For Fullerton (10-5), the win marked its third straight, while it was the first time the Spartans and Titans have played each other since 2002 NCAA Regionals. Cal State Fullerton is now five games over .500 for the first time this year and has won eight of its last 10 games.
There was never any doubt in this one, as Joe Wills (2-0) set the tone early, turning in his best start of his young career despite being under the weather. He tossed 5.0 innings of shutout baseball, surrendered just three hits, walked three and struck out five in the spot start.
Erik Cha was also fantastic out of the bullpen, going three innings without allowing an earned run, while earning his first career save. Maxwell Gibbs also contributed to the near-perfect pitching performance, posting one shutout inning.
Dillon Persinger led the way at the plate, as he went 3-of-4 at the dish, collecting two runs and an RBI. Hank LoForte also notched a multi-hit game, while Taylor Bryant picked up a game-high three RBI, going 1-of-2 with a run scored and a walk.
It didn't take long for the Titans to flex their muscles offensively, as Bryant launched a two-out, two-run shot over the left field fence to give the Titans a 2-0 advantage at the end of the first.
Two frames later, Fullerton put together a three-spot in the third, as Persinger and LoForte both led the inning off with knocks, before Scott Hurst and Bryant put together back-to-back walks to drive one run in. Timmy Richards then produced a sacrifice fly to right field, while Niko Pacheco laid down a perfectly executed sac bunt up the first base line to score another and make it a 5-0 Titan lead.
The Titans scratched across another run in the fourth, as Hunter Cullen found his way to third base after stealing second and getting moved over by a groundout. He reached on a leadoff walk. Persinger then slapped a single up the middle to bring him home to make it six 6-0.
The Spartans (6-9) eventually took advantage of two Titan errors in the eighth to avoid the shutout.
Cal State Fullerton now welcomes in the defending national runners up from a year ago in No. 12 Arizona. The Titans and Wildcats will go at it tomorrow at 6 pm PT out at Goodwin Field.
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at email@example.com. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.
FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) Instagram (FullertonTitans) and Snapchat (FullertonTitans). In addition, the baseball team has established its own Twitter (@BaseballTitans) and Instagram accounts (csf_titanbaseball).