Cal State Fullerton junior closer Chad Cordero pitched the final 1 2/3
innings and broke a 19-year-old school record with his 33rd career save
as the Titans opened the 2003 NCAA Baseball Regionals with a 3-1 victory
over San Diego on Friday night at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton improved to 44-13 overall and advances to face Notre Dame in
a winner's bracket game on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. PDT. San Diego
fell to 31-29 overall and will meet Arizona in an elimination game on
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PDT.
The Titans scored a single run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Junior catcher P.J. Pilittere got the Titans on the board with a sacrifice
fly in the fourth, scoring Kyle Boyer for the 1-0 lead.
Boyer scored the Titans' second run of the night in the fifth after being
hit by a pitch and stealing second base. Up stepped Richie Burgos, who
promptly doubled to left field, scoring Boyer from second for the 2-0
Justin Turner made it 3-0 Titans in the sixth, laying down a bunt that
was mishandled by Toreros starter Kyle Collins (9-5) and allowing Jason
Corapci to score from third.
USD got a run back in the seventh as Freddy Sandoval led off the frame
with a home run that hit the foul pole down the right field line, cutting
the deficit to 3-1.
However, that would be all the offense could muster against Titans' starter
Jason Windsor (9-2) and two relievers as the staff combined to allow just
four hits on the night.
Windsor went 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on two hits, retiring 14 of
16 batters at one point, and striking out six on the night. Travis Ingle
allowed two hits in an inning of work before giving way to Cordero with
one out in the eighth. Cordero retired the final five batters in order
to earn his seventh save of the season.
Collins allowed all three runs on 11 hits and struck out four in seven
innings of work in the loss. Patrick Lucy pitched a perfect eighth inning
in relief for USD, notching a strikeout.
Five different Titans had two hits on the night, including Pilittere,
who was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Turner, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Four different players accounted for the hits for San Diego.
QUOTES Coach Rich Hill (San Diego Head Coach)…. “This was a well played game on both sides of the field.
This was a typical Cal State Fullerton win with a good pitcher and timely
hitting. I thought that our hitters got good barrel on the ball, but could
not find those needed runs against a quality pitcher like Windsor."
" Both teams were 1 or 2 hits away from breaking this game wide open
and Windsor used a better fastball than we expected to get the necessary
outs. I think that this team is very focused on tomorrow’s game
because every single player has a good outlook when it comes to tomorrow’s
starting pitcher for USD.”
Freddy Sandoval (San Diego Starting Third Baseman)…. “Going up against Windsor, we saw a really good pitcher
who went after every hitter. For myself, I have been hitting the ball
really well and seeing the pitches really well.
On the home run in the seventh inning:
"I was really focused in my earlier two at-bats and knew that if
I got the bat on the ball than good things would happen. Fortunately for
me, he threw me a 2-2 changeup and I was just thinking get the bat on
the ball and did not think about driving it out of the ballpark. I did
though and I thought that we might have a chance once the gates began
to open up a little bit.”
Coach George Horton (Cal State Fullerton Head Coach)…. “This was a very well played ball game for both teams.
There were a lot of opportunities for us to score, but we just could not
get that clutch hit that we needed when there were runners in scoring
"Looking back on earlier games between Cal State Fullerton and San
Diego, USD was missing some guys in the mid-week games and we knew that
Collins would be tough. This team had won 9 out of 10 coming into the
regional and we were not about to take them lightly. Collins made effective
pitches and showed a lot of guts when he allowed the first run. I think
that Jason (Windsor) pitched good and he has been our most consistent
pitcher as of late and he proved tonight that he is ready for the higher
level of regional play.”
Jason Windsor (Cal State Fullerton Starting Pitcher)…. “It is always great to stay in the winner’s bracket
because we know that we can continue on if we play well and trust in the
other guys on the team. My main focus tonight was to keep the ball down
and hit my spots because I knew that the guys behind me would pick up
the slack and make the important outs when they were needed.”