SAN LUIS OBISPO--- The Titans put together a gritty all-around performance and rallied to defeat Cal Poly, 7-4, Friday evening out at Baggett Stadium.
For Fullerton (24-12, 6-1 Big West), the win marks its sixth straight conference victory and snaps what was a brief two-game losing skid to the Mustangs. The Titans managed to take down one of the top pitchers in the game in Erich Uelmen.
Connor Seabold (5-4) grinded out the win, going 7.0 innings for seventh time this year, while scattering 11 hits, allowing four earned runs and striking out six. Cal Poly's (16-20, 6-4 Big West), Uelmen (2-6) went 6.1 innings, scattered seven hits, surrendered five runs with two of them being earned.
The Fullerton one and two hitters combined to go 5-of-9 at the dish and scored three runs. The Titan 1-5 hitters all at least recorded one out.
Sahid Valenzuela notched his fifth three-plus hit performance of the year going 3-of-5 at the plate, with a run scored and the game-tying RBI. Scott Hurst went 2-of-4 with a double and two runs scored from the leadoff spot..
Timmy Richards also scored two runs on the evening.
The Titan bullpen was nearly flawless as Blake Workman and Brett Conine combined to throw 2.0 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Workman recorded the hold, while Conine punched his team-best eighth save of the season.
Fullerton opened the scoring in the bottom of the third, as Hurst turned on the afterburners and turned what should have been a single up the middle into a two-out double. Valenzuela then used his speed to generate a run, as he hustled down the first base line to notch an infield hit and forcing a wild throw to first base to score Hurst from second on the error.
However the Titan lead wouldn't last long, as Cal Poly scored four runs on six hits in the bottom of the third. The Mustangs at one point strung together four consecutive singles to keep the merry-go-round going. Cal Poly had collected nine hits through the first three innings.
Fullerton got two back in the top of the fourth to make it just a 4-3 deficit, as it took advantage of another Cal Poly error with Richards reaching advancing to second on a leadoff fielding error by the third baseman. Bryant laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Richards to third before Persinger chopped a ball to shortstop for an infield single to score the run. Cardenas then came through with a two out single to center field to score Persinger from second base after he advances a base on the Cullen ground out.
The grind continued for the Titans in the seventh, as they scored two runs on two hits to retake a 5-4 lead late. LoForte started things off, as he reached on an infield single to shortstop. Hudgins that laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance LoForte to second. Hurst followed with a walk before Valenzuela came through with one of the biggest knocks of the game, lacing a one out double to the left field line to bring home a run and tie the game. Richards and Persinger both put together good at bats, each forcing walks, with Persinger's walk coming with the bases loaded and two out to force in the go ahead run from third base.
Cal Poly was completely shut down from then on, as the Mustangs recorded just one base runner in the final three frames.
With the game being just a one run affair entering the ninth, the Titans kept the pressure on, collecting two insurance runs in the inning. Valenzuela punched a one out single to center field before Richards doubled down the left field line. Then Bryant took the win completely out of Cal Poly's sails, placing a two-RBI single into left center after a nine-pitch battle at the plate to make it a 7-4 game.
The Titans will go for the series win tomorrow at 6 pm PT.
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