FULLERTON, Calif – Cal State Fullerton took the first game of the three-game series 6-3 against Long Beach State Thursday night at Goodwin Field behind a stellar pitching performance from Connor Seabold and a hot start from the Fullerton bats.
The Titans (34-19, 15-7 Big West) posted five runs in the first three innings of play, including two home runs in the bottom of the third inning by Scott Hurst and Timmy Richards, giving Fullerton a 5-0 lead after three.
Hurst led the way offensively, going 3-for-3 at the plate with one walk and a home run. He now has a team-leading 11 dingers, which is tied for second in the Big West Conference. Of his 11 jacks, seven of them have come in the last three weeks of conference play. Hunter Cullen also chipped in with two runs. Four of nine Titans added RBIs in the contest.
Seabold (10-4) earned the win while pitching his third complete game of the season and giving up just three runs on seven hits while striking out 11 batters, marking his fifth double-digit strikeout performance of the year. The outing also marks his 10th quality start in his last 12 stars.
Fullerton got things started in the first inning when Hank LoForte reached home on a throwing error from LBSU's Laine Huffman to give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
After a great start to the game, the Titans added two runs in their half of the second inning. With runners on second and third after a sac bunt, Chris Prescott grounded into a fielder's choice to score Dillon Persinger from third and give Fullerton a 2-0 lead. One batter later LoForte blasted a double to left center field to drive in Hunter Cullen and extend the Titans lead to 3-0.
With the Titans leading 5-0 after three, Long Beach State (35-17, 18-4 Big West) made a rally in the top of the fourth inning to cut Fullerton's lead to 5-2. While the Dirtbags did put up two runs in the inning, Titans' ace Seabold limited LBSU after they loaded the bases with no outs.
Heading into the fourth inning, the right-hander Seabold had a no-hit bid going before it was broken up by the leadoff batter Jarren Duran on a bunt single. Seabold bounced back after giving up two runs in the fourth, surrendering just one run the rest of the way while pitching a complete game.
The Dirtbags added one more run in the eighth inning to cut the Titan lead to just two runs but Fullerton answered back on a wild pitch that allowed Hunter Cullen to score in its half of the inning to regain its three-run lead into the ninth.
Seabold shutdown Long Beach State's shot at a comeback in the ninth inning with two strikeouts and a flyout to close out the game and take the first game of the series.
The Titans return to action in game two of the series against Long Beach Friday at night at Goodwin Field at 7 p.m.
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).