TALKING STICK, Ariz. – Trailing by two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Titans put up three runs to take a 6-5 lead before Gavin Velasquez shutdown the Virginia offense to complete the comeback victory Sunday night at the MLB4 Tournament
Jacob Pavletich started the inning off with walk and Jason Brandow followed that up with a double to left field before Mitchell Berryhill was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Freshman Jackson Lyon then singled to left field to score Pavletich from third.
Senior Hank LoForte then came up in a clutch situation with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Brandow and tie the game at 5-5. Two batters later Daniel Cope recorded a single that was hit to the shortstop but was not able to make a play, scoring Lyon and giving Fullerton the lead.
Velasquez was nothing short of impressive as he came on in relief of Landon Anderson and went 2.2 innings, giving up no hits and no runs while striking out two batters.
Fullerton got off to slow start, giving up one run in the first inning on an errand throw into the Titans dugout that advanced a runner on third home to score the first run of the game. The Cavaliers then scored three runs in the fourth on one error and two wild pitches.
The Titans were scoreless through four innings but really got things going in the fifth inning, beginning with a leadoff double from Kameron Guangorena for his first collegiate hit. Pavletich then drew a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Brandow then stepped to the plate a ripped a double down the left field line to score Guangorena and Pavletich. In two games Brandow is an impressive 3-for-6 with six RBI and three runs including a grand slam in his first at-bat. The freshman's grand slam was the first for Fullerton since David Olmedo-Barrera hit one against Cal Poly on April 4, 2015.
Following Brandow's double, Mitchell Berryhill laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt like he always does to advance Brandow to third before Lyon hit into a fielder's choice to bring home Brandow and make the score 4-3.
Freshman Michael Knorr started the game on the mound for Fullerton and showed flashes of brilliance. Knorr went four innings, giving up four hits and four runs but only one earned run while striking out two batters.
Anderson came on in relief of Knorr and had a nice showing as he pitched 2.1 innings, giving up four hits and just one earned run while striking out two batters.
The Titans have a quick turnaround as they head home to host Washington at Goodwin Field Monday afternoon in a rematch of the 2018 Super Regional with first pitch at 2:00 p.m. PT.
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