Baseball Drops 12-11 Heartbreaker To Cal State Fullerton
March 27, 2001
FULLERTON, Calif. - Senior first baseman Aaron Rifkin hit a two-run, two-out bases loaded single to cap a four-run rally Tuesday and the No. 24 Cal State Fullerton Titans defeated the No. 12 USC Trojans, 12-11, in a wild non-conference game at Goodwin Field. There were six lead changes during the game.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and down by three, the Titans (16-10) got started on their rally with a double down the left field line by center fielder Chris Stringfellow. Jason Corapci walked and pinch hitter Louie Lamoure singled to left, loading the bases.
After freshman Fraser Dizard (2-2) replaced Brian Bannister for the Trojans (19-11), pinch hitter Geoff Comfort walked to score a run. Second baseman David Bacani hit a ground ball to short and reached on a fielder's choice as USC's Seth Davidson retired Comfort at second on a strong defensive effort as Corapci scored. Robert Guzman loaded the bases again with a walk. Dizard got ahead with a 1-2 count on Rifkin, who then fouled off three pitches and worked to a 2-2 count before the game-winning hit.
Rifkin finished the game with a 3-for-6 night with a home run and four RBI.
In an ironic twist to the game, Shane Waroff (1-0) got the win for the Titans after coming into the game in the top of the ninth with two outs and picking off Rob Garibaldi at first to end the inning.
USC looked to win its fifth straight game after rallying from an 8-6 deficit after four Fullerton errors in the seventh allowed the Trojans to tie the game, 8-8. Brian Barre hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Josh Persell hit a solo shot to center in the ninth for the Trojans' three-run lead.
Alberto Concepcion went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI and is now 7-for-9 in his last two games.
Another wild play took place in the bottom of the fifth when with runners at second and third and a 6-6 game, Jordan Olson in an attempt to intentionally walk Bacani threw the ball over Concepcion's head to give Fullerton the 7-6 lead.
In the Trojans' seventh, Anthony Lunetta scored from first when he advanced to second on a ground ball hit to Fullerton third baseman Shawn Norris. Norris tagged third to force Davidson but threw the ball away on his attempt at first. The throw from right to the plate came ahead of Lunetta, but catcher P.J. Pilittere dropped the ball, allowing Lunetta to score. Persell, who advanced to third, scored on the next play when Norris made another error on a ground ball by Michael Moon.
The Trojans will host San Diego State at Dedeaux Field on Wednesday (March 28) at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on www.usctrojans.com.
USC 002-310-221--- 11-15-1CS Fullerton 103-031-004--- 12-14-4
WP - Waroff (1-0) LP - Dizard (2-2)Clark, Olson (4), Bannister (6), Dizard (9) and Concepcion.Littleton, Zahari (5), Cordero (7), Waroff (9) and Pilittere.T - 3:59 ATT - 1,897