Titans Lead Early and Hold On at USC
LOS ANGELES – No. 10 Cal State Fullerton cruised to an 11-4 victory over USC on Wednesday night, putting an end to the team's short two-game losing streak.
With the win, the Titans improve to 11-2, while the Trojans drop to .500 at 6-6.
Fullerton posted a season-high 11 runs on a season-best 15 hits (five for extra bases), as the Titans scored eight runs in the first two innings.
Right-hander Koby Gauna (2-0) was efficient on the mound, pitching five shutout innings and facing just one batter over the minimum, while allowing three hits as the Titans turned two double plays. Gauna also fanned five in the win.
The Titans chased USC starter Brent Wheatley (1-1) early as he allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in one and 1/3 innings while facing 13 batters.
The Fullerton bullpen surrendered four runs on seven hits and four walks with Kyle Murray, Tyler Peitzmeier, Henry Omana, Willie Kuhl and Jose Cardona each appearing in relief. Fullerton had a 15-10 edge in total hits, but the Trojans left 10 base runners stranded.
At the plate, Anthony Hutting finished 3-for-3, driving in three runs and scoring two. Chad Wallach was 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring two runs. Michael Lorenzen ended his evening batting 3-for-3, with a triple and driving in three runs. Carlso Lopez batted 2-for-3 with a RBI, double and two runs scored.
Cal State Fullerton posted a three-spot on the Trojans in the top of the first, as the Titans took advantage of an error with three hits in the inning. Richy Pedroza reached on a throwing error and scored all the way from first as he was doubled home by Lopez. Matt Chapman was then issued a five-pitch walk, to put runners on first and second. After Wallach flew out to right, and Lopez was able to tag up to third, Hutting drove him home lacing a RBI single into left center. Lorenzen then found a hole through the left side, driving in CSF's third run as Chapman scored.
Fullerton added five runs in the second inning to claim a momentous 8-0 lead. Chapman drove in a run with a double to left center, followed by Wallach, who roped a two-run single back up the middle, spelling the end for Wheatley. With reliever Sean Silva on the mound, Hutting singled and Lorenzen drove both Wallach and Hutting across the plate with a triple to center. It was Lorenzen's third triple of the year.
In the fourth, the Titans took a 10-0 lead as Hutting hit a two-run shot over the right field wall. For Hutting, it was ninth hit of the year, of which three have been home runs. The Titans now have nine home runs in 2013, one short of their 2012 total of 10.
The Titans return to Goodwin Field on Friday to begin a three-game series with Texas A&M. Last season, the Titans took two of three from the Aggies on the road in College Station, Texas.
Notes: Cal State Fullerton holds a 47-37-2 all-time advantage against the Trojan in the Division I era (1975-pres.)…at Dedeaux Field, the Titans hold a slim 20-19 edge…Fullerton has won three straight against USC…Wednesday's game was the second meeting in 2013 between the two programs with Fullerton winning both …Carlos Lopez returned to the starting lineup at first base. Before Tuesday night at San Diego, when Lopez was used off the bench, he had made 52 straight starts dating back to March 16, 2012 vs. Long Beach State…the Titans have outscored their opponents 17-2 in the first inning in 2013…Fullerton's five-run inning in the second matched its season high run scoring output in a single frame…the Titans now have nine home runs in 2013, one short of their 2012 total of 10…freshman Tanner Pinkston's first career hit was a double in the eighth…the Titans' 15 hits were a season best…CSF's 11 runs were its most since a 21-4 win at Pacific on May 5, 2012…Nico Darras' RBI single in the eighth was his first career hit as a Titan.