FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 17 Cal State Fullerton clinched the series against No. 14 Oregon with a 5-2 victory on Saturday night, and remained undefeated in 2013.
The Titans were playing with heavy hearts, after teammate Nick Hurtado passed away on Friday night following a battle with bone cancer. Prior to the game, Hurtado was honored with a moment of silence, and Titan first baseman Carlos Lopez wore the No. 56 jersey in his memory.
Fullerton has now opened the season with 10 straight victories, the only Titan team to accomplish the feat in the program's Division I history, which dates back to 1975.
Michael Lorenzen gave Fullerton an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, hammering a two-out, three-run homer that smashed off the left field fair pole. Lorenzen homered after Richy Pedroza and Lopez led off the frame with back-to-back singles.
Lorenzen finished his evening 2-for-3, driving in three runs, and scoring twice. The right-hander also took the mound in the top of the ninth, and registered his third save of 2013. He tossed one shutout inning, and allowed just one hit.
Freshman right-hander Justin Garza improved to 3-0 after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk in eight innings of work. The rookie struck out four in his third straight quality start.
Garza had pitched five shutout innings until the Ducks (7-3) trimmed CSF's three-run lead to one in the top of the sixth. Garza gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Scott Heineman and Ryon Healy. Garza retired Brett Thomas, but Kyle Garlick laced a two-out, bases-clearing triple off the wall in right center to plate two for the Ducks.
The Titans punched right back in the bottom of the sixth as Lorenzen led the frame off with a double to left before UO starter Tommy Thorpe plunked Chad Wallach to put two runners on. Pinch-hitter Keegan Dale sacrificed the runners over to second and third, before Jared Deacon's pinch-hit sacrifice fly scored Lorenzen. Austin Diemer then kept the momentum rolling with a RBI triple off the wall in center that scored Wallach and gave the Titans a 5-2 advantage.
Thorpe (2-1) took the loss for the Ducks, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six.
The series finale is set for a noon first pitch from Goodwin Field.
Notes: Cal State Fullerton honored teammate Nick Hurtado with a moment of silence before the game…Hurtado passed away from bone cancer on Friday night. Fullerton first baseman Carlos Lopez wore the No. 56 jersey in Hurtado's honor… no other Cal State Fullerton team has started the year 10-0 in Division I history, dating back to 1975…Justin Garza, wearing number 8 on Saturday night, was the first player since the year 1990 to wear the jersey. Horton, head coach of the Ducks and former assistant coach and head coach at Cal State Fullerton, wore No. 8 from 1991-2007…the Titans have outscored opponents in the first inning 14-0 this season.