FULLERTON, Calif.—I wasn’t in Irvine to see it with my own eyes, so I’m not sure I completely believe it. But GameTracker doesn’t lie: Fresno State’s reign atop the college baseball universe is over.
The Bulldogs were eliminated from the Irvine Regional by San Diego State today. The Aztecs got a sterling effort from junior righty Tyler Lavigne (7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) and two home runs from Brandon Meredith to win 4-1. The Wonderdogs finally ran out of magic.
I’m planning to head over to Anteater Ballpark shortly to see the Virginia-UC Irvine game, but I hate to leave Goodwin Field, where Cal State Fullerton and Gonzaga have a good one going. The Zags got to Daniel Renken for two runs in the first inning, but the Titans responded with three in the top of the second and added another run in the fourth to build a 4-2 lead. In the third, we finally saw the first scoreless full inning of this regional, after 29 consecutive innings with at least one run (not counting the ninth of last night’s late game, when the Titans did not get to bat).
Renken doesn’t look great for Fullerton; he’s working mostly in the 86-87 range, bumping 88-89, with a fastball that lacks life. He’s getting by with his 74-78 changeup and 76-77 curveball, but Gonzaga has threatened repeatedly, particularly in the fourth inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out, but Renken wriggled out of it by inducing a pop-up and a fly out.
Fullerton, meanwhile, has been as aggressive as advertised on the basepaths, and the Titans’ full-court press led to the second-inning rally. After Khris Davis drilled a solo homer to lead off the inning, catcher Dustin Garneau legged out a drag bunt, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Joe Scott’s triple to left-center. Scott did not hesitate to round second when the play was not handled cleanly in the gap, and his hustle paid off when Joey Siddons drove him in with an infield single.
Dave Perkin will remain at Goodwin Field to feed me updates.
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