HOUSTON --- The seventh-ranked Titans strung together a season-high equaling 10 hits, while Gavin Velasquez tossed a gem on the mound en route to a 4-1 victory over Houston out at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park, Saturday afternoon.
Velasquez (2-0) tossed a career-high 7.0 shutout innings and surrendered just three hits, while striking out three on the day, extending his scoreless innings streak up to 17.1 to begin the year. Taylor Bryant kept a streak of his own alive, as he recorded a 1-of-4 day at the dish with a run scored and a double to keep his hit streak alive at eight games.
Numbers two through four in the order went a combined 6-of-13 at the dish with a run scored and two RBI, as four Titans overall notched multi-hit performances in Sahid Valenzuela, Scott Hurst, Ruben Cardenas and Chris Prescott. Chris Hudgins led the way in the RBI department, notching two to go along with a base knock.
Fullerton (5-4) handed Houston starting pitcher Mitch Ullom (1-1) his first loss of the season, as he went 6.1 innings, scattered nine hits and surrendered six earned runs.
The Titans essentially led the entire way, striking for one in the top of the second after Bryant set the tone with a leadoff double down the right field line. Prescott then singled to right field, while Bryant then scored on a groundout by Hudgins.
Fullerton manufactured another run in the fourth frame, as Cardenas reached on a leadoff infield single to shortstop. He stole second and eventually scored on a Hudgins infield single to make it 2-0 ballgame.
The Titans doubled their lead in the seventh as Dillon Persinger and Valenzuela reached on a hit by pitch and single respectively. Persinger and Valenzuela ended up and second and third after Valenzuela's single, thanks to some aggressive base running. Hurst then recorded an RBI groundout, while Cardenas followed with a clutch two out hit up the middle to make it a healthy 4-0 Titan advantage.
The Cougars eventually got on the board thanks to a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but the Titans limited the damage behind an effective performance and promising defensive effort that saw Fullerton turn a season-best four double plays.
Brett Conine closed things out on the mound, making his team-high fourth appearance out of the bullpen. He went 2.0 innings, surrendered two hits and one run.
The Titans aim for their third straight series win to begin the year, as they'll square off against the Cougars in the series finale, Sunday at 11 am PT.
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