April 22, 2005
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Ricky Romero struck out 12 over 8 2/3 innings while Ronnie Prettyman's two-run double in the fourth pushed the lead to five as defending national champions Cal State Fullerton went on to a 5-1 victory over UC Davis in front of 2,351 at Raley Field.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 21-15 on the season while the Titans improve to 28-11.
In front of the largest Aggie crowd of the season, and just the third time in the school's history it has played at Raley Field, UC Davis battled the Titans down to the last out.
Trailing 5-1 entering the ninth, the Aggie loaded the bases with just one out following three singles. With the tying run at the plate, Romero struck out Tyler LaTorre for the second out of the inning before giving way to Vinnie Pestano. Against the only batter he faced, Pestano induced Dan Baldini into the field's choice, forcing Jimmy Goetz out at second to end the game.
The Titans opened the scoring in the second by putting up three runs. With two runs already in and a runner on first, Bobby Andrews lined a smash off Aggie starter Dave McKae. The ball went off McKae and right to first baseman Lukas Kirby, who stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning. Following the play, McKae was forced to leave the game after the ball hit him in the face.
Fullerton added two more runs in the fourth as Ronnie Prettyman drilled a two-run double to center field, pushing the Titan lead to 5-0.
That was more than enough for Romero, who held the Aggie bats in check all night. Following a leadoff bunt single from Brandon Oliver, Romero retired the next seven batters before walking David Huffman. After he second straight walk, he sent down the next eight UC Davis hitters.
In the sixth Oliver lined a one-out single, advanced to second on a Titan error, then scored the Aggies' only run on a triple to deep center off the bat of Aaron Hanke. That was all the offense UC Davis managed until the ninth, when it came up just short.
McKae lasted just 1 2/3 innings before leaving the game, allowing three runs, just one earned, on two hits as he took the tough-luck loss. Peter Soskin came on in relief of McKae and went the rest of the way, allowing two runs on eight hits while matching his career-high with eight strikeouts.
Romero was one out away from his second complete-game of the season, but gave way to Pestano, who picked up his seventh save of the season. Romero finished his night with 12 strikeouts, one shy of his season high, while giving up six hits and one run.
Offensively, Oliver had two of the Aggies' six hits, with Hanke providing the only extra-base hit of Romero. The Titans pounded out 10 hits on the night, three from Brett Pill and two from Justin Turner.
These same two teams play Game 2 of the series Saturday at Dobbins Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
UC DAVIS BASEBALL Cal State Fullerton (28-11) 030 200 000 - 5 10 1 UC Davis (21-14) 000 001 000 - 1 6 1 WP - Ricky Romero (8-4). LP - Dave McKae (6-3). Save - Vinnie Pestano (7). UC Davis: Dave McKae, Peter Soskin (2) and Tyler LaTorre. CSF: Ricky Romero, Vinnie Pestano (9) and John Curtis.
TOP HITTERS: UC Davis: Brandon Oliver, 2-3, Run; Aaron Hanke, 1-4, 3B, RBI; Daniel Descalso, 1-4; Lukas Kirby, 1-4; Jimmy Goetz, 1-4. CSF: Brett Pill, 3-4, 2B; Justin Turner, 2-5; Ronnnie Prettyman, 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Trevor Mortensen, 1-4, RBI; Danny Dorn, 1-3, 2B; Blake Davis, 1-2, 2 Runs, RBI; John Curtis, 1-3, RBI.