March 29, 2013

Titans Open Big West Play with Win

Box Score (PDF)

FULLERTON, Calif.  – Michael Lorenzen deposited his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall, and Thomas Eshelman was once again electric on the mound as No. 5 Cal State Fullerton opened Big West Conference play with a 9-2 victory over Pacific on Thursday night at Goodwin Field.

Eshelman improved to 6-1 on the season, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks while matching a career best by striking out eight in eight innings on the mound. The freshman right-hander has now tossed 50 innings without issuing a walk.

Each batter in Fullerton's (22-4, 1-0) starting lineup recorded a hit, as the Titans totaled a season-high 16 hits in the game.

Fullerton erased Pacific's 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth as 12 batters came to the plate with the Titans totaling seven runs on seven hits, as the frame was highlighted by Michael Lorenzen's three-run homer.

The Titans loaded the bases with a base hit to and back-to-back bunt singles, before Pacific (7-13, 0-1) starter Michael Benson (2-2) issued four straight balls to Richy Pedroza to push across Jake Jefferies, tying the game. With the bases loaded again, Carlos Lopez drove a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Austin Diemer to score as Fullerton claimed a 2-1 advantage.

A wild pitch then moved both runners into scoring position as J.D. Davis drove a two-run single back up the middle, scoring Keegan Dale and Pedroza to give CSF a 4-1 advantage.

Chad Wallach then singled to left, setting up Lorenzen's three-run bomb.

In the loss, Benson allowed seven runs on nine hits while issuing two walks and striking out three in four and 2/3 innings of work.

John Haberman finished the game for the Tigers, allowing two runs on seven hits in three and 1/3 innings on the mound.

Pacific took hold of a 1-0 lead in the third after Tyler Pederson drove a one-out triple to right center, and scored courtesy of Tyler Sullivan's sac fly.

Fullerton added its eighth run in the seventh as Anthony Hutting's RBI single slipped through the left side, plating Wallach, and in the eighth, Davis' RBI single drove in Pedroza for the Titans' final run of the game.

Four Titans had multiple-hit efforts led by Davis, who batted 3-for-5, driving in three runs. Lorenzen matched him with a 3-for-5 evening, driving in all three runs on his round tripper, while Pedroza batted 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Wallach and Diemer also added two hits apiece for the Titans.

Game two of this weekend's series is scheduled for a 7 p.m. first pitch from Goodwin Field on Friday night.

Notes: Dating back to 1990, Cal State Fullerton has a record of 58-12 during the first weekend of Big West play… Fullerton's 22-4 start is the best for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year 31-2…Michael Lorenzen extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and he now leads the Titans with four home runs in 2013…Fullerton has now scored at least five runs in an inning on five occasions in 2013…the Titans' 16 hits were a season high and the most for the program since totaling 17 at Pacific on May 6, 2012…in 50 innings pitched, Eshelman has yet to issue a walk. His streak is the longest for Fullerton since Wes Roemer tossed 65 and 2/3 innings in 2006 without issuing a base on balls…Fullerton has overcome a one-run deficit four times in 2013.