Fullerton Wins Fourth Straight, Holds Off No. 10 UCLA
Los Angeles – In a battle of two top-10 teams, No. 4 Cal State Fullerton prevailed 9-6 over No. 10 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday night.
A messy game featured six errors – five by Fullerton (25-4) – but four Titans recorded multiple-hit efforts led by Michael Lorenzen's 4-for-5 performance as the center fielder drove in three runs and added two stolen bases.
The Titans enter the weekend at UC Davis on a four-game win streak, including their last eight road games.
Six UCLA (18-7) pitchers took the mound for the Bruins, issuing the Titans eight walks which aided Fullerton's effort and helped serve as an equalizer to five Titan errors and 11 CSF strikeouts.
Fullerton scored nine runs on 12 hits, the fourth straight game the Titans have recorded double-digit hits.
In addition to his effort at the plate, Lorenzen recorded his ninth save of the year, and 13th straight, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the ninth and fanning two.
The Titans broke the game open in the sixth as UCLA's first and only error of the game cost the Bruins four runs. A throwing error by James Kaprielian on Keegan Dale's bunt attempt kept the inning alive, as 10 Titan batters came to the plate in the frame.
With the bases loaded, Carlos Lopez drove a two-run single to left field before Lorenzen laced a two run single to center. In addition to the error, the Bruins walked four Titan batters in the sixth.
In the loss, UCLA starter Cody Poteet (1-3) allowed four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one in three and 2/3 innings of action.
Fullerton took a 2-0 lead in the first as Poteet issued leadoff batter Richy Pedroza a four-pitch walk, and then surrendered a one-out double down the right field line to Davis that allowed Pedroza to score. The next batter, Lorenzen, extended his hitting streak to 13 games, knocking a RBI single through the right side.
A leadoff walk doomed Fullerton starter Willie Kuhl in the second as Kevin Williamson earned a free base, moved to second on a sacrifice, and scored to cut Fullerton's lead in half, 2-1, as Trent Chatterton drove a shallow RBI single to right field that dropped in behind Jake Jefferies and in front of Austin Diemer.
UCLA seized its first and only lead in the bottom of the third as Pat Valaika took Kuhl's 0-2, two-out offering, and drove a two-run homer over the left field wall to give the Bruins a 3-2 advantage.
In the first start of his career, Kuhl allowed three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out two in two and 2/3 innings.
Fullerton snatched the lead back, scoring two runs on two hits in the fourth as back-to-back base hits courtesy of Lorenzen and Anthony Hutting, respectively, put runners on first and third with no outs. A wild pitch allowed Lorenzen to even the game, while a deep fly ball from Jefferies moved Hutting to third before he scored the go-ahead run on Jared Deacon's RBI groundout.
The Titans added a fifth run in the fifth to build a 5-3 lead as Lopez's fly ball to right turned into a double as Eric Filia failed to find the ball off the bat. Lopez then scored as Davis drove in his second run of the day with a RBI single to shallow center field.
Lopez finished the evening 2-for-6, driving in two runs and scoring two runs. Pedroza added two hits and two runs scored, while Davis batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The Titans return to action on Friday to begin a three-game series at Big West foe UC Davis.
Notes: Fullerton's 25-4 start is the best for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year 31-2…Michael Lorenzen is now on a 13-game hitting streak and an 18-game reached-base streak…Willie Kuhl made the first start of his Titan career in 30 career appearances…the Titans have outscored opponents 37-6 in the first inning this season…the Titans are 19-1 in 2013 after scoring first…Matt Chapman made his first appearance for the Titans since March 22 at Long Beach State, where he suffered a left ankle sprain…for the fourth consecutive game, the Titans have recorded at least 10 hits…Fullerton has won eight consecutive road games…the Titans have a 6-1 record against ranked opponents…the Titans committed five errors for the second time in 2013…Lorenzen's 13-streak save is the longest of his career, and his 25 career saves rank sixth all time…Lorenzen is the third Titan on three consecutive games to record four hits.