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CAMPUS REPORT

Oborn Keeps Streak Alive; Titans Lose

April 15, 1999|LON EUBANKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cal State Fullerton's Spencer Oborn took away some of the suspense early Wednesday night.

Oborn singled sharply to center in his first at-bat in the first inning and extended his hitting streak to 37 games, one game away from the Big West Conference and school record.

It was one of four Fullerton hits in a two-run first inning, but the promising start faded quickly for the Titans. They scored only one more run the rest of the way and dropped a 5-3 decision to sixth-ranked Pepperdine at Titan Field.

The loss broke a streak of 16 consecutive Fullerton victories at home. It was the second victory for the Waves (32-4) over the eighth-ranked Titans (30-8) this season.

The matchup of two of the nation's top teams and a warm night brought out a crowd of 1,245, including Dodger Senior Vice President Tommy Lasorda, who said he was scouting players on both teams.

Pepperdine starter Steve Schenewerk, a junior right-hander from Fountain Valley, went six innings, giving up only five hits and all three runs in earning the victory. Daniel Haren took over in the seventh, and Jay Gehrke closed it in the ninth. Gehrke picked up his 16th save, which leads the nation.

Schenewerk (6-0) was the winning pitcher in relief when Pepperdine defeated the Titans, 8-7, earlier in the season.

"He mixed it well on us after that first inning, and kept us off balance," said Oborn, who can tie Brent Mayne's 11-year-old record with a hit Friday night when the Titans open a three-game series against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. "It's a nine-inning game and they did better for nine innings than we did. We weren't as aggressive as we usually are at the plate."

The Titans had six hits, the Waves 13.

"That's a good baseball team, make no mistake about it," Titan Coach George Horton said. "They beat us earlier and they earned this victory. Our offense was very spotty."

Titan leadoff batter David Bacani and Reed Johnson delivered consecutive triples in the first inning for one run, and Oborn's hit produced the second run. It was the 12th time during the streak that Oborn has hit safely in the first inning and the 14th time in his first at-bat.

But things went down hill for Fullerton after that. Pepperdine came back for a run in the second on Damon Katz's RBI single, then picked up three more in the third off Titan starter Jordan DeJong (4-1). Catcher Dane Sardinha's double drove in two runs and another scored on Jared Pitney's single.

In the third, Chris Beck's pop fly that fell between three Wave players in short right scored Bacani from third. A bases-empty homer by Sardinha in the top of the ninth boosted Pepperdine's lead to two runs and gave him three RBIs.

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