Malibu, Calif. – Greg Velazquez drove in three runs and fell a triple short of the cycle in a 3-for-3 performance at the plate as No. 4 Cal State Fullerton defeated Pepperdine 8-4 at Eddy D. Field on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, Fullerton improves to 32-5 in 2013, and completed the two-game season sweep of the Waves.
The Titans also used seven pitchers in the victory with left-hander Bryan Conant (1-0) credited with the win after tossing two shutout innings in relief of starter J.D. Davis. Conant retired each of the six batters he faced, and struck out three.
Koby Gauna was credited with his second save of the year after entering the game in the seventh with runners on the corners and one out as Fullerton held onto an 8-4 advantage. Gauna recorded two quick outs, and in his two and 2/3 innings of work, faced the minimum and struck out three.
Fullerton scored three runs in the second to claim a 3-0 lead as Pepperdine (20-15) starter Matt Maurer walked Davis and surrendered a single to Jake Jefferies, setting up Velazquez's RBI double laced into left.
With Jefferies at third, a fielding error by Pepperdine third baseman Austin Davidson allowed Jefferies to score safely before A.J. Kennedy's RBI groundout drove in Velazquez for the third score of the frame.
In the loss, Maurer (1-3) allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks. The Waves also committed three errors in the game and a total of four Pepperdine pitchers appeared in relief.
Velazquez led off the fourth and deposited Maurer's 3-1 offering over the left field wall to record his first round tripper of the season and give Fullerton a 4-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, Pepperdine's Bryan Langlois took the second pitch Fullerton reliever Jose Cardona threw to lead, and hammered it over the left field fence to cut the Titans advantage to 4-1.
Fullerton added two more runs in the fifth as Matt Chapman's one-out triple led to a Pepperdine pitching change with right-hander Jackson McClelland taking over for Maurer. Michael Lorenzen drove a sacrifice fly to left to score the first run of the frame before a third Wave error allowed the top of the fifth to continue. With Davis sitting at second, Velazquez drove in his third run of the game with a RBI single to center, improving the Titans' lead to 6-1.
The Waves added a run in the bottom of the fifth as Langlois' RBI single scored Drew Hacker, who was walked to lead off the frame.
Pepperdine rallied for two runs to close 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth as Fullerton reliever Willie Kuhl issued a walk to Chris Amezquita, ending his time on the mound. Left-hander David Birosak took over and surrendered a single to Aaron Brown, but the two-base error charged to Velazquez allowed Amezquita to score.
Michael Lopez came out of the bullpen for Fullerton and Ranny Lowe's sacrifice fly allowed Brown to score, also unearned, as the Waves came within two.
Fullerton added two insurance runs to take an 8-4 lead in the seventh as Davis and Jefferies led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Pinch-hitter Austin Kingsolver pushed both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Davis was able to score on a wild pitch, and Keegan Dale – pinch running for Jefferies – scored on a passed ball.
The Titans remain on the road for the next six games, traveling to No. 23 Cal Poly with the three-game starting at 6 p.m. Friday.
Notes: Fullerton holds a record of 22-1 when scoring first...Greg Velazquez hit his first home run of the season and the 22nd of the year for Fullerton.