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April 22, 2012

No. 12 Cal State Fullerton Clinches Big West Series With Walk-Off Win

FULLERTON, Calif. – First baseman Carlos Lopez doubled to the gap in left-center field to drive in the winning run as No. 12 Cal State Fullerton scored a walk-off 10-inning 5-4 victory over Cal Poly in the finale of a three-game Big West Conference baseball series Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.

Cal Poly rallied from 1-0, 2-1  and 3-2 deficits, but couldn't hold off the Titans in the ninth and 10th innings, falling to 22-16 for the season and 6-6 in Big West games. The Mustangs slipped one game behind UC Santa Barbara in the battle for third place as the Gauchos completed a three-game series sweep at Pacific with a 6-2 victory.

Cal Poly has not won a Big West series at Cal State Fullerton since joining the conference in 1997.

Cal State Fullerton improved to 26-13 and 9-3, remaining tied with Long Beach State atop the Big West standings. The 49ers edged UC Irvine 5-4 on Sunday.

Redshirt freshman right-hander Grahamm Wiest allowed two runs and eight hits in eight innings while Michael Lorenzen (2-0), who blew the chance for his 13th save in the ninth inning when Cal Poly scored twice for a 4-3 lead, earned the win with two innings of work on the mound.

The loss went to Mustang reliever Nick Grim (2-2), who allowed two runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings. He walked one – the only walk the Cal Poly pitching staff gave up all weekend – and that was to Ivory Thomas leading off the 10th. Thomas scored on the double by Lopez.

Redshirt freshman southpaw Matt Imhof  (pictured above) pitched well in relief for Cal Poly, allowing just one run and one hit in 4 1/3 innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

Cal State Fullerton scored in the first inning on an RBI single by Lopez and Cal Poly answered in the fourth on junior center fielder Mitch Haniger's run-scoring single down the left-field line.

The Titans regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on shortstop Matt Chapman's RBI double down the right-field line and Cal Poly tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth on a single through the right side of the infield by junior second baseman Denver Chavez.

Cal State Fullerton broke the deadlock in the sixth as Lopez doubled with one out and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly  to right field by left fielder Anthony Hutting.

Sophomore right fielder David Armendariz opened the ninth with a double and, two outs later, came home on a single to right field by sophomore catcher Chris Hoo. Chavez drew a walk and senior shortstop Mike Miller singled through the right side of the infield to knock in Hoo and give the Mustangs a 4-3 lead.

Cal State Fullerton tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Anthony Hutting, Austin Kingsolver and No. 9 batter Jared Deacon, a .190 hitter when he came to the plate.

Cal Poly produced double-digit hits for the eighth straight game, but has won only two of the games. The Mustangs outhit the Titans 12-9, led by Miller with his second straight three-hit contest. Armendariz, Chavez and sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen each added two hits.

Lopez finished with three hits and two RBI for Cal State Fullerton.

Cal Poly is 0-2 in extra-inning games, falling 6-5 to Cal State Northridge in 11 innings last weekend.

Cal Poly completes a stretch of playing eight of nine games on the road Tuesday night, visiting Fresno State for a 6:05 p.m. non-conference contest.

The Mustangs return home to host Pacific for a three-game set Friday through Sunday in Baggett Stadium.