Bryant’s Two Homers Doom Titans
SAN DIEGO – San Diego's Kris Bryant was responsible for two of the Toreros' three home runs as No. 10 Cal State Fullerton fell 7-3 to USD at Fowler Park on Tuesday night.
For the Titans (10-2), it was their second loss in a row, after starting the 2013 season with 10 consecutive wins.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 8-4.
Bryant, an All-American, drove in four of USD's seven runs with two swings of the bat. The Toreros' starting third baseman gave USD a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run shot, and extended San Diego's lead to 7-2 with a second two-run round tripper in the sixth.
Cal State Fullerton starter J.D. Davis (1-1) was issued the loss, after allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two. As a staff, the Titans walked a season-high six batters as Bryan Conant, Jose Cardona, Joe Navilhon and Michael Lopez also made appearances.
San Diego reliever Max Homick (2-0) was credited with the win, tossing two shutout innings in relief of starter PJ Conlon. Trevor Bayless and Michael Wagner also appeared in relief for the Toreros.
For the first time this season, the Titans gave up runs to an opponent in the first inning, when Bryant launched a one-out, two-run homer over the left field fence.
Cal State Fullerton evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth as Matt Chapman's one-out triple to right center started the rally for the Titans. Davis helped his own cause by driving in Chapman with a single that found a hole through the left side. Michael Lorenzen then tripled to right center, as Davis was able to score all the way from first to even the game at 2-2. Conlon faced one more batter and retired Chad Wallach, before the Toreros brought in a lefty, Homick out of the bullpen.
San Diego punched right back at the Titans in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits while facing three Titan pitchers. Connor Joe led off the bottom of the frame with a solo home run to left field before Davis walked Andrew Daniel, spelling the end of his night in favor of Conant.
Pinch-hitter Austin Green received a lucky bounce when his grounder deflected off third base, allowing Daniel to move from first to third and putting runners on the corners. Daniel scored USD's second run of the inning as Logan Davis launched a sacrifice fly into right field. With Green sitting at third after a wild pitch and the sacrifice fly, the Titans went to the bullpen for the second time as right-hander Jose Cardona was called on to make his first appearance of the year.
The first pitch Cardona offered was ripped into right field by Chris Wooley, allowing Green to score the Toreros third and final run of the inning as USD led 5-2 after four.
USD hit its third home run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as Navilhon issued a two-out walk to Lucas Hagberg, and paid the price when Bryant launched his second home run over the left field wall to give the Toreros a 7-2 advantage.
CSF's Austin Kingsolver led off the ninth with a solo home run, but the Titans would get no closer.
The Titans return to action on at 6 p.m., Wednesday at USC.
Notes: Bryant's two-run homer in the first marked the first time a Fullerton opponent scored against the Titans in the first inning of a game this season…for the first time in 2013, Carlos Lopez was not the Titans' starting first baseman, and Chad Wallach received the start at first. Lopez had started every game at first base since March 13, 2012…A.J. Kennedy's single up the middle in the top of the third was the first hit of his career…Fullerton surrendered multiple home runs (3) to an opponent for the first time in 2013…USD's three-run fourth inning matched the most runs Fullerton has surrendered to an opponent in a single frame…the Toreros' seven earned runs were the most the CSF pitching staff has allowed this season, along with issuing a season-high six walks…Kingsolver's home run in the ninth was also his first of the season.