Deacon's Clutch Hit Clinches Series for Titans
FULLERTON, Calif. – Senior Jared Deacon had most of Sunday off after catching the first two games, including an 11-inning game Saturday. But when called upon, the fifth-year senior came through in the clutch as his one-out line drive single in the bottom of the ninth drove in Greg Velazquez from third to give No. 4 Cal State Fullerton a 5-4 walk-off victory over Washington State Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
Luckily for the Titans, Deacon brought his bat with him as well. Greg Velazquez led off the Titans half of the ninth with a scorching double down the left field line to put the winning run in scoring position. Clay Williamson, who had a single and a double under his belt for the game, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt toward first to move Velazquez over to third with one out.
That's when Deacon came up and lined a 1-1 pitch to first where Cougars first baseman Matt Mendenhall's diving attempt came up empty, ricocheting off his glove and allowing Velazquez to bring in the game-winner.
Williamson started in center field on Sunday and finished the day 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. The 6-foot-1 junior had a tremendous weekend at the plate, collecting six hits in eight at bats including two doubles and a pair of RBIs despite coming off the bench in the first two games. Velazquez finished 1-for-5 and was 4-for-11 in the series with a double and a home run.
Davis collected his first victory of the season despite the blown save but Grahamm Wiest was the story on the mound for the Titans. The red-shirt junior went seven and a third innings and allowed three runs; just one earned, and struck out seven. Wiest retired the first nine hitters he faced and threw 35 of his first 37 pitches for strikes.
The Titans fell behind 3-1 in the top of the fifth but immediately rectified that in their half of the inning. Matt Chapman led off the with a single and advanced to third on Tanner Pinkston's one-out single two batters later. Velazquez cut the Titans deficit to 3-2 with an RBI groundout and then the red-hot Williamson blasted a 2-1 pitch all the way to the right field wall to bring in Pinkston from second base.
Chris McDowell drew the loss for the Cougars after coming in to pitch late in the ninth inning. The Cougars used six pitchers on the afternoon after starter Kellen Camus managed to go just two innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. He walked three and struck out two.
Notes: Freshman Taylor Bryant drew a walk in his first collegiate at-bat in the sixth inning… Bickford made his second relief appearance of the series and faced two batters… The Titans had 11 more hits on Sunday, the third straight game they collected double-digit hits. For the series, the Titans had 41 hits and the two teams combined for 68 on the weekend… Sunday's game drew 2,799 fans to Goodwin Field, the most of the three-game set. In total, 4,909 fans came out to watch the Titans on opening weekend.