FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 9 Cal State Fullerton scored the first six runs of the game and then held on to scratch out a 6-5 non-conference victory over Long Beach State Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
Titans' (13-8) head coach Rick Vanderhook earned his 100th career victory as a head coach. He became the second fastest coach in the baseball program's history to reach 100 wins, accomplishing the feat in 139 games. Augie Garrido reached 100 wins in 135 games as Titans head coach while it took George Horton 147 contests to reach 100 victories.
J.D. Davis and Austin Diemer helped carry the Titans offensive attack in the finale with the Dirtbags (11-11), combining to drive in half the teams runs and hits on the day. Davis was 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and a pair of walks while Diemer went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Davis also came in to pitch in the ninth inning and earned his third save of the season despite allowing a pair of runs on three hits.
The Titans got on the scoreboard in the second inning after catcher A.J. Kennedy led off the frame with a walk. Diemer then lined a double past Dirtbags first baseman Ino Patron who was cheating in to play a possible bunt. With runners on second and third, Timmy Richards scorched a ball back to the box where it ricocheted of pitcher Jason Alexander and right to second baseman Colton Vaughn to erase Richards at first, but not before Kennedy came in to give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
After Keegan Dale drew a walk, Matt Chapman made it 2-0 when he lined a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Diemer to walk in with the second run of the inning. Clay Williamson followed with a single to put runners at the corners and then J.D. Davis blew the doors off the inning with a triple to deep center to clear the bases and give the Titans a 4-0 lead.
The Titans would add a run in the fifth and the sixth to make it 6-0 before the Dirtbags were able to respond. After being hitless through four innings, the Dirtbags got their bats working in the fifth, collecting three hits in the frame and plating three runs to cut the Titans lead in half.
It stayed that way until the ninth inning when Richard Prigatano led off the frame for the visitors with a single. One out later, pinch-hitter Zack Belanger on a hard shot at the Titans second baseman Richards. Davis got catcher Daniel Jackson to ground out to second but pinch-hitter Nolan Meadows picked up his first hit of the season, blasting a double to the gap in left-center to bring the Dirtbags within one and put the potential tying run in scoring position.
Alex Bishop became the third pinch-hitter of the inning for Long Beach State but proved to be the last as Davis got the junior to ground out to second to end the game.
The win wrapped up the Titans seven-game home stand and the team has now won five of its last seven games. The team will hit the road next weekend and take on Wichita State in their final non-conference series of the season.
Notes: Miles Chambers earned his first career win in his first career start on the mound for the Titans, a staff-day start… Tyler Peitzmeier set a new season high as he pitched two and 2/3 innings in relief for the Titans. He allowed no hits and struck out two… The Titans are now 132-61 all-time against Long Beach State and have taken 24 of the last 28 meetings between the teams… The Titans are now 6-4 in one-run games this year.