Five Home Runs Help Power Fresno State Past San Diego 9-8
June 2, 2006
Fresno, Calif. - Nick Moresi and Fresno State made good use of the long ball, scoring eight of their nine runs on five home runs as the Bulldogs moved on in the winner's bracket of the Fullerton NCAA region after defeating San Diego 9-8. Moresi hit two home runs good for five RBI, and Erik Wetzel, Frank LoNigro and Kent Sakamoto each contributed one as the Bulldogs advance to play the winner of the 8 p.m. game.
Both Fresno State starter Eddie Romero and San Diego ace Josh Butler started out the game in control even in the hot temperatures in Southern California. Butler gave up one hit through the first two innings, and Eddie Romero retired eight straight batters after giving up a double in the second to move through the Torerro's lineup.
The Bulldogs got on the board against Butler first, as Erik Wetzel hit his first homer of the year in the third inning to move Fresno State into the lead. The Bulldogs continued to send balls deep in the second, as Kent Sakamoto walked ahead of a Nick Moresi home run to add two more runs, and Frank LoNigro pounded a solo shot two batters later as the team moved ahead 4-0.
San Diego answered back in the top of the fifth inning. Logan Gelbrich started the action with a leadoff single, and Josh Romanski homered to cut the Bulldogs lead to two with no outs. Another single kept the rally going, and after a groundout, Romero hit Steve Singleton and Keoni Ruth singled to load the bases. Catcher Jordan Ambruzzo then brought the Torreros all the way back with a 2-RBI single, and a sac fly by Rob Lilly put the Torreros ahead 5-4.
Utilizing home runs one more time, the Bulldogs opened the sixth inning with a solo home run from Kent Sakamoto to tie the game at sixth, and worked their way into a two-out rally in the seventh. Ozzie Lewis started the rally with a single through the left side, and flipping the side, left-hander Steve Susdorf singled through the right side to put runners on first and second. Kent Sakamoto then hit a seeing-eye single, popping a ball just over the third baseman's head into left-field, scoring the go-ahead run, and Nick Moresi continued the scoring with his second home run of the game, moving the Bulldogs ahead 9-5 through seven.
San Diego had one more rally left in the tank going into the ninth. Reliever Jason Breckley retired the side in order in the eighth inning, but struggled in the ninth, as Logan Gelbrich singled to start the inning, and after a flyout, Kevin Hansen also singled to put runners on the corners. Another single by Josh Snyder made the score 9-6, and a double by Steve Singleton brought home another run and put the tying run in scoring position. Brandon Miller entered the game and got a grounder from pinch hitter David Harris, but Harris beat the throw to first with a head-first slide to bring home one more run, making the score 9-8 with runners on the corners.
Brandon Burke then entered the game for the Bulldogs with the tying run at third. Burke settled in and struck out Jordan Abruzzo for the second out, and then picked off Harris at first to end the ballgame, sealing the `Dogs win and earning his fifth save of the season. Eddie Romero got his 13th win, pitching seven innings and striking out four.
Fresno State continues play in the Fullerton regional tomorrow, playing at 8:05 p.m. against the winner of the Cal State Fullerton-St. Louis game. That game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU and will be covered locally on the radio by KMJ 580 AM.