SAN DIEGO --- The Titan offense scored runs in bunches, striking for four in the second and five more in the eighth en route to a 9-2 victory at San Diego, Tuesday night at Fowler Park.
For Fullerton (15-5), the win marks its eighth consecutive victory and its fourth straight road victory. It's now the first time the Titans have won four road games in a row since May 1- June 6, 2015. Tonight's win also marks Fullerton's fourth shutout victory of the season, which is already as many shutouts as the Titans recorded all of the last year. Fullerton has defeated San Diego in three consecutive games now.
Niko Pacheco collected his first multi-hit performance, going 2-of-4 at the plate and scoring a run. The El Cajon, Calif. native, Chris Hudgins also had himself a night, going 2-of-3 at the plate with a game-high equaling two runs scored. The Coronado, Calif. local, Zach Weller also connected for his first home run in his first start at third base to go along with a game and career-high three RBI, while Hunter Cullen also launched his first career jack in the second frame.
Joe Wills (3-0) went a career-long 6.2 innings, surrendered just two earned runs and struck out four in his third straight midweek start.
The Titans jumped on San Diego early, as the first three batters reached in the second frame beginning with a leadoff walk by Bryant, then a single up the middle by Pacheco, followed by a Hudgins double to the left center gap to drive in Fullerton's first run of the night. Two batters later Weller launched a sacrifice fly to right field to record his first career RBI and make it a 2-0 ballgame.
Cullen then did what he does best, as he came through in the clutch, crushing a 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for a two-out two-run shot to make it a commanding 4-0 Cal State Fullerton advantage. The home run was the first of Cullen's career, while he improved to 9-of-15 (.600) at the plate with two outs this season.
However the Toreros rallied in the sixth, as back-to-back singles put USD in business before Roman Garcia
came through with a two-out double to left field to score two and knock Wills out of the ballgame. Erik Cha then entered to get the final out of the sixth to end the threat.
The Titans were in good hands the rest of the way, as the bullpen combined to go 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball without allowing a single hit, while walking just one. However, that wasn't all that surprising considering the Fullerton pen entered the evening with a 1.08 ERA this season. In all, the Titans retired 10 of the final 11 San Diego batters.
In the eighth, the Fullerton bats came to life, blowing this one wide open, striking for five runs, which equals the most the Titans have scored in an inning this year.
Bryant singled through the right side and then eventually advanced to third after Pacheco reached on a double error. Bryant scored on a wild pitch, while Hank LoForte advanced to second base after pinch running for Pacheco. The Titans then had runners at second and third after Hudgins walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, while LoForte went to third.
Then it was Weisz coming through on the big stage, in front of his family and friends, bouncing one up the middle for a two-RBI base hit in his first career plate appearance to make it a 7-2 ballgame.
Not to be outdone, Weller connected on his first career home run over the left field fence to score Weisz and make it a 9-2 Fullerton advantage, successfully completing the homecoming for the four Titans from the San Diego area.
Fullerton now readies for a three-game non-conference series at Big West rival Long Beach State, Friday at 6 pm PT.
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