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COLLEGE ROUNDUP

Titans Give Garrido a Rude Reception

March 03, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Nothing is getting in the way of the Cal State Fullerton baseball team these days. Not even the return of Augie Garrido.

The fifth-ranked Titans took care of all comers at their Kia Bash tournament, capping the three-day, round-robin affair with a 7-1 victory over UCLA Sunday night in front of 2,057 at Fullerton.

Fullerton (14-1) is off to its best start since 1996. Most important, the Titans are 5-0 against ranked teams, including victories over Tulane on Friday and defending national champion Texas on Saturday night.

"We've made it look pretty easy, but we know it's not that easy," Fullerton Coach George Horton said. "Our mission is to keep being hungry and act like a team that's not 14-1."

A standing-room-only Goodwin Field record crowd of 3,501 welcomed Garrido, who led Fullerton to three College World Series titles in 21 seasons as coach. Now in his seventh season at Texas, the 64-year-old Garrido said the scene was "overwhelming."

"I am aware of the genuine appreciation that exists here for the efforts we put forth from everyone when I was here," he said. "There were moments when I was choked up and near tears."

But the Titans were rude hosts, scoring seven runs in the first inning against the Longhorns en route to a 14-4 win. Jason Corapci led a 20-hit attack with four singles and Wes Littleton (3-0) gave up seven hits in eight innings.

The Titans kept it going Sunday, sending 11 batters to the plate in the second inning and scoring six runs. Second baseman Justin Turner had a two-run double in the outburst.

Dustin Miller, who improved to 3-1, gave up five hits in six innings and struck out five. The Titans slowed a UCLA lineup that scored 25 runs in wins over sixth-ranked Texas and No. 21 Tulane.

Abe Alvarez and Jered Weaver each pitched at least seven innings and struck out 10 in winning their starts, helping Long Beach State (10-5) defeat No. 13 Louisiana State on Friday and Saturday.

LSU bounced back with a 7-2 win Sunday but 11th-ranked Long Beach State still could move up in this week's polls.

Loyola Marymount (8-5) continued its strong play of late by winning a home series against San Jose State.

Pepperdine (7-4) used brilliant pitching and timely hitting to sweep three from Fresno State and UC Riverside (14-3) scored 37 runs and swept three games at San Francisco.

*

Sophomores Kaitlin Sandeno and Blythe Hartley each won three individual titles for USC at the Pacific 10 Conference women's swimming and diving meet at Federal Way, Wash.

Sandeno won the 400-yard individual medley, 500 freestyle and 1,650 freestyle races. Hartley became the first Pac-10 diver since Stanford's Katie Connors in 1988 to sweep all three events. USC senior Michala Kwasny won the 200 individual medley and the 200 butterfly.

Despite not winning an individual event, UCLA used its superior depth to win its second team title in three years by defeating runner-up Stanford by 91 points. USC was third.

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