SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – No. 4 Cal State Fullerton delivered an impressive offensive performance as the Titans evened the series with a 10-5 victory over No. 23 Cal Poly on Saturday night at Baggett Stadium.
With the win, Fullerton (33-6, 9-2) remains at the top of the Big West Conference standings, while the Mustangs fall to 26-10 and 7-4 in league play.
Of Fullerton's 12 hits, seven were for extra bases as Wallach batted 3-for-5, with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Chapman hit 3-for-5, driving in a game-high three runs on two doubles.
In the win, Garza (8-0) allowed four runs on four hits – two home runs – while issuing a career-high four walks and striking out eight in seven innings.
In addition to all the offense, a Cal Poly error in the seventh allowed the Titans to score three unearned runs, turning a 6-4 lead into a 9-4 advantage that put the game out of reach.
The Titans first took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third as they capitalized on back-to-back one-out walks issued to Carlos Lopez and J.D. Davis by Cal Poly starter Matt Imhof. With runners on first and second and one out, Michael Lorenzen slapped a ball toward the left side that deflected off Cal Poly third baseman Jimmy Allen, traveling into left center and allowing Lopez to score from second.
With Davis at third and Lorenzen at second, Wallach smacked a bases-clearing two-run single through the left side as Fullerton took a 3-0 advantage.
The inning continued as Jake Jefferies hit into a fielder's choice, erasing Wallach, but the Titans quickly got back into scoring position as Jefferies stole second, and Chapman connected on a RBI single back up the middle to give the Titans a 4-0 lead.
David Armendariz quickly got one of the runs back for the Mustangs as he drove the first pitch Garza delivered in the bottom of the third over the left field wall to cut the score to 4-1.
After striking out back-to-back batters in Jordan Ellis and Allen in the bottom of the fourth, Garza issued a walk to Nick Torres. The walk proved problematic as the next batter, Brian Mundell, hit the second Cal Poly home run of the game on Garza's 1-2 offering, cutting Fullerton's lead to one run at 4-3.
Greg Velazquez helped the Titans add some insurance and build a 6-3 lead after hitting his second home run of the week, a two-run shot to left center in the top of the sixth. The run scored Chapman, who was at second after driving a one-out double down the left field line.
In the loss, Imhof (4-2) allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks in five and 1/3 innings.
The Mustangs added a run in the bottom of the sixth to close 6-4 as Denver Chavez and Ellis led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Allen pushed both runners over with a sacrifice bunt before Torres brought a run home driving a sacrifice fly to center field.
A two-out error in the top of the seventh proved costly for Cal Poly and put the game out of reach as the Titans added three runs in the frame. Reliever Michael Holbrack had allowed a single to Lopez, but had retired the next two Titan batters before Denver Chavez's fielding error kept the top of seventh alive. With runners on the corners, Jefferies found a hole through the right side, delivering a RBI single as Fullerton built its lead to 7-4 when Lopez came around to score.
Chapman followed with his third hit of the game – second double – driving a bases-clearing two-run shot down the left field line as Fullerton's lead ballooned to 9-4.
Austin Kingsolver RBI triple scored the Titans' 10th run in the ninth, while the Mustangs scored an unearned run in the ninth on a Titan error and Chavez RBI single.
The series finale and rubber game is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Baggett Stadium on Sunday.
Notes: Cal State Fullerton has scored at least four runs in an inning on 15 occasions in 2013…the Titans have had opponents hit multiple home runs in three games this season…Fullerton's five doubles matched a season high…Garza's four walks issued were a career high and he has allowed three home runs in his last two starts…Fullerton has totaled at least 10 runs on seven occasions in 2013...Chapman and Wallach each matched career highs with three hits in the game.