LONG BEACH, Calif.--- In a game that featured four lead changes, Long Beach State rallied to defeat Cal State Fullerton 6-4 to take game one of the three-game weekend series, Friday night out at Blair Field.
For the Titans (15-6), the loss snaps what was an eight-game win streak and a four-game road win streak. Fullerton entered the game with just five home runs on the season, but now have four over its last two contests, as Hunter Cullen blasted a dinger, marking his second straight game with a homer. Scott Hurst also took one out of the park, as he went 2-of-4 from the dish with the homer, a run scored and an RBI. The performance marked his team-leading sixth multi-hit game of the year.
Timmy Richards extended his on-base streak to 13 straight games, as he went 2-of-4 from the dish with a double and two runs score. Sahid Valenzuela also picked up his fifth multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 on the night.
Taylor Bryant led all Titans with two RBI.
While starter Connor Seabold didn't quite have his best stuff, he battled all night long, getting the Titans through seven innings with the lead. He tossed 7.0 innings, scattered 10 hits, and surrendered three earned runs, struck out three and didn't allow a walk.
As it's done seven times now this season, Fullerton struck in the first inning, as Bryant collected his team-leading 15th RBI of the season, coming through with a clutch two-out double to right center to score Richards all the way from first base after he came through with a one-out single up the middle.
However, the Titan lead wouldn't last long, as four consecutive Dirtbags reached base to begin the bottom of the second. Lucas Tancas reached on an infield single, Brock Lundquist then tripled down the right field line to tie things and Luke Rasmussen then followed with a two-run homer to left field to give Long Beach State a 3-1 advantage.
Daniel Jackson then doubled to left field, but Seabold dug deep and retired the next three batters to end the threat in the second.
The Titans immediately responded the next half inning, as Richards and Bryant combined for another run. Richards launched a one-out double down the left field line, Hurst then singled to shortstop to advance Richards to third base. Then Bryant finished the job, as he grounded out to second base to score Richards and pick up his second RBI of the night.
Fullerton continued to chip away in the fifth, as Hurst blasted his first home run of the season over the right field fence to tie things at 3-3 with two outs.
However, it was just one of those nights for the Titans. Erik Cha, who hadn't allowed a run in 11.1 innings coming into the game, entered the ballgame in the eighth and surrendered two runs, as the first two Dirtbags reached on a hit-by-pitch and walk respectively. Then Daniel Jackson singled up the middle with one out to score two runs and what would go down as the eventual winning score, as LBSU went up 5-4.
The Dirtbags tacked on one more in the frame to take a 6-4 lead.
In the ninth Sahid Valenzuela reached on an infield single and Cullen drew a walk to put runners at first and second, but the Titans couldn't quite complete the rally.
Fullerton aims to tie the series up tomorrow, as it'll take on Long Beach State at 2pm PT out at Blair Field.
SUPPORT THE TITANS!
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).