TEMPE, Ariz. – The Titans struck late to take down Arizona State once again, this time scoring one in the eighth to sink the Sun Devils 2-1 and earn the series sweep, Wednesday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
For the Titans (12-15), the win marks their fourth straight win over Arizona State (13-16) going back to last season, equaling their longest win streak over the Sun Devils.
Hank LoForte was fantastic offensively, leading Fullerton with a career-high equaling three knocks, while scoring the winning run. Sahid Valenzuela recorded the game-winning hit and RBI, while Jacob Pavletich went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Tomothy Josten was excellent in his first collegiate start, tossing 4.0 innings, while surrendering just one on four hits and striking out three.
Blake Workman (3-4) was nearly unhittable, as he picked up the win in relief. He went 3.0 scoreless innings, gave up two hits and fanned three. Dillon Brown also tossed a scoreless eighth and struck out two without surrendering a hit.
Brett Conine did what he usually does and shut things down in the ninth, setting them down in order to earn his fifth save of the season and his second in as many nights.
Fullerton struck first and early in this one, as Pavletich reached and advanced to second on a fielding error to begin the second. Richards then grounded out to advance Pavletich to third base before he was able to score on Ciandro's sacrifice fly to center field.
However the Titans' 1-0 advantage didn't last long, as ASU's leadoff man Gage Canning hit a home run to right center to tie things up a 1-1 to begin the bottom of the third.
Drama ensued once again late in this one, as the Titans once again put together a late rally.
LoForte got things started with his third hit of the game, knocking a single through the right side. Mitchell Berryhill then laid down a sacrifice bunt to put LoForte in scoring position at second base. Ruben Cardenas was then intentionally walked, while Zach Weller came off the bench to work a huge full-count walk to load them up.
Valenzuela then did what Cardenas did in the ninth inning last night. He chopped one right in front of the plate, making it a near impossible play for ASU's catcher Lyle Line, as he slipped and fell on his back side trying to make the play. It went down as an infield hit and allowed LoForte to score from third base to put Fullerton in front 2-1.
That's all Brown and Conine would need on the mound, as both of them pitched shutdown innings, while Conine notched his fifth save of the season to clinch the series sweep.
The Titans will get back into conference play this weekend, as they'll host Cal Poly in their Big West Conference home opener, Friday at 7 pm PT.
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