Blaser, Cardenas and Eastman Lead Titans to Victory at UC Irvine, Clinch Series
IRVINE, Calif. - Dalton Blaser and Ruben Cardenas combined to go 6-for-10 at the dish and Colton Eastman went seven strong innings on the mound as Cal State Fullerton scored a 7-2 victory over UC Irvine Sunday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark.
The Titans (27-15, 9-3) took the series from the Anteaters (25-16, 7-8) thanks to a five-run third inning, 14 hits overall and outstanding pitching from Eastman, who allowed just one run in seven innings of work. He allowed five hits and struck out four to pick up his sixth win of the season.
Cardenas wrapped a magnificent week for the Titans with a 3-for-5 performance on Sunday. He had a double, triple and drove in a pair of runs in the victory. For the series, Cardenas went 6-for-11 with three doubles and two triples along with four RBIs and a 1.182 slugging percentage.
Blaser also went 3-for-5 in the win with a double, a run scored and two RBIs and Jake Pavletich, who was inserted into the starting lineup after Coby Kauhaahaa was pulled after batting practice, went 2-for-5. Overall, eight of the nine starters tallied at least one hit for the Titans.
After falling behind early in the first two games of the series, Fullerton pushed across a run in the opening frame to take an early lead on Sunday. With two outs, Tanner Pinkston doubled to right field and then came around to score on an RBI-single by Dalton Blaser to put the Titans up 1-0.
The Titans broke the game open in the third, sending nine men to the plate and bringing across five runs to take a 6-0 lead. Ruben Cardenas hit a two-run triple to right and Hank LoForte capped off the scoring with a two-run single to right field, putting Fullerton up 6-0.
Notes: The Titans have never lost a road series to the Anteaters dating back to 1976, the first time the teams met in NCAA Division I play. Fullerton now holds a 83-27 overall record over UC Irvine and 41-10 mark on the road… The Titans pounded out 15 extra-base hits in the series against UC Irvine, a new season-high for the team. They belted 10 doubles and five triples against the Anteaters… Prohoroff made his first appearance on the mound since April 5 after missing some time with a mild lat strain… Sunday's win marked the 1,100th victory in the career of Titans head coach Rick Vanderhook in 26 seasons as a member of the Cal State Fullerton coaching staff… He was part of 913 wins as an assistant coach (1985-88, 1991-2007) and now 187 wins in five seasons as head coach of the Titans. Overall, Vanderhook has posted a 1,100-494-2 record as part of the Fullerton coaching staff and a 187-95 mark as head coach.