FULLERTON, Calif. – After squeaking out one-run victories over Long Beach State in the first two games of the series, No. 4 Cal State Fullerton completed the sweep of the Dirtbags with a commanding 9-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
With Fullerton (39-7, 15-3 Big West) already nursing a 5-2 lead, senior Carlos Lopez pushed the game out of reach, clubbing a three-run homer to right center in the sixth that also scored Jared Deacon and Austin Kingsolver as the Titans jumped ahead 8-2. The homer was the second of the year for Fullerton's senior first baseman.
CSF's offense supported a solid outing for Grahamm Wiest (8-2) as he allowed three runs in seven innings of work on four hits and one walk while striking out six. Tyler Peitzmeier, Jose Cardona and Willie Kuhl appeared in relief.
Entering the bottom of the fifth trailing by a run, Fullerton took a commanding 5-2 lead scoring four unearned runs as two errors and a passed ball troubled Long Beach State (21-24, 9-9), and Anthony Hutting took full advantage of the opportunity.
Kingsolver reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the fifth and was sacrificed to second before Lopez drove a deep fly ball to right field that Juan Avila dropped up against the wall, putting runners at second and third with one out.
Right-hander Ty Provencher then took over and his first pitch resulted in a passed ball that allowed Lopez to score and the Titans to take a 3-2 advantage. Hutting then hammered a two-run, bases-clearing single that brought home Davis and Lorenzen as Fullerton took a 5-2 lead. All four runs in the inning were unearned.
In the loss, Sabo (2-3) allowed four unearned runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one.
In three innings of work in the start, David Hill allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one.
Long Beach State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first as Wiest issued a leadoff walk to Jeff McNeil, and paid the price. He stole second and advanced to third on a groundout before scoring courtesy of Avila's sacrifice fly.
A leadoff runner for Fullerton in the bottom of the first also paid dividends as Richy Pedroza knocked a single through the right side. He stole second and advanced to third on a fly ball before scoring to even the game at 1-1 when Hutting drove a two-out RBI single up the middle.
Long Beach State added a run to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Wiest drilled Avila to lead off the inning. Ino Patron then sliced a high chopper into right field, and Avila was off on the pitch advancing to third. He was able to score the Dirtbags' second run on Zack Rivera's sacrifice fly to center field.
McNeil and Patron finished the game with two hits piece for LBSU.
Hutting led Fullerton with a 3-for-4 effort, driving in three runs.
Notes: The Titans' 39-7 record is the best for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year 39-7… the Titans hold a 6-0 record against Long Beach State in 2013…Fullerton is now 12-4 when the opponent scores first…the Titans have erased a one-run deficit on nine occasions in 2013…Fullerton has scored at least four runs in an inning on 17 occasions in 2013…Fullerton won its 11th weekend series of the year and swept its sixth weekend series.