June 1, 2003
FULLERTON, Calif. – (courtesy of titansports.org) 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 Notre Dame.