HOUSTON --- Seventh-ranked Fullerton battled from behind all night long, but couldn't quite get over the hump, as the Titans fell to Houston, 7-4 in the series opener, Friday night at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
Connor Seabold (1-2) didn't have his best stuff, but battled all night long, giving Fullerton a chance in the end. He tossed 6.0 innings, surrendered six hits, five earned runs, struck out five and walked just one on the evening.
Chris Hudgins was the lone Titan to record a multi-hit performance, going 2-of-4 at the plate with a run scored. Taylor Bryant went 1 of 4 from the plate with a double, an RBI and a run to extend his hit streak to seven consecutive games.
The Cougars struck first in this one, plating two runs in the first, while getting two more in the second to eventually take a commanding 4-0 advantage into the fourth frame.
However the Titans did their best to grind back in the fourth, as Sahid Valenzuela eventually scored after leading off the frame with a single to left. Ruben Cardenas grounded out to advance him to second base before Bryant came through with a clutch two out double to CF to plate the run.
Houston's Jared Triolo recorded a two out solo dinger over the left field fence to make it a 5-1 margin in the bottom of the fourth.
Fullerton continued to fight, as Hudgins led off with a single up the middle. Pavletich singled with one away, followed by a Persinger double down the left field line two score one. Valenzuela then grounded out, allowing Pavletich to come in to score, cutting the deficit to just 5-3.
Seabold found his groove and kept Houston at bay, at one point retiring seven straight Cougars and nine of 10 batters.
Workman entered in the seventh to relieve Seabold, eventually tossing 2.0 innings, allowing two runs, but none of them earned, while striking out two. The Cougars capitalized on an error and passed ball to score two in the seventh, stretching things back out to 7-3.
However, Fullerton refused to go down without a fight in the ninth, as Bryant and Tristan Hildebrandt each reached to begin the frame, but only one run was able to score. The Titans left five on base on the evening.
Fullerton looks to even the series up tomorrow, as the Titans and Cougars will go at it at 10 am PT in game two of the series.
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