SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The opening game between No. 18 Cal State Fullerton and No. 22 UC Santa Barbara was suspended due to darkness Friday in the top of the 11th with the teams deadlocked 9-9. The game will resume Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
The second game of the series will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one on Saturday. Fans attending the game will have to purchase another ticket, which will guarantee entry to both games on Saturday. At the time of the suspension, J.D. Davis and Dillon Tate were the pitchers of record for the Titans and Gauchos respectively. The teams had combined for 28 hits, 23 of them singles.
The teams went back and forth through the first five innings, trading the lead three times. Clay Williamson led off the game with a single up the middle and then stole second base to immediately get into scoring position for the Titans. Tanner Pinkston had a tough-luck groundout to short, moving Williamson over and then Matt Chapman cashed him in with a groundout to short.
Davis and Greg Velazquez followed up with back-to-back singles and then Davis came around to score when Gauchos shortstop Ryan Clark had the ball bounce off his glove and into the outfield for an error.
But the Gauchos, boasting an offense ranked No. 14 in the nation with a collective .307 batting average, answered right away with three runs on four hits in their half of the first.
The Titans would not be outdone, answering right back with two runs in the second inning to retake the lead. Jared Deacon, Williamson and Pinkston laced three straight singles with one out to plate a run and then Chapman lined a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Williamson with the go-ahead run, putting the Titans up 4-3.
The Gauchos put up another three-spot to retake the lead in the fourth inning, but the Titans answered again with four runs in their half of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead but the Gauchos got one back in their half of the fifth and tacked on runs in the seventh and eighth to tie the score.
Pinkston, Velazquez and Deacon each lead the Titans with three hits apiece while Robby Nesovic paced the Gauchos offense, going 3-for-5 before being pulled for a pinch runner.
Justin Garza also made his first career appearance for the Titans out of the bullpen, going two innings and allowing one run on one hit and walked a batter. It was his first action since March 8th at Baylor.