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COLLEGE ROUNDUP

Titans Smash Trojans

March 17, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Cal State Fullerton's baseball team bounced back from two Friday losses -- one on the field, the other in the indefinite suspension of its top pitcher -- by pounding USC, 11-3, Sunday at Dedeaux Field to earn a split in a rain-shortened, two-game series.

Next, the fifth-ranked Titans (18-4) will find out whether ace right-hander Wes Littleton will be lost to the team for an extended period.

Fullerton Coach George Horton will say only that Littleton violated team rules. "I'm going to meet with Wes on Tuesday and then meet with my administration," Horton said. "We're not sure what we'll do as far as how long it will be. My staff, my administration and I will put our heads together and come up with the next course of action."

Littleton, who could be a first-round draft choice, is 4-0 with a 3.05 earned-run average.

"We've talked about it as a team," center fielder Kyle Boyer said. "It's happened and we're dealing with it, but we're going to put this behind us. We're going to be fine."

Boyer had a career-high four hits Sunday, the big blow a sixth-inning grand slam that was helped along by a stiff wind blowing out to right-center field.

Shane Costa hit a three-run shot and Richie Burgos added a solo homer as the Titans had 16 hits. The teams rescheduled their rainout Saturday for May 5 at Edison Field.

The inconsistent Trojans (11-11) had won two in a row following a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Fullerton on Friday night. Left-hander Bobby Paschal, a freshman from West Hills Chaminade, struck out 12 and gave up an unearned run in seven innings but did not get the decision.

Another freshman, catcher Jeff Clement, hit his 11th home run of the season for the Trojans.

Heavy rains played havoc with the local teams Saturday, but most of those playing on the road thrived.

No. 7 Long Beach State (16-6) swept a two-game series at Wichita State, winning, 7-5, on Sunday behind John Bowker's two home runs and four runs batted in.

First baseman Mike Hofius also hit a two-run shot, following up on a solo blast he hit in Saturday's 4-3 victory. Troy Tulowitzki had the game-winning single in the eighth inning to give the 49ers their fifth consecutive victory.

Loyola Marymount (14-7) pounded Portland pitching in a three-game series sweep opening West Coast Conference play. Third baseman Jonathan Oller hit grand slams Saturday and Sunday in 15-5 and 14-2 victories. Oller homered twice Sunday and drove in five runs.

UC Riverside (18-4) split two games at UC Santa Barbara in a series that doesn't count in the Big West standings. The Highlanders scored seven runs in the eighth inning and Jaymie Torres pitched eight strong innings Sunday in a 10-3 victory. Tony Festa had five of the team's 17 hits and drove in three runs.

UC Irvine lost two of three to California, including a 2-0 shutout Sunday by Golden Bear pitchers Kyle Crist and Jesse Ingram.

Cal State Northridge continued to struggle, falling to 5-20 after being held to one hit in an 11-0 loss Saturday at Washington.

*

UCLA's Lena Nilsson won the 800-meter race Saturday in 2 minutes 5.13 seconds at the NCAA indoor track and field championships at Fayetteville, Ark. Nilsson won the 1,500 meters at last year's NCAA outdoor meet.

USC sophomore Allen Simms won the men's triple jump with a leap of 56 feet 7 inches for the fourth-best mark in the world this year.

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