FULLERTON, Calif. – Every batter in the Cal State Fullerton starting lineup recorded a hit as the No. 4 Titans clinched the series with a 10-2 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans, now 31-4, remain at the top of the Big West standings with an undefeated league record of 8-0. The Gauchos fall to 17-16 overall and 3-5 in Big West competition.
The Titans have also won their last 10 games, the club's third 10-game win streak of the season.
Fullerton's offensive effort of 10 runs on 16 hits was backed by Justin Garza on the mound. The right-hander improved to 7-0 on the season, allowing two runs on five hits while matching a season high by striking out nine in seven innings of work.
Chad Wallach (1-for-4) hit his first home run of the season in the fifth, while Matt Chapman (2-for-3) also hit his first round ripper of the year, while driving in two runs and scoring two runs. Richy Pedroza finished the evening with a 2-for-4 effort, plating two runs while scoring a run.
In addition J.D. Davis batted 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Fullerton took a 3-0 lead in the first as the Titans led off the bottom of the inning with three consecutive hits. Pedroza singled to center field and Lopez doubled to right center, setting up Davis' RBI infield single to score the first run of the game.
UCSB starter Justin Jacome plunked Michael Lorenzen to load the bases, and back-to-back sacrifices flies from Wallach and Chapman, respectively, drove in two additional runs.
In the loss, Jacome (3-3) allowed six runs on eight hits and struck out one in three innings of work. Hector Lujan and Domenic Mazza also appeared in relief for the Titans. Mazza tossed the final three and 2/3 innings, holding the Titans to one run on four hits and two walks while fanning three.
Diemer's one-out triple laced to left center helped the Titans build a 4-1 lead in the second as Pedroza drove him in with a RBI single to right.
Fullerton added three runs in the fourth to build its lead to 7-1 as Jake Jefferies and Greg Velazquez led off the bottom of the frame with back-to-back hits. Pedroza drove in Jefferies with a sacrifice fly, and Lopez followed slapping a RBI single back up the middle to drive in Velazquez. Davis then smoked a triple down the right field line, allowing Lopez to score as the Titans took a 7-1 advantage.
Wallach's first home run of the season put the Titans ahead 8-1 in the fifth, while Chapman followed with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored Fullerton's ninth run as Diemer knocked a RBI single into center field.
Chapman's solo home run in the eighth was responsible for the Titans' 10th run.
UC Santa Barbara recovered a run in the second to trail 3-1 after Robby Nesovic led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a single and scored when Luke Swenson hit into a double play.
Woody Woodward gave the Gauchos their second run with a solo home run in the sixth. It was the first round tripper of his career, and the first homer Garza has allowed in his career.
The series finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Goodwin Field. It is Armed Forces Weekend at Goodwin Field with two free general admission tickets available for past and present military.
Notes: Fullerton's 31-4 record is the best start for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year with a record of 31-4…the Titans have now won 10 straight games for the third time this season… Michael Lorenzen's reached-base streak was extended to 24 games…the Titans have not opened Big West play with a record of 8-0 since 2004…Fullerton has outscored opponents 42-7 in the first inning in 2013...Woody Woodward's solo home run in the sixth was the first of his career, and the first home run Justin Garza has surrendered in 2013…Garza's nine strikeouts matched a season high previously set at Oral Roberts on March 16…Fullerton totaled 16 hits in the game, and recorded at least 15 hits in a game on five occasions in 2013…Matt Chapman and Chad Wallach each hit their first home runs of 2013, respectively, bringing Fullerton's season total to 21…Fullerton has hit multiple home runs in six games this season with J.D. Davis and Michael Lorenzen last completing the feat vs. USC on April 9...Austin Diemer's three hits were a new career best...the Titans had never produced three 10-game win streaks in the same season until 2013.