No. 15 Cal State Fullerton Hands No. 1 Baseball First Loss Of Year, 6-3

Feb. 3, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - No. 15 Cal State Fullerton (1-2) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and held on for a 6-3 victory to hand No. 1 Stanford (2-1) its first loss of the season in a NCAA baseball game at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. The Titans snapped a six-game losing streak versus the Cardinal dating back to the first meeting between the teams in 2001 and avoided a season-opening series sweep. David Munoz (4-5, 2B) and Shane Costa (3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) led a 13-hit Cal State Fullerton offensive attack.

Stanford's Carlos Quentin hit his second home run of the series for the Cardinal, a tape measure solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning.

Titan starter Darric Merrell (1-0) scattered seven hits and three runs over 5.1 innings to pick up the victory in his first start of the season. Relievers Jordan DeJong and Chad Cordero held the Cardinal scoreless on only one hit over the final 3.2 innings to secure the Titans' first victory of the year. Cordero recorded his first save of the season after picking up 14 saves in his freshman campaign.

Cal State Fullerton scored four times in the first two innings to spoil the collegiate debut of heralded Cardinal freshman starter Mark Jecmen (0-1), who was chased after 1.2 innings of work as he gave up seven hits and four runs to take the loss.

'I think I'll be much better the next time because you gain experience every time you go out there on the mound,' said Jecmen.

'It was a tough first outing, but I was pleased with his poise on the mound,' added Stanford head coach Mark Marquess.

Munoz scored the first run of the game on an RBI-double by Costa, who later came around to score on Kyle Boyer's RBI-single. Jecmen retired the first two batters of the second inning before allowing a pair of runs on three singles, a walk and a wild pitch. Costa's RBI-single ended Jecmen's afternoon.

Stanford closed the gap to 4-3 with single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings. Arik VanZandt led off the bottom of the third with a single and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Sam Fuld. Quentin's homer in the fourth inning cut the margin to 4-2. Scott Dragicevich doubled with one out in the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by VanZandt.

Cal State Fullerton answered with a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. Stringfellow led off the inning with a walk before Costa doubled to put Titan runners on second and third base. Boyer drove home Stringfellow with a sacrifice fly and Richie Burgos drove home Costa with an RBI-single to conclude the afternoon's scoring.

Andy Topham led off the top of the ninth inning with a single and stole second base but Cordero struck out two of the last three batters he faced for the save.

Burgos (2-5, RBI) also had a multiple-hit game for the Titans, while Boyer had a pair of RBI. Dragicevich (2-4, 2B), Topham (2-4, SB) and Jason Cooper (2-4) had two hits each for the Cardinal.

John Hudgins pitched 4.1 innings of effective middle relief for the Cardinal, allowing only two hits and one run with three strikeouts. J.D Willcox also held the Titans scoreless on two hits over the final 2.2 innings.

Stanford will hit the road for the first time this season for a three-game series at No. 6 Florida State next Friday-Sunday (6 pm, 2 pm, 1 pm, ET). The Seminoles (6-1) began the season by winning six-of-seven games on a road trip to Hawaii.

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