April 27, 2014

Titans Rout Rainbow Warriors to Clinch Series

Box Score (PDF)

FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton tied a season high with 18 base hits and set a new season high in runs scored as they pounded out a 17-4 Big West Conference victory over Hawaii Saturday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans (20-17, 5-6) scored the most runs in a game since opening day when they plated 12 against Washington State. For the Rainbow Warriors (15-24, 3-11), they suffered their 11th loss in the last 12 games.

Every Titans starter had at least one hit on Saturday night, led by third baseman Matt Chapman's career-night. The Trabuco Canyon native set a new career high in hits as he went 5-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and three RBIs. Tanner Pinkston had his third straight multi-hit game as the sophomore went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. J.D. Davis also went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and Taylor Bryant tallied his second career multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

All that offense came in support of starter Justin Garza, who picked up his third victory of the season. The right-hander went six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.

The Rainbow Warriors opened the scoring in the second after Juilene Jones' RBI single drove in Adam Hurley after the left-fielder doubled earlier in the frame. The Rainbow Warriors might have had more as Matt Miller led off the inning with a triple, but his foot came off the bag after he slid into the bag and was called out.

The Titans answered in their half of the inning, sending nine men to the plate as they scored four times thanks to four hits and a pair of walks. Keegan Dale led off the inning with a single and then advanced into scoring position on Austin Diemer's sacrifice. A.J. Kennedy and Bryant each drew a two-out walks to load the bases.

Tyler Stieb then stepped up and smacked the first pitch he saw from starter Scott Squier into left field to drive in Dale and Kennedy to put the Titans out in front. Pinkston followed and worked the count full before connecting on a single up the middle to drive in Bryant as Stieb advanced to third. Chapman came up and cashed in Stieb with a single through the right side to cap off the scoring and put the Titans out in front 4-1. 

Stieb finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs scored to go along with three RBIs while Dale was 1-for-3, scoring twice. Kennedy was 1-for-3 with three runs scored while Diemer was 1-for-2 with a two-run double.

Squier took his fourth loss of the season for the Rainbow Warriors, going just two and 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out two.

In the third inning, the Rainbow Warriors touched up Garza for two more runs with three consecutive two-out hits. Stephen Ventimilia singled to start the two-out rally and then Kaeo Aliviado doubled to right to cash in Ventimilia. Marc Flores then singled to bring in Aliviado to cut the Titans lead to 4-3.

They had a chance to tie the score in the fourth inning as Adam Hurley led off the inning with a single off Garza. He moved to second on a sacrifice and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Garza managed to work out of it, getting Julienne Jones to hit a hard grounder to Chapman at third, holding the runner as Chapman erased Jones. Garza then got catcher Steven Pollakov to pop out to first to end the threat.

Garza would go on to retire the last nine batters he faced before being relieved in the seventh. It was the sophomore's third quality start of the season and first since Mar. 1 at Oregon.

That opportunity proved to be the last stand for the Rainbow Warriors as the Titans added a run in their half of the fourth and then exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning to put the game away. They tallied six hits and sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.

The Titans will be looking for their second series sweep of the season on Sunday and first since disposing of Oregon in three straight back in early March as they send veteran Grahamm Wiest to the mound. First pitch will be at 7:30 p.m. and mark the conclusion of Armed Forces Weekend at Goodwin Field. A helicopter landing is scheduled for pregame, with a Wounded Warrior throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Notes: Chapman was the first Titans' hitter to collect five hits in a game since Davis did so against the Rainbow Warriors last season at Hawaii on Apr. 27…Every Titans player that recorded a hit Saturday night also scored at least one run in the game… The Titans scored three-plus runs in an inning for first time since Apr. 11 at UC Santa Barbara… The Titans won for the first time this season when their opponent hits a home run…