LOS ANGELES--- The Titans rallied in what was a see-saw affair all night long, but in the end USC held on to claim a 13-9 victory in the series opener, Thursday night at Dedeaux Field.
For Fullerton (21-11), the loss snaps what was a six-game winning streak, while the 13 runs and 17 hits surrendered were both season highs. On the flip side, the Titans have now recorded double-digit hits in nine consecutive games for the first time since 2010.
Scott Hurst led the way offensively for Fullerton, going a perfect 3-of-3 from the plate with two RBI, three runs scored and a walk in the leadoff spot. He racked up his team-leading equaling sixth consecutive multi-RBI game of the season and extended his hit streak to nine games.
Hunter Cullen also impressed, going 2-of-5 at the dish with three RBI and bases clearing triple. His hit streak also stands at nine games, while he also has six multi-RBI performances. Sahid Valenzuela chipped in with two knocks, notching his team-best 13th multi-hit game.
Ruben Cardenas recorded a hit and two RBI on the evening.
USC starting pitcher Chris Clarke (4-1) earned the win, tossing 5.0 innings and surrendering five earned runs off of nine hits. Jack Pabich (0-1) took the loss for Fullerton.
The Titans at one point led 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth after Cardenas smacked a one out double down the line to score Taylor Bryant and Dillon Persinger who reached on a single and an error respectively.
However, USC (17-14) grabbed the lead for the first time in the fourth, scoring three runs off of three hits and an error to go up 4-3.
The Titans responded a half inning later with a three-spot of their own in the top of the fifth, as Cullen dumped a triple all the way to the left centerfield wall to clear the bases and put Fullerton back on top 6-4.
Then disaster struck in the bottom of the fifth, as the Trojans scored six runs off of seven hits and an error to take a commanding 10-6 advantage.
The Titans didn't quit though, as Hank LoForte started a rally in the eighth by drawing a one out walk before Niko Pacheco singled to right field to set the table for Hurst, as he drove a laser to left center for a bases clearing triple. Valenzuela then grounded out, allowing Hurst to score to bring the Titans within 10-9.
Unfortunately that's as close as Fullerton would get, as USC responded with three of its own in the bottom of the eighth to clinch the victory.
The Titans aim to even the series up, Friday at 7 pm PT out at Goodwin Field.
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