FULLERTON, Calif. – The pitching was excellent, the defense was phenominal and the offense was clutch, as Cal State Fullerton blanked CSUN 3-0 to even up its three-game series, Saturday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
For the Titans (28-22, 15-5 Big West), the win marked another monumental step in Fullerton's journey to clinch its 22nd Big West title this season, bring its magic number down to one. The Titans just need one conference victory in its final four league games to claim the championship and the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
�� SOUND || @rick_vanderhook speaking postgame on the Titans' big win today. As for tomorrow, well, Hooky is just keeping it simple. Take a listen...#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/b4rTt6oCIO— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) May 20, 2018
In fact a Long Beach State loss to Hawai'i tonight, would also give Fullerton the title, as UC Irvine and CSUN were both officially eliminated from title chase Saturday afternoon after their respective losses. The Titans and 49ers are technically the only two teams who can win the title.
Starting pitcher Tommy Wilson (W, 6-0) was nearly unhittable on the mound, as he tossed 6.0 scoreless frames, while surrendering just four hits and striking out four. He got the win and recorded his sixth quality start of the season. Titan starting pitching has now combined to record eight consecutive quality starts.
Ruben Cardenas picked up three hits in today's win over CSUN. Here are his thoughts on today's win and a chance for tomorrow to be a special day for the Titans#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/n2yDPE9Ey1— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) May 20, 2018
Ruben Cardenas earned his team-leading 18th multi-hit game of the season and notched his sixth three-hit performance. He went 3-of-4 from the dish with a double and RBI.
Jace Chamberlin went 2-of-3 with an RBI, while Daniel Cope put together a 2-for-4 game with an RBI. Jacob Pavletich also came through with his 13th multi hit game of the year, as he also went 2-for-4.
Sahid Valenzuela, Mitchell Berryhill and Hank LoForte all picked up a knock and scored a run. For LoForte, his on base streak now stands at 34 games, while his hit streak is at 11. Valenzuela is also boasting a 10-game hit streak.
The Titans never trailed in this one, improving to 20-5 when scoring first this season.
LoForte led the game off with a perfectly place bunt single. Berryhill then sacrificed him to second base, while Cardenas and Cope then came through with back-to-back hits to score Cope and put Fullerton in front 1-0.
The Titans tacked on another in the fourth, as back-to-back one out singles by Valenzuela and Pavletich set up Chamberlin, and he came through. Chamberlin blasted one down the left field line to score Valenzuela from second and make it a 2-0 Titan advantage.
Fullerton got some more insurance in the eighth, as Berryhill bunted for a base hit to lead it up. Then Cardenas smashed a double to left field to score Berryhill from first to extend the lead to 3-0.
That ended up being the final margin, as the Titans held on for their sixth shutout victory of the season.
Fullerton looks to wrap up its regular season home slate with a series victory tomorrow at 1 pm PT. While it would also have the opportunity to clinch the conference title if it isn't wrapped up already.
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