Titans Move into Tie for First Place after Completing Sweep of Highlanders
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, completing a three-game sweep of UC Riverside with a 7-4 Big West Conference victory Sunday afternoon at The Plex.
The Titans (26-20, 11-4) moved into a tie for first place in the conference standings with UC Irvine with the win over the Highlanders (13-32, 2-13) and have won five straight games. The Titans pitching staff went 30 and 2/3 innings without allowing a run until the seventh inning when the Highlanders got their first run of the series. The scoreless streak was a new Fullerton record.
Tanner Pinkston went 3-for-4 with one RBI and David Olmedo-Barrera was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. A.J. Kennedy was 2-for-2 with a walk. He reached base in his last six plate appearances in the series. Josh Vargas did not have an official at-bat Sunday but walked three times and scored twice.
John Gavin got the win on the mound for the Titans as he went five scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out four without issuing a walk. Miles Chambers, Connor Seabold and Tyler Peitzmeier all pitched in relief for the Titans to close out the game.
The Titans took control of the game early as they plated three runs in the first inning. Vargas walked to lead off the game and then Tyler Stieb hit a bunt-single to third to put a pair of runners on for Olmedo-Barrera. The Titans designated hitter then doubled to deep left-center off Highlanders' starter Jesus Gonzalez to clear the bases and put the Titans up 2-0. Tanner Pinkston then bunt-singled to move Olmedo-Barrera to third and then Jerrod Bravo hit into a fielder's choice to bring in Olmedo-Barrera and put the Titans up 3-0.
Stieb finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored and Bravo reached base for the 27th consecutive game he's played as he went 0-for-4 with a walk.
In the third inning, Vargas led off the frame with another walk and then the Highlanders walked Olmedo-Barrera intentionally with one out in the inning. Pinkston singled to score Vargas and then, with two outs, Dalton Blaser singled to plate Olmedo-Barrera to make it 5-0. The Titans would add two more in the fourth inning and never looked back.
Notes: The Titans outscored the Highlanders 35-4 in the series and had a 35-0 edge before Riverside scored four runs in the last three innings of Sunday's game… The Titans are now 15-14 against the Highlanders at Riverside… All three starting pitchers picked up a victory in a weekend series for the Titans for the first time since Fullerton swept then-No. 5 Texas Tech at Goodwin Field… The Titans 30 and 2/3 scoreless innings streak surpassed a 27 inning scoreless streak the Titans put up at the end of the regular season last season, shutting out CSUN in the last two games of the regular season… Pitcher Maxwell Gibbs entered the game as a right fielder in the eighth inning and finished the game in that position.