FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton battled tough but ultimately fell short to UC Santa Barbara, 7-6, Friday night at Goodwin Field in the Big West Conference opener.
Heading into their half of the sixth inning the Titans (11-12, 0-1) trailed by six runs, however, Fullerton rallied to scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to cut into the Gauchos (18-4, 1-0) deficit to make the score 7-5.
The Titans then had a chance in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game or take the lead. Kameron Guangorena led off the inning with a single up the middle before advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Guangorena had a good game at the plate for the Titans, going 1-for-3 with one run and an RBI
Jairus Richards then followed with a single up the middle to score Guangorena and put the Titans within just one run. Richards was able to advance to third following a sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice but the Titans were unable to drive in the game-tying run. Richards come on late in the game and went 1-for-2 with two RBI on the evening.
Ben Brecht of UC Santa Barbara picked up the win to move to 5-0 on the season after pitching 5.1 innings, giving up five hits and five runs (four earned). Gauchos reliever Chris Lincoln recorded his sixth save of the season after pitching the final inning.
Tanner Bibee now has a record of 3-4 on the season in his seven starts. Matthew Sanchez come on in relief in the seventh inning and had his best performance as a Titan, going the final three innings while not allowing a single hit and striking out a career-high seven batters.
The Titans return to action Saturday against the Gauchos looking to even the series at 1-1. First pitch for Saturday's contest at Goodwin Field is slated for 6:00 p.m. PT.
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