BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – J.D. Davis' grand slam busted the game wide open in the fifth inning, and propelled the Titans to an 8-2 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon at Hardt Field.
In the last three games, Davis has driven in 11 runs, and six of those RBIs came on Sunday after the Titans' designated hitter blasted two home runs.
With Fullerton nursing a 3-0 lead entering the fifth, the Roadrunners brought left-hander Chuck Buchanan out of the bullpen in relief of starter Jonathan Montoya. Buchanan struggled early, loading the bases on three walks, setting up Davis' grand slam to center field. The Titans added a fifth run in the inning when Michael Lorenzen doubled and later scored on Chad Wallach's RBI single.
Cal State Fullerton wasted little time taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first courtesy of Davis' first home run of the game. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Montoya surrendered a single to Matt Chapman and a round-tripper to Davis.
In the third, Fullerton added a single run as Austin Diemer led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Diemer advanced to third courtesy of Richy Pedroza's sacrifice bunt, and scored as Carlos Lopez drove a sacrifice fly into right field.
Sophomore right-hander Koby Gauna (1-0) recorded the win, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven and 2/3 innings of work while striking out five. The Titans held the Roadrunners scoreless until the eighth inning, which stopped Cal State Fullerton's streak of shutout innings at 18.
Montoya (0-1) was issued the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in four innings.
The Titans totaled 10 hits, led by Chapman (2-for-3), Davis (2-for-4) and Diemer (2-for-2).
Sunday's game was the first of a five-game road stand for the Titans. Fullerton returns to action on Tuesday at Pepperdine with a 2 p.m. first pitch before traveling to TCU (Feb. 22-24). Fullerton returns to Goodwin Field on Friday March 1 to being a three-game series with Oregon and former CSF head coach and current head coach of the Ducks, George Horton.
Notes: Davis' grand slam was the first for Fullerton since Carlos Lopez completed the same feat at Pacific on May 5, 2012…Davis is also the first Titan to hit two home runs in a game since Nick Ramirez at Cal Poly on April 23, 2011…Cal State Fullerton (4-0) is off to its best start since 2007…Cal State Fullerton held opponents scoreless for 18 consecutive innings from the eighth inning of the first game of Saturday's doubleheader vs. Nebraska until the eighth inning vs. CSU Bakersfield on Sunday…in the last three games, the Titans have scored 27 runs on 34 hits…Bill Kernen (head coach Cal State Bakersfield) spent a combined seven seasons as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton. From 1978-82, he helped guide the Titans to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the College World Series and the Titans' first national title in 1979. Kernen also was CSF's pitching coach in 1987 and 2007.