LONG BEACH, Calif. – For the second straight game the Titans scored in the first inning as they went on to defeat Long Beach State, 4-3, Saturday night at Blair Field. With the win, Fullerton returns to .500 on the season with a 10-10 record.
Kyle Luckham was brilliant for the Titans in his third start of the season as he pitched a career-high seven innings, giving up just one run while allowing only two hits. Luckham struck out a career-high nine batters, while striking out five of six batters in the sixth and seventh inning. The freshman retired the final 10 batters he faced in the game and 13 of the last 14.
Luckham made a highlight reel play in the first inning as a hit back up the middle bounced off his leg towards the first base side. The freshman then picked up the ball with his glove, spun around and tossed the ball out of his glove without using his free hand to Jake Pavletich at first to get the final out of the inning.
Batting in the two spot, Zach Lew got a infield base hit in the first inning in to get the first Fullerton runner on. Two batters later Isaiah Garcia hit a single of his own to right-field, advancing Lew to third before finally scoring on a wild pitch. Lew went 2-for-4 on the night with two runs.
Garcia has been instrumental to the Titans offense since being inserted into the everyday lineup. In 12 starts this season Garcia has 12 RBI and is hitting a team-high .413 on the year which ranks third in the Big West Conference.
Fullerton added to its lead in the third inning, scoring two runs to put the Titans up 3-1. Lew reached base on his second straight at-bat on a fielding error. Following a walk from Sahid Valenzuela, Isaiah Garcia recorded his second hit in as many at-bats to load the bases with no outs.
AJ Curtis was then able to drive in a run on a hard-hit ball on the infield. Kameron Guangorena then singled up the middle to drive in Valenzuela for his third RBI in two games and his sixth of the season.
Mitchell Berryhill recorded a single up the middle in the top of the second inning to extend his on-base streak to 29 consecutive games dating back to the 2018 season while also improving to 13 straight games with a hit.
Long Beach State scored two runs in the eighth to make the game interesting, however, Michael Weisberg come on in the ninth inning with the Titans up 4-3 and didn't allow a single hit to earn his third save of the season.
All good things must come to end. Hank LoForte's historic on-base streak came to an end Saturday night. LoForte had reached base in 64 consecutive games dating back to March 11 of the 2018 season which was the longest active streak in the nation.
With wins Friday and Saturday, it is the first time the Titans have had back-to-back victories over Long Beach State since the 2017 Super Regional at Blair Field that sent the Titans to the College World Series.
Fullerton returns to action Sunday afternoon looking to sweep the rival Dirtbags on their home field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT.
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