Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Titans Bat Around in Ninth for Ninth Straight


From The Eagle (College Station, Texas

By Richard Croome

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Seventh-ranked Cal State Fullerton pounded out 21 hits for the game and scored eight runs in the ninth inning to win a rare midweek battle of Top 10 teams, beating No. 8 Texas A&M 15-5 on Tuesday at Olsen Field.

The Titans came in batting .306 as a team and did nothing to hurt that number, going 21 for 43. In their last six games the Titans are batting .383 with 19 home runs and have scored 68 runs.

"That's the best offense I've seen in a long time, 1 through 9, in their commitment to their game plan and their two-strike approach," A&M coach Rob Childress said.

In the ninth, Fullerton (10-2) sent 12 batters to the plate, had seven hits -- two for homers and two for doubles -- to break open a close game that had two ties and two lead changes.

"You only have so many opportunities, and we made some pitches to get out of some jams and get to that point but we didn't cash in early and couldn't keep it close in the ninth," Childress said. "To be down two [runs] in the ninth, I like our chances at home to at least make it close or make [Fullerton] a little bit nervous and have a shot."

A&M (11-4) sent four pitchers to the mound in the ninth but was unable to get the final out when the game was still within reach. Six of the final eight runs were scored with two outs.

Joe Scott's bases-loaded double that Brooks Raley just missed catching and back-to-back homers by Gary Brown and Christian Colon were the key hits that broke it open in the ninth for the Titans.

"It was a great game for eight innings, we were just unable to finish the game," Childress said. "[We] hit 1 for 11 with runners in scoring positions, and not cashing in in the first and third inning changes the whole middle to late innings of that game."

The Aggies continued their long-ball assault after hitting six homers on Sunday against Utah. Brodie Green made starter Noe Ramirez pay for hitting Kyle Colligan with a pitch, knotting the score at 2-2 with his third home run of the season over the left-field fence.

Colligan put A&M ahead in the bottom of the fourth with his second homer of the season, a liner over the Big 12 logo on the left-field fence.

"I thought [Colligan] had a great night, I really did. He went for every ball and tried to make every play," Childress said. "I was really glad to see his approach at the plate and him swing the bat well, which is one of the positives of the night."

Colligan raised his average from .161 to .200 with three hits.

A&M chased Ramirez in the fifth when Brooks doubled down the left-field line and Dylan Petrich hit the second base bag for a single and an RBI.

The Titans, who scored double-digit runs in all three games last weekend against Southern Mississippi, took their hacks at A&M starter Clayton Ehlert.

Ehlert gave up a season-high 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The last four batters he faced reached base, with a two-run homer by Josh Fellhauer being the big blow.

Ehlert had two outs at the time. He struck out the leadoff hitter, and catcher Kevin Gonzalez caught Gary Brown stealing for the second out.

Fellhauer hit his homer on the first pitch, and Jared Clark lined the first pitch he saw to right to end Ehlert's night.

The other two runs off Ehlert were created by doubles from Khris Davis and Brown. A Dustin Garneau single scored Davis in the second, and Fellhauer plated Brown with a single up the middle in the third.

Kyle Witten (2-0), the Titans' regular Saturday starter, got the win. He went 1 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and one unearned run.

A&M's Adam Smith scored the one run off Witten after leading off the sixth with a single, going to third on Witten's errant pickoff attempt and then running home on a wild pitch.

Aggie freshman Ross Hales (3-1) took the loss, giving up two runs in 1 2/3 innings after coming on in the fifth.

Davis hit Hales' first pitch in the sixth for a home run to right. It was his team-leading sixth homer.

One out later Garneau missed a homer by a couple of feet on a triple, and then he came home on a Scott ground out.

NOTES -- Dylan Petrich made a diving catch on Nick Ramirez's looping fly ball to left-center to save a run in the seventh when the Titans were leading 6-5. ... A&M's home game vs. Northwestern State on Wednesday was moved to March 25 because of the threat of rain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still Believe Noe gave Solid performance and really set the tone for this game. For a freshman to come out and hold the #3 ranked team in the country to 4 runs and have 6 K's that really says something. And how about that 1st base Blue was he Horrible or what??