FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 18 Cal State Fullerton gave up three runs thanks to some mental mistakes in the eighth inning and they proved to be the difference as they dropped their Big West Conference opener 3-1 to UC Davis Friday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (14-11, 0-1) led the Aggies (14-12, 1-3) 1-0 after David Olmedo-Barrera drew a one-out walk in the third inning. J.D. Davis then came up and drove a 0-1 offering from Aggies pitcher Harry Stanwyck deep to left-center, bouncing off the base of the wall for a double to score Olmedo-Barrera from first and give the Titans the lead, which they held until the eighth inning.
That's when the Titans defense lapsed as Seth Batty led off the inning with a line drive to center field. Austin Diemer charged the ball and made a diving attempt at the ball but it dropped and got behind him to allow Batty to make it to third with a triple. Eshelman then hit Adam Young and gave up the game-tying single to Steven Patterson. Nick Lynch then attempted a sacrifice and bunted the ball back to Eshelman, who attempted to get the lead runner at third, but the throw was not in time and the bases were loaded.
The Titans went to the bullpen and got back-to-back strikeouts from Tyler Peitzmeier and Koby Gauna, but catcher Izaak Silva hit a chopper to first and Gauna was late to cover allowing one run to score. Another run came in after Tanner Pinkston threw to first and the Aggies led 3-1.
Eshelman took his first loss of the season despite going seven quality innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out seven.
Zach Stone earned his seventh save of the season as he allowed no hits his one and 2/3 innings of relief. Harry Stanwyck earned his second victory of the year after allowing one run on six hits.
For the Titans, Davis finished 2-for-4 with a double and extended his hitting streak to seven games. Greg Velazquez was 1-for-2 with a double and two walks while Olmedo-Barrera finished 1-for-3 with a walk.
Sophomore Thomas Eshelman suffered his first loss of the season despite going seven strong innings. He allowed five hits and two earned runs while striking out seven.
Notes: The Titans loss to UC Davis was their first since 2008 and snapped a 16-game winning streak against the Aggies… Eshelman went seven full innings before giving up an earned run in the eighth, snapping his streak at 26 innings without surrendering an earned run… The Titans have lost three straight games for the second time this season.