Gophers fall to Cal-State Fullerton

John Hageman

 The Minnesota baseball team lost to Cal-State Fullerton Sunday 7-2 Sunday night in NCAA regional qualifier action in Fullerton Calif., setting up a winner-take-all rematch Monday night for the right to face UCLA in the NCAA super regionals. Minnesota and the Titans will face off at 10 p.m. Monday.

Cal-State Fullerton defeated New Mexico 11-3 earlier in the day in an elimination game of the double-elimination tournament to advance and play the Gophers, who beat the Titans 3-1 on Friday night in their first game of the regional.

The Titans jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a big second inning and never looked back, knocking Gophers starter Phil Isaksson out of the game after giving up eight hits and five earned runs in 2.2 innings. Nick Ramirez added a solo shot in the top of the third, and Carlos Lopez reached home on a double steal later in the inning to put the score at 5-0. Corey Jones added a two-run home run in the sixth give the Titans a 7-0 lead. 

The Gophers did not get on the board until the eighth with AJ Petterson’s two-out RBI single to score Drew Hanish. Michael Kvasnicka added a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to put the score at the eventual final 7-2.

Taking the mound for the Titans was Colin O’Connell, who went the distance with one earned run and seven hits allowed to go along with nine strikeouts. It was O’Connell’s first win of the season.