Cal State Fullerton sophomore Ronnie Prettyman doubled home the game-winning
run with two outs in the top of the ninth and junior Chad Cordero struck
out two of the final four batters as the Titans advanced to the regional
championship game with a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon
at Goodwin Field.
The Titans improved to 45-13 overall while the Fighting Irish fell to
44-17. Notre Dame will meet San Diego in an elimination game on Saturday
night at approximately 7:55 p.m. PDT for the chance to meet Cal State
Fullerton in the championship game on Sunday.
With one out in the ninth, catcher Kurt Suzuki singled to center and moved
into scoring position after a bunt by Jason Corapci. That brought up Prettyman,
who sent a 1-0 pitch from Irish closer J.P. Gagne (4-6) into the gap in
right centerfield for a double, scoring Suzuki for the 4-3 lead.
Cordero (5-1), who came in to get the final out of the eighth, got Matt
Macri to strikeout swinging and got Javi Sanchez to pop out to second
for the first two outs in the ninth before walking Joe Thaman. Cordero
then got Steve Sollman to strikeout swinging to end the game.
Fullerton, the visiting team for this game, scored twice in the first
on a bases-loaded walk to Richie Burgos and an RBI groundout by P.J. Pilittere
for the quick 2-0 lead. The Titans posted another run in the third on
a bunt by Pilittere, scoring Shane Costa for the 3-0 advantage.
Titan starter Ryan Schreppel was solid through 5 2/3 innings of work,
allowing just three hits until a sacrifice fly by Sollman put the Irish
on the board in the sixth. Schreppel was lifted two batters later after
a pair of singles in favor of Darric Merrell, who got a ground ball to
end the inning.
Notre Dame then rallied to tie the score in the eighth off Merrell as
Matt Edwards had an RBI single to center and Kris Billmaier hit a deep
fly to right, scoring Brennen Grogan from third to tie the game.
Cordero earned the win in relief for the Titans, pitching 1 1/3 innings
and striking out two. Gagne allowed a run on two hits in an inning of
work for the loss.
Prettyman and Kyle Boyer each had a pair of hits for the Titans. Thaman
was 2-for-2 for the Irish while Edwards also added a pair of hits for
QUOTES Coach George Horton (Cal State Fullerton
Head Coach)…. “What a ball game between two outstanding teams! I am still
a little emotional about the game because I felt it slipping away near
the end, but the team stayed strong mentally and was committed to playing
team baseball all the way."
" The entire time we were thinking just get the ball over the plate,
get the outs when they were there, and get the runs when they were available
for us to get. We used the old ‘A-B-C’ mentality and put everything
into the game and we will do the same thing tomorrow against whomever
Ronnie Prettyman (Cal State Fullerton Starting Third Baseman)….
On the game winning hit…
“I was fooled on the pitch because I was expecting a fastball and
Gagne threw me a change up that I got enough of the bat on the ball to
put it out into a hole in the outfield. You have to give credit were credit
is due because Jason (Corapci) really made it possible for me to drive
in the winning run as he gave himself up for the better of the team.”
Ryan Schreppel (Cal Stat Fullerton Starting Pitcher)….
Talking about his pre-game workout…
“I was not feeing all that great before the game, but once I stepped
onto the mound with the lead I was able to find my spots and pitch the
game that I wanted. The entire time I was thinking hit my spots and throw
strikes so that I could battle with every single hitter that stepped up
to the plate without having to think twice about what I was doing out
there on the mound.”