Titans Complete Sweep, Enter Postseason on Seven-Game Win Streak
NORTHRDIGE, Calif. – Clay Williamson's pinch-hit RBI single scored Matt Chapman in the eighth, giving the No. 3 Titans a one-run advantage and putting Cal State Fullerton back in the lead en route to 9-6 victory and sweep of Cal State Northridge on Saturday at Matador Field.
The Titans end the regular season with a record of 48-8 on a seven-game winning streak and a record of 23-4 in Big West Conference action.
By a sweep of UC Irvine last weekend, the Titans had already claimed their 27th conference championship, including their fourth consecutive Big West title. The championship also clinched the Titans the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as Fullerton will be making its 35th postseason appearance, including its 22nd in a row.
Regional hosts will be announced on www.ncaa.com/CWS at approximately 6 p.m. (PT), on Sunday. The 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Selection Show with regional pairings, will be revealed in a live, one-hour telecast on ESPNU at 9 a.m. (PT), on Monday.
Fullerton's 48 wins are the most since 2006 when the team finished the year with 50 victories, and the Titans' 48-8 record is the best for the program after 56 games in Division I history which dates back to 1975.
Fullerton will also finish the regular season with single-digit losses for the second time since 1975, after the 1995 squad ended the regular season with a mark of 46-9.
Following Williamson driving in what proved to be the game-winning run in the eighth, Fullerton right-hander Willie Kuhl retired the Matadors (31-26, 15-12) in order in the bottom of the frame.
Chapman added some insurance with a RBI single in the ninth that scored Jared Deacon, who led off the inning with a single through the right side. J.D. Davis then plated Fullerton's ninth run with a single knocked up the middle as Carlos Lopez scored giving the Titans a three-run, 9-6, cushion headed to the bottom of the ninth.
Michael Lorenzen closed out the game in the bottom of the ninth, issuing one walk and surrendering a base hit before recovering to earn his 18th save of the season. The save also marked the 34th of Lorenzen's career which ties Chad Cordero and Nick Ramirez for first all-time in Fullerton history.
The teams combined for 29 hits as 11 pitchers were used.
Fullerton totaled 17 hits, led by Davis' 4-for-6 effort as he drove in two runs on the day. Austin Diemer batted 3-for-4 with two RBI doubles, while Lopez and Chapman each added three hits apiece.
Jose Cardona (2-1) was credited with the win for Fullerton, allowing just one hit in one inning of relief for the Titans in the seventh.
Jordan Johnson (0-1) took the loss for Cal State Northridge after allowing two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out three in two innings of work.
Fullerton took a 1-0 lead in the third as three straight hits led to a Titan run. Back-to-back base hits from Lopez and Chapman put runners on first and second, setting up Davis' RBI single laced up the middle.
The Titans' two-out rally in the fourth expanded Fullerton's lead to 3-0 as Lopez collected his third hit of the day and his first RBI, driving in Diemer from second with a double laced to right center. Chapman then drove in Lopez with a RBI single knocked into center field.
Fullerton added two more runs in the fifth to claim a 5-0 advantage after a Cal State Northridge error helped prolong the inning.
Northridge reliever Anthony Cortez issued a leadoff walk to Michael Lorenzen, and an error put runners on first and second. A double steal moved the runners over with one out as right-hander Brandon Warner was brought out of the bullpen to face pinch-hitter Anthony Hutting. The senior drove in Fullerton's fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right, before Diemer lined a two-out double to left center that scored Greg Velazquez and gave Fullerton a commanding 5-0 lead.
Northridge got four runs back in the fifth, with three coming on one swing. Fullerton starter Grahamm Wiest gave up back-to-back singles to Chester Pak and Kyle Attle when Miles Williams approached the plate. Williams launched the first pitch he received from Wiest over the left field wall to record a three-run homer and his eighth round tripper of the season.
Josh Goossen Brown then brought in the Matadors' fourth run with a two-out RBI single as Northridge closed 5-4.
The Matadors took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth as Nate Ring's two-out, two-run single plated two unearned runs. Tyler Peitzmeier gave up back-to-back two-out singles to Williams and Nicolas Osuna, and Deacon was charged with catcher's interference to load the bases. Ring then delivered his two-run single to left to put the Matadors in the lead for the first time on Saturday.
Fullerton evened the game in the seventh as Deacon's one-out single to center turned into a run when Diemer recorded his second RBI double of the day, driving his third hit to the wall in the right center gap.
Wiest retired the first 10 batters he faced, until Ring roped a one-out single to left in the bottom of the fourth. In four and 2/3 innings Wiest allowed four runs on seven hits while issuing one walk.
Notes: Fullerton's 23 wins are the most for a Big West team since Cal State Fullerton finished Big West play 25-5 in 1999…the Titans' .851 Big West winning percentage is the best for a Big West team since UC Irvine (22-2, .917) in 2009…the .851 league winning percentage is also the best for Fullerton since 2010 (21-3, .875)…Fullerton's 48 wins are the most since 2006 when the team finished the year with 50 victories…Fullerton's 48-8 record is the best for the program after 56 games in Division I history which dates back to 1975…the Titans will finish the regular season with single-digit… losses for the second time since 1975, after the 1995 squad ended the regular season with a mark of 46-9…Fullerton swept its eighth weekend series of the season, the most three-game series sweeps since the Titans swept nine series in 2006…Fullerton is 34-3 when scoring first…the Titans have recorded double-digit hits in 24 games this season…Fullerton opponents have scored four runs in an inning against the Titans on four occasions…the Titan pitching staff has allowed double-digit hits 15 times in 2013…Fullerton's 17 hits were the most for the team since totaling 17 at UC Riverside on May 11…Michael Lorenzen's 18 saves rank second in Fullerton single-season history and his 34 career saves tie Nick Ramirez and Chad Cordero for first in Fullerton all-time history.