the plate. "I felt like I'd taken good at-bats earlier but hadn't done anything," Ankrum said. "He threw me some good pitchers and I finally was able to ge into one."

Titan starting pitcher Matt Wise gave up five hits and two runs over the first six innings, but Stanford picked up two runs in the seventh off reliever Brian Tokarse and another in the top of the ninth off Brandon Duckworth to tie the score, 5-5. Duckworth (1-0) was credited with the victory.

Wise got off to a shaky start, walking two of the first three batters he faced, but came back strong for two consecutive strikeouts to end the inning with runners on second and third. Wise also gave up a walk after two were out in the second but got the next batter to line out.

Two leadoff infield hits cost Wise a run in the third. Tony Schrager's bouncer between first and second skipped off Nakia Hill's glove and Joe Kilburg reached when his high bouncer popped over Alviso's head at shortstop.. Schrager scored on an infield out.

Peterson had given up a lone hit to Aaron Rowand through three innings, but Rowand's second consecutive single got the Titans rolling offensively in the four-run fourth. Mike Lamb's triple brought in the first run, and Nakia Hill doubled down the left-field line, driving in Lamb and designated hitter Ryan Fullerton, who had walked. Alviso drove in the fourth run with a double.

The next batter, catcher Mike Wright, singled to center, but Alviso was thrown at the plate by Jody Gerut, ending the inning.

Stanford (2-1) got a run back in the sixth when Chris Clark tripled to deep center. Rowand had the ball on his glove running toward the wall, but couldn't make the catch. Clark scored on Jeff Rizzo's sacrifice fly.

Doubles by Scott Seal and Hill gave the Titans another run in the sixth, building the lead back to three runs.

Tokarse, who had six consecutive strikeouts in two hitless inning in the opener against Cal State Northridge, took over for Wise in the seventh and gave up three quick walks. Despite that, he might have gotten out of the inning without a run, but Hill booted a potential double-play ball at second and two runs scored, cutting the lead to 5-4.

In the ninth, Duckworth gave up a walk and a hit batsman with one out, and a wild pitch advanced Jon Schaeffer to third. Schaeffer scored on Hochgesang's sacrifice fly to tie the score at 5-5.

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