LONG BEACH, Calif. --- It was all zeros from both sides after the first inning, but Long Beach State struck for three runs in the first, propelling them to a 3-0 win over Cal State Fullerton in the Long Beach Super Regional opener, Friday afternoon out at Blair Field.
For Fullerton (37-22), the result marks the just the fourth time the Titans have been shutout this season. Fullerton aims to force a winner take all game three, with a victory tomorrow at noon PT.
Connor Seabold (11-5) was the tough luck loser, as he went 5.1 innings and surrendered three runs on seven hits, while striking out four and walking three. However, he gave up all three runs in the first inning. Seabold and Jack Pabich combined to toss seven innings of scoreless baseball the rest of the way.
Long Beach State's (42-18-1) Darren McCaughan (9-2) earned the win, tossing 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball and surrendered two hits while walking two and fanning seven.
Taylor Bryant led the way offensively for the Titans, as he recorded two doubles and a walk, going 2-of-3 at the plate. Chris Prescott also chipped in with a double, while Timmy Richards provided what nearly was a momentum-shifting base hit in the ninth inning.
Three of Fullerton's four hits on the day went for extra bases. For Bryant, his two-hit performance goes down as his 14th multi-hit game of the year.
The stage was set for a dramatic Titan comeback in the ninth against Long Beach State closer Chris Rivera, as Dillon Persinger was plunked by a pitch to lead off the frame. Richards then singled to right field to put runners at the corners with no one out in the inning. Hank LoForte struck out and then Bryant worked a four-pitch walk to load up the bases with just one away.
Hunter Cullen then put together one of his best at bats of the year, fouling off pitch after pitch in what eventually ended up being a nine-pitch at bat. However he was eventually called out on strikes on a close pitch. Chris Hudgins nearly got it done with two outs, as he shot a rocket down the left field line that ended up being just foul. He eventually struck out swinging to end the ballgame.
Fullerton had its chances in the game, as it left eight runners on base on the night.
The Titans aim to keep their season alive, as they'll do it again tomorrow at noon PT. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Head Coach Rick Vanderhook
On the team's performance in game one
It was a good game, but we left guys on and didn't get enough hits. I think Connor (Seabold) was just a little all over the place in the first inning and after that it was straight zeros all the way through.
On Seabold's outing
He was all over the place. However, I thought he made a couple strikes that were called balls and that's what I told him. But one pitch should not have bothered him, he just got a little all over the place."
Junior Right-Handed Pitcher Jack Pabich
On his performance
I had a lot of fun out there. It was my first experience going through Supers. I just tried to do what I've done in the past. I think I tried a little too hard on my slider and that's why some ended up in the dirt.
Redshirt Junior Third baseman Taylor Bryant
on moving forward to the next game
Next game, that's the best way to put it. We lost today but we still have two more to win. It starts with tomorrow, but it's all about winning series and I think we've been good at doing that this year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).