FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 5 Cal State Fullerton's 10-game winning streak was snapped with a 3-2 loss to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
A three-run inning for the Lions (11-13) in the seventh was all LMU needed to defeat the Titans (21-4).
After being shut out for six innings, Loyola Marymount pushed three runs across to take the lead in the seventh with a little help from the Titans as three wild pitches were tossed.
LMU pinch-hitter Mitchell Esser produced a one-out knock up the middle to start the rally, and Jose Cardona, on the mound in relief, issued a walk to David Edwards to put runners on first and second.
The Titans went to the bullpen for the third time with left-hander Bryan Conant, but LMU loaded the bases as Matt Lowenstein singled up the middle for the Lions. With pinch-hitter Tommy Cheek at the plate and Joe Navilhon on the mound, the right-hander uncorked the first of three wild pitches as Esser scored from third to tie the game. Cheek then drove a RBI single through the left side as Edwards crossed the plate to give LMU the 2-1 lead. Lowenstein scored LMU's third run on the third wild toss of the frame before Navilhon got out of the inning by striking out Colton Plaia and coaxing Cullen Mahoney into a groundout.
Cardona (0-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in one and 1/3 innings on the mound.
LMU reliever Carlos Fuentes (1-0) recorded the win, tossing two innings in relief of starter Patrick McGrath. Fuentes allowed one run on three hits and two walks, while fanning four.
In a solid start, McGrath allowed one run on five hits and two walks. In five and 2/3 innings of work, McGrath struck out five, including four looking.
Fullerton starter Koby Gauna tossed three shutout innings, allowing four hits and issuing one walk while striking out three.
Buckle then retired the Titans in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure his first save of the season.
LMU totaled 11 hits as Lowenstein, Plaia and Edwards each picked up two hits apiece.
Keegan Dale executed two bunt singles to lead the Titans with two hits.
For the first time in 2013, Fullerton lost after taking the game's first lead.
The Titans look to defend their Big West title and open conference play at 6 p.m., Thursday, hosting Pacific in a three-game series at Goodwin Field.
Notes: The Titans are 16-1 when scoring first…Fullerton has now outscored opponents 22-6 in the first inning this season…the Titans were caught stealing a season-high three times, and threw a season-high three wild pitches.